Sweet taste of success

Melbourne pastry chef Rebecca Carins made a clean sweep at the recent Hunter Valley Gardens Chocolate Festival.

Pastry chef Rebecca Carins took home both top prizes in the Callebaut Chocolate Showpiece and Entremet competitions at the Hunter Valley Gardens Chocolate Festival on July 7-8. After months of preparation, Rebecca, from the Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School in Melbourne, was highly commended for her innovative chocolate showpiece and complex entremet.

On the Saturday, 26 of Australia’s leading pastry chefs and chocolatiers utilised hundreds of kilos of Callebaut Belgian chocolate to sculpt and create impressive chocolate showpieces with a Winter Wonderland theme. Carins was awarded top marks for technical brilliance and best reflecting the competition’s theme.

A judging panel, including pastry maestro Adriano Zumbo and Anna Polyviou from The Bathers Pavilion, tasted a record 42 entries during the Callebaut Entremet Competition on the Sunday. During the competition, an initiative of Les Vergers Boiron, Cacao Barry and Callebaut, entrants were judged on flavour, texture and overall finish of their entremet. Rebecca was once again victorious, presenting a chocolate, mandarin, caramel and black sesame multi-layered entremet.

Organisers from the Hunter Valley Gardens have declared this year’s chocolate festival a raging success, with admissions doubling on last year and more than 13,000 people attending the festivities over the weekend.

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