Chefs Make It Special and Win Trip to Belgium



Standard Supplier 12th April 2017

Chefs Make It Special and Win Trip to Belgium

Six chefs have emerged triumphant in Callebaut’s Make It Special competition, each winning a trip of a lifetime to Belgium to go deeper into the world of chocolate.

To enter the competition, chefs, chocolatiers and pâtissiers were encouraged to showcase how they help their customers celebrate a special occasion, with gold, silver and bronze winners selected from two age categories – 18-21 year olds and 22 years or over.

Scooping the top prize in the 18-21 year olds category, Dominic Hutchings – Commis Pastry Chef, Coworth Park Hotel – will be joining gold winner in the over 22’s group, Eszter Takacs, Pastry Chef, Shutishuti Patisserie.

Dominic’s entry focused on enhancing the senses when presenting the special occasion dessert to diners, encasing distinctive aromas such as aged whiskey or coconut for a surprise. The judges felt that the attention given to the scent of the dish added another dimension and set it apart from others traditionally concentrating on taste and visual appeal.

Discussing his winning entry, Dominic says: “I put a lot of thought into what makes a dessert special and for me, it’s not just about the food – it’s about using all of the senses to create something extraordinary and memorable. I’m over the moon to have won and am looking forward to the trip to Belgium!”

Taking gold in the ‘over 22’s’, Eszter Takacs garnishes her desserts – using techniques such as tempered chocolate spirals, mousse piping and edible gold leaf – to reflect the flavour of the cake and express the importance of the occasion for which it will be used. The judges particularly liked the strong visual statement which excites the eye even before the customer has a chance to taste the dessert.

Eszter comments: “When I heard about the competition I knew I had to take part – ‘making it special’ is exactly what I do when I create my desserts and cakes. The piece I entered was a chocolate mousse entremets with orange and caramel to celebrate a professor’s retirement. Occasions such as this are huge milestones and only a beautiful cake will do.

“I am hugely grateful that my work was chosen to win gold prize and I would like to thank Callebaut for the support.”
Silver and bronze winners are as follows:
• 18-21 year olds: Megan Roberts, Demi Chef de Partie, Pastry, Harvey Nichols Birmingham (silver) and Leandra Molina Beato, Pastry Chef & Bakery Student, University College Birmingham (bronze)
• Over 22 year olds: Biju Joshwa, Pastry Chef, Sheraton Grand Park Lane (silver) and Jonny Davison, Head Chef, Wine & Brine (bronze)

All winners will be rewarded with a trip to discover Callebaut’s Belgian roots, including a factory tour, a hands-on workshop at Callebaut’s flagship Academy and a trend tour to see the latest innovations in the chocolate capital of the world. Gold and silver winners will also receive varying amounts of Callebaut chocolate to use in their kitchens.

Robert Harrison, Sales Director Gourmet-Northern Europe, Callebaut, comments: “Thank you to everyone who entered and shared their ideas, and congratulations to all six winners. It has been an honour to see how chefs are pushing the boundaries when it comes to creating impressive and memorable desserts, and we are delighted to be able to host the crème de la crème on this exclusive trip.”

The competition formed part of Callebaut’s Make It Special campaign, full details of which can be found at

Robert continues: “With recent research showing that not only are people more likely to eat out when celebrating a special occasion, but they’re also likely to spend more*, we’re thrilled to see pastry chefs are acknowledging the demand and the profit opportunity available to them when they ‘make it special’.”

For over 100 years, Callebaut:tm: has been making chocolate to be proud of in the heart of Belgium. From cocoa bean to chocolate, Callebaut:tm:’s finest Belgian chocolates are produced with 100% Belgian craftsmanship, making it the chocolate of choice for confectioners, pastry chefs and chocolatiers all over the world.

*Toluna/Callebaut July 2016

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