This year’s annual 2013 Academy of Chocolate Awards were a triumph for resident chocolatier Niels Verweij and pastry chef Luke Frost at Coworth Park. Not only did young Niels receive the coveted "Newcomer of the Year" award but he also went on to win a haul of other podium finishes for his delights. The judges were eager to reward Niels talent as the hotel was awarded with a gold, silver and bronze medal, to further highlight his brave take on creating chocolate and various marvels at Coworth Park, where Niels and Luke oversee a Unique Chocolate Room, offering Chocolate Kitchen Master classes, where guests can learn the tricks of the trade directly from the professionals.
The winning chocolate was a crunchy spekuloos biscuit of traditional Dutch origin, infused with orange confit and a tonka bean ganache. Shaped like a cocoa pod, the creation shimmers when touched as there is just a hint of sparkling silver that’s sprayed on the chocolate. Subtle, orangey and rich this chocolate is simply divine.
Second prize went to a cherry blossom tea jelly and ganache infused with ginger and sudachi, a Japanese citrus fruit. This chocolate is fruity and zesty and almost raspberry like.
Coworth’s Salted Caramel won a bronze medal, a hexagonal chocolate with caramel and Haley Mon vanilla sea salt from Anglesey. This was a fantastic achievement as recently salted caramel is in very high demand with Rococo Chocolates and William Curley among others winning top honours in that category.
Many of Coworth Park Chocolate Room’s signature flavours use ingredients sourced from the estate. One should not forget Coworth Parks most original and favourite creation "Hay Chocolate" created especially for the hotel and made using hay cut from Coworth Park's meadow, inspiring the hotel’s Meadow Afternoon Tea. Just as the main kitchen changes menus according to seasons, so do the sweet treats and the chocolatiers are prepared to welcome guests each season with new, unique and interesting fillings and chocolate findings at hotel Coworth Park.
The chocolates produced in the Chocolate Room are used in the restaurants, for turn-down and gift boxes too and that little room produces around an incredible 7,000 chocolates a month. The duo also make chocolate centrepieces for different occasions such as The Royal Ascot, private parties, weddings, celebrations and more.