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 Richie Heppell, one of the four contestants competing in the World Chocolate Masters' UK & Ireland preselection.
Source: the London Chocolovers website
Richie is currently the Head Chef in the Officers Mess at RAF Leuchars and he has been a chef for the RAF for 17 years. Throughout his career he has worked in a wide variety of kitchens, ranging from cooking for 3,000 troops in the Falkland Islands & Saudi Arabia to a fine dining Officers Mess, assisting in banquets for Queen Elizabeth II, VVIP visitors and the former Prime Minister John Major. Recently Richie has also launched a webshop known as “Heppell’s” where he sells handmade artisan chocolates and gifts. Over the last 10 years Richie has won a number of gold and silver medals. Moreover, he received Best in Class awards at competitions representing the RAF and the Combined Services Culinary Arts Team competing at the Tri-Service Competition, Hotelympia, and preparing for the Culinary Olympics & Culinary World Cup. He previously competed at the World Chocolate Masters UK Final and gained 3rd place.
Richie, what does chocolate mean to you?
“I have always loved chocolate and being brought up next to a chocolate factory started me off on that craze. As children, we were able to buy chocolate from the factory that wasn’t quite good enough for the shop shelves, so we could get a lot for our money. Now, using chocolate in my profession opens numerous amounts of doors that you would not believe. There are plenty of different blends that Cacao Barry offers that change your finished product and add enhancements because of the subtle notes of smell and flavour. The use of chocolate is endless and is stretched as far as your imagination wants to take it, from exquisite chocolates to show-stopping showpieces.”
And why are the World Chocolate Masters important for you?
“The most important reason for me to participate in the World Chocolate Masters is to compete against the worlds finest chocolatiers, seeing different trends and experience different techniques. Seeing and competing against the best of the best can only give me more thirst and thrive to be better than the best whilst gaining new friends in this skilful medium of work. I would like to achieve the best possible status in a profession that needs more recognition all over the world in a skill that takes years to perfect through determination, strong character and true professionalism. Representing the UK in the World Final would be the highest honour I could ever dream to achieve.”
We wish you a lot of success, Richie!
Would you like to visit and experience this exciting event? Then contact Jayne at Jayne_cowley@barry-callebaut.com.