The Ganache on the Cake for Ashford Castle – Young Chef to Compete for the Junior Chocolate Master Crown

Following Ashford Castle’s Executive Pastry Chef Paula Stakelum taking the Valrhona Patisserie Championship 2017 title, the prestigious pastry kitchen is sending yet another gifted chef to compete with the best. The Cacao Barry Junior Chocolate Master competition will gather some of the UK and Ireland’s top young pastry stars together for a chocolate showdown.

Rachel Parker, a commis chef at Ashford Castle, will compete with another Irish chef, Daniel Linehan, who is currently the chef de partie working on starters and pastry at Thyme in Athlone. Both will stare down stiff competition from UK pastry chefs from some of the most recognisable addresses in the culinary world, including The Ritz Hotel London and Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons.

In 2016, the UK Junior Chocolate Master title was won by Maxime Michelot, a gifted chef de partie from Shangri La, at The Shard in London, which also produced the 2015 winner Quentin Béchard. This is a fantastic opportunity for our young talents to make their mark in the early stages of their careers and catch the eye of some the biggest names in the pastry world.

Rachel and Daniel have been mentored by master chocolatier Erik Van Der Veken of Redmond Fine Foods, who encouraged both to enter this prestigious competition, taking place in Cacao Barry UK’s Chocolate Academy Centre in Banbury on the 8th of July.

The contestants will be challenged to a seven hour task which will see them create a 75cm chocolate masterpiece as well as a portable dessert and a chocolate bar, all of which must tie into an English Garden theme. We wish both Rachel and Daniel the very best of luck!

For more information on Cacao Barry Junior Chocolate Masters click here.

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