The Chocolate Show is pleased to announce the overall winner of the 2017 UK Chocolate Dessert of the Year competition, sponsored for the second year in a row by Valrhona, is Soho-based aqua nueva, following a live judging process in front of visitors at this weekend’s show at Olympia, London.
Head Chef Yahir Gonzalez and Pastry Chef Adrian Cabrerizo of aqua nueva won with their sensational dessert of Milk Chocolate Mousse and Cointreau, which was praised for its accomplished, beautiful presentation, amazing flavour combinations, with one judge even commenting that the dish was “entertaining ‘til the last mouthful”.
Head Chef Yahir said of the restaurant’s win: “I’m delighted to have won the Chocolate Dessert of the Year 2017 competition. It was a pleasure to be involved in the competition and the show is a great way for restaurants and chefs to showcase their best creations.”
Speaking about his inspiration for the dessert, Yahir said “I used Cointreau in this dessert as, although, not a Spanish liqueur, Cointreau is really popular in Spain and also is a perfect pairing for chocolate. The popping candy is reminiscent of my childhood, my treat as a kid was raspberry popping candy so I have added both elements to this dish. There are also a lot of elements and textures in the dessert which keeps it playful and interesting.”
Joint second was awarded to Pied á Terre’s Chocolate Pavé, Chilli and Stem Ginger dessert and Westminster’s Gillray’s collaborative Chocolate Week dessert with a Caramelised Chocolate and Cherry Mousse. They triumphed over the other prestigious shortlisted finalists, who included The Langham, Corrigan’s Mayfair and Ceviche Old Street.
Judges were led by Sara Jayne Stanes OBE, Chief Executive of the of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and Chairman of Academy of Chocolate and included celebrity pâtissier Eric Lanlard, food writer John Whaite, Master Chocolatier Paul A Young, Chantal Coady OBE, chocolate pioneer and founder of Rococo Chocolate, food writer Felicity Spector and Valrhona representative Stéphanie Perrot.
The Chocolate Dessert of The Year competition brings together the UK’s most talented chocolatiers to showcase their skills. The competition puts pastry chefs in the spotlight and is an exclusive opportunity for restaurants and hotels to publicise their best chocolate desserts in front of the industry’s leading food writers, chocolate experts, and chocolate lovers alike.
2017 marked the fifth edition of the much-heralded Chocolate Show in London, the UK’s biggest and much loved celebration of chocolate, held at Olympia London (13th-15th October).