Mark Tilling, who was the winner of the 2016 series of 'Bake Off: The Professionals' is also an award-winning chocolatier. He came to Lancashire to host a chocolate masterclass at Burnley wholesaler, Birchall Foodservice.
The class took place in a converted Callebaut artic truck, which is currently touring Europe, with Birchalls being one of the UK stops. In attendance at the roadshow were 50 caterers and pastry chefs from across the North and Midlands, all customers of Birchalls.
Spread over two sessions, Mark and the Callebaut team demonstrated how to create a range of inspirational dishes using the five colours of Callebaut chocolate. Chefs also learned the best techniques for tempering chocolate and how to use more unusual ingredients, such as parsnips, to create exciting treats and desserts.
Mark, who is currently technical advisor at the UK Chocolate Academy said, “Birchalls have a fantastic depot and are well known for hosting innovative training days and workshops for chefs, so it was a no-brainer to choose them as a stop for the roadshow.
"Their customers were really engaging and asked some fantastic questions. Hopefully we’ll be able to return and do it all again in a couple of years.”
Between sessions, attendees were treated to a chocolate themed lunch in the wholesaler’s training, exhibitions and development (TED) centre, which was cooked by Birchalls development chef, Paul Dickson.
The Callebaut roadshow took place just one day after Birchalls’ annual ‘Free From’ exhibition, where 20 suppliers presented the best products in vegan, gluten free and dairy free to almost 70 of the wholesalers’ customers.
Birchall Foodservice is an independent, family-owned business with depots in Burnley, Durham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent. The company employs 150 people and was established in 1939. Company founder George Chichester Birchall started wholesale deliveries from an off-licence in Abel Street in 1915.