Hampshire's Chocolate Makers Impress
Two Hampshire Fare members impressed judges this week at the Academy of Chocolate Awards. Winchester Cocoa Company was awarded a bronze for its Earl Grey with Lemon chocolate and gold for a Ginger and Muscovado chocolate. Meanwhile Chocolate by Miss Witt was awarded bronze for her Seasalt and Caramel Water Ganache.
This year’s Awards received a record number of entries with over 500 products. As a result more judges were involved in the jury panel and the judging, which took place at Westminster Kingsway College, was extended to five days. Chaired by globally respected wine expert Charles Metcalfe, judges included chocolate experts and buyers, pastry chefs, food professionals and food journalists.
Judges included food writers and bloggers: Xanthe Clay, Andrew Baker, Jennifer Earle, Lee McCoy, Zoe Perrett, Spencer Hyman, Jill Norman, Henrietta Green, Aggie McKenzie, Jenny Linford, Joanna Wood, Janie Suthering; Buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Selfridges, Marks & Spencer; Chocolatiers/Patissiers: Cecilia Tessieri, Iain Burnett, Amelia Rope, Claire Clark MBE, James Petrie and Steven James from the University of West London; and AoC members: Kate Johns, Christopher Reeves and John Adams. The Grand Jury comprised: Charles Metcalfe (Chairman); Sarah Jane Evans; Fiona Gately; Judith Lewis; Marie-Pierre Moine; Sara Jayne Stanes; Janie Suthering; Paul a Young.
Both Hampshire chocolate makers support local producers. Kerry Witt, founder and owner of Chocolate by Miss Witt, uses Hildon Natural Mineral Water to make H20 ganache which enhances the true taste of the flavours within the different cacao beans. Kerry also uses jam from local producer, naked jam.
The Winchester Cocoa company recipes feature local Summerdown Mint, Twisted Nose Gin and coffee from Winchester Coffee Roasters.
Kerry Witt commented on the announcement: “I am delighted with the bronze award. I am ever so pleased for Winchester Cocoa Company too. We are both relatively new to chocolate making which makes it an even better achievement. I feel that here in Hampshire we are catching up with many of London’s top chocolatiers.”