London was the centre of this year's Chocolate Week as The Godiva Chocolate Challenge saw four talented finalist vie for the competition crown.
Defending champion Heather was once again crowned victor at the ALNO kitchen showrooms in the West End. In support of Breast Cancer Now! and held during London Chocolate Week, Heather triumphed over three other talented finalists who produced their entries in front of the formidable judging panel of leading UK chef Mark Hix; Godiva’s Chocolatier Jean Apostolou; celebrity chef and food writer Gizzi Erskine; and MasterChef TV critic William Sitwell.
Ecstatic winner, Heather, said: “I am super honoured to have been selected again as The Godiva Chocolate Challenge winner.
“This year was harder as there was a criteria to be met, but I had a fairly good idea of what I wanted to do. I would heartily recommend entering to anyone with a love of chocolate and cooking.”
Heather’s prize for winning will be to spend a weekend in Brussels including a visit to Godiva’s Centre of Innovation. She will also see her dessert featured on the menu at HIX Soho restaurant.
Initially, her winning dish Come Fly With Me, will be on the menu for a week, but Mark said: “It is a great dessert in the lead up to Christmas and if it proves popular with the customers it will stay on longer.”
William added: “Heather’s dish was the most original in design. It was certainly the most arresting visually and the two different meringues she made were very good.”
Jean said: “The fact that Heather was crowned winner of The Godiva Chocolate Challenge again reconfirms her superb skill at combining different flavours and textures.
“It is this that set her apart from the other finalists. Heather’s dessert was very accomplished indeed and I am looking forward to welcoming her to our Godiva kitchens later this year.”
Gizzi, who was new this year to the judging panel commented: “It has been great to see the British public getting involved and creating this level of dish at home.
“The talent tonight was exemplary and given the same brief, it is amazing to see the diversity of the dishes. It also shows what a wonderful ingredient chocolate is.”
Desserts in the finals were:
Heather Bennett’s ‘Come Fly With Me’
Anoop Momi’s ‘Nuts about Cherry’
Joe Fallowfield’s ‘You can eat flowers’
Rosana McPhee’s ‘Chocolate Nut Torte with Cherry Meringue ice cream’