• Cyril McAree

Over A Million Viewers Watched The Livestream As Barry Johnson Wins UK & Irish National Selectio


After a day filled with all-sensory excitement created by UK and Ireland's new generation of highly creative chocolatiers, pastry chefs and chefs, the World Chocolate Masters’ jury announced Barry Johnson the winner of the national selections. Runners-up for the second and third place were pastry chefs Sarah Frankland and Stephen Espouy. This means that Barry will represent UK and Ireland during the international final in Paris in October 2018.

There, 21 countries will be represented by their most talented chocolate chef to compete in a three-day final that will challenge them to push the limits of culinary creativity with Cacao Barry's chocolate couvertures. For the first time ever, the UK and Irish national selection was livestreamed via facebook, and over a million viewers watched as the days events unfolded.

Barry Johnson: a new finalist is born to go global:

Gary Hunter, President of the Jury said:“Barry maintained a consistently high standard throughout the competition, showing great analysis of the futropolis concept he captured the imagination of all of the judges”Robert Harrison, Cacao Barry Sales Director for Northern Europe said: “It was a fantastic competition with incredibly high standards and immense personal challenges, Barry emerged as a worthy winner and we look forward to his presence at the final of WCM next year”

This competition gives a pre-taste of chocolate delights by 2020:

This edition's theme 'Futropolis' challenged all contestants to think about the future of chocolate delights. More specific, how the cities of the future will influence the way we will live, eat and love one of the most exquisite delights in the entire world: chocolate. The jury specifically was looking forward to exploring new chocolate taste combinations, forward-thinking textures and a design language that will define tomorrow's commercial patisserie and chocolaterie presentation.

An enriching journey among peers, for each contestant:

The World Chocolate Masters is, unlike many other culinary competitions, much more than a ‘battle’. It aims to be an open invitation for individual chefs, chocolatiers and pastry chefs to develop their individual talent. Each contestant can count on personal coaching from Cacao Barry's chefs and former World Chocolate Masters finalists to develop the skills he or she wants to further develop. It makes the competition, a very tough competition, yet an incredibly rewarding journey for many of the contestants since it also stands for a career-boasting event.

A competition by chefs for chefs:

The World Chocolate Masters has kicked off in January 2017 with national selections (to be) held in 21 countries all over the world between January 2017 and January 2018. The contestants have one day to create a chocolate showpiece called ‘The Futropolitan’, a hybrid pastry reflecting ‘Fresh flavours of Futropolis’ and a ‘Chocolate Snack to Go’. In each of the assignments, the contestants have to integrate the theme with shape, design, presentation and an exciting selection of ingredients. Their creations will be evaluated by a professional jury of independent chefs and chocolate experts. Only one contestant per national selection will become the ‘National Chocolate Master’. He or she will be representing his or her country during the World Chocolate Masters final in October 2018 where an international jury will choose the new World Chocolate Master.

Pushing the boundaries in chocolate creativity:

“The World Chocolate Masters has always been the platform where new talents showcase how they push the boundaries of chocolate. What chefs created there was often a preview of a new trend that was found months and years later in the high streets. Now we’re stepping up the game. We’re really looking forward to seeing a new take on chocolate by young, millennial chefs and their ideas of flavour creation, even combining it with savoury elements, plants, locally grown ingredients, etc.”, Joost Lindeman – Global Brand Manager for Cacao Barry - explains.

An incredible journey for each contestant – a boost for their careers:

“The World Chocolate Masters is much more than a culinary competition”, explains Ramon Morató. “It is an incredible journey during which most contestants learn to push their own limitations. It’s their window to the global culinary world. For many of them, it is a fantastic opportunity to reach out to other chefs, learn from them, establish new contacts and develop their own creative thinking and processes. And not in the least, it is a platform for them to transform their professional path into international careers. If you look at some of the finalists and winners such as Frank Haasnoot, Davide Comaschi, Shigeo Hirai, Marike van Beurden and Vincent Vallée… They’ve become the leading pastry and chocolate chefs in the world.”

More than ever before, Cacao Barry and the World Chocolate Masters will also develop training and coaching programmes for all finalists. “Brand new for this edition, we will host a few creative boot camps for all finalists to fully prepare them for the final”, says Cacao Barry Global Brand Manager Joost Lindeman. “We will take them to a few special places where mentors and coaches will immerse them in experiences and help them stimulate their creative thinking and the competitive spirit. What’s more, they’re welcome in our Chocolate Academy centres to train their skills, get all creative and technical support and perfect their ideas.”

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