This year’s entrants had already been whittled down to a shortlist of ten, with the four actual finalists announced last week. We were particularly delighted that one of our bloggers, Rosana McPhee, was one of these lucky four, with her recipe for a Chocolate nut torte with cherry meringue ice cream going through to the final cook-off at the ALNO kitchen showrooms in London’s West End on Tuesday 13th October.
In support of Breast Cancer Now and held, fittingly, during London Chocolate Week, the four finalists re-created their entries in front of the formidable judging panel of chef Mark Hix, Godiva’s Chocolatier, Jean Apostolou, celebrity chef and food writer, Gizzi Erskine and MasterChef: The Professionals judge and food writer, William Sitwell. All of the judges spent time with the finalists giving them valuable hints and tips as they were cooking and putting those all-important finishing touches to their creations.
Although their aprons may have resembled a rather chocolatey Jackson Pollock artwork, the finalists looked very much in control during the cook-off. They took time out to chat to friends and guests, who dealt with the tense environment by sipping Balfour BRUT rosé and snacking on strawberries dipped in Godiva chocolate. We also got to sample Godiva’s new and delicious range of meringue mousse chocolates, which has been created in support of Breast Cancer Now, with 10% of all future British sales of this collection going to the charity.
Gizzi Erskine, who was new this year to the judging panel, commented: ‘It’s been very hard to choose, but it’s been kind of interesting, that everyone came with very different ideas to the one brief which was to use meringue, a touch of pink and naturally to include chocolate. Nothing was the same. On the one hand that made it easier to judge but on the other, very, very hard.’