The World Chocolate Masters' UK & Ireland preselection will happen in London on 18 February at Westminster Kingsway College, London. But is not just a competition. The World Chocolate Masters are about getting to know chocolate, experiencing the richness of flavours of different origins, different extremes, the Purity from Nature. They're about tasting desserts created by the greatest chefs in the world, meeting the creators and getting to know Or Noir. We present you Norma Kelly, one of the four contestants competing in the World Chocolate Masters' UK & Ireland preselection.
Source: the London Chocolovers website
Norma is a Lecturer in Pastry at the Dublin Institute of Technology (D.I.T.) in Dublin. Before becoming a pastry chef Norma studied the degree in Culinary Arts at D.I.T. Norma worked as a pastry chef both at home and abroad before returning to D.I.T. to complete a Masters degree in Food Product Development and Culinary Innovation. As a student Norma has taken part in many culinary competitions, both nationally and internationally, and continues to do so now as a lecturer. As well as competing herself, Norma now helps train students for competitions along with her colleagues at D.I.T.
Norma, what does chocolate mean to you?
“As a child I, like any other child, could never have enough of chocolate. I remember my mother hiding it from me and my brother. Of course then chocolate was chocolate to us, rich and sweet, and we were happy with it regardless of the type, shape or form that it came in. The one thing that we didn’t particularly like was dark chocolate as it wasn’t quite sweet enough. As I got older and became a pastry chef I have been lucky enough to learn more about chocolate, its versatility and the many different flavours it can provide the taste buds with. I have learned to appreciate finer chocolate, including the dark, for its complexity in flavours, its uses and the dimensions it can add to any dessert, pastry or cake.”
And why are the World Chocolate Masters important for you?
“I consider the World Chocolate Masters to be a great opportunity to challenge myself in working with chocolate. Over the last months of practice it has given me a reason to think more about how I can use chocolate in formulating new recipes, ideas and pairing chocolate with other ingredients to give great flavours. It has given me a chance to concentrate on refining my skills and it will be an honour to test my skills against the other great chocolatiers in the competition.”
We wish you a lot of success, Norma!
Would you like to visit and experience this exciting event? Then contact Jayne at Jayne_cowley@barry-callebaut.com.