Last month, The Academy of Chocolate celebrated the winners of its 2017 Awards, and brought together the most important profiles from the craft chocolate industry.
Founded in 2005 by five of Britain’s leading chocolate professionals, the Academy of Chocolate believes that eating fine chocolate is one of life’s greatest pleasures and should be celebrated as such.
The Academy passionately promotes a greater awareness of the difference between fine chocolate and the mass-produced confectionery kind, with the aim of bringing the opportunity to experience ‘proper’ chocolate to as many people as possible.
The annual awards which is now in its ninth year, attracted entries from producers all over the globe, and aims to reward these accomplished chocolatiers and recognise some of the finest chocolates in the world.
The judging panel was chaired by Chef Sarah Hartnett and included international journalists, chefs, pastry chefs and experts in both chocolate and food, and this year Le Cordon Bleu London’s very own Head Pâtisserie Chef Julie Walsh was also a part of the prestigious line-up.
Following the finals that took place in London in April, the Academy of Chocolate was proud to announce the winners of the competition in the five different categories which included Le Cordon Bleu alumni Isobel Carse from Dormouse Chocolates and Chikako Watanabe.
After undertaking Pâtisserie training here at Le Cordon Bleu London and working for Hotel du Chocolat, Isobel opened Dormouse Chocolates, which became the first Bean to Bar chocolate producer in Manchester in May 2015. At the Academy of Chocolate Awards Isobel won in the "Best Newcomer UK" category.
Our other alumni, Chika Watanabe graduated in 2001 and since then has built a superb career as one of the finest chocolatiers in London: chikawatanabe.co.uk. Chika won four Bronze awards in the “Filled Chocolates” category.
Le Cordon Bleu would like to congratulate Chika and Isobel on their fantastic achievement, and hope they inspire an enthusiastic new generation of Chocolatiers!