Five UK finalists will compete against each other this September, for a place at the grand final of the World Chocolate Masters in 2013.

The UK pre-selection round takes place at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair in London, over three days. Ruth Hinks, winner of the Confectioner of the Year title at the Baking Industry Awards last year, and owner of Cocoa Black, is among the UK finalists.

She will compete against Alistair Birt, head chocolatier for William Curley; Conor McAlonan, owner of Liberty Boy Confections; Richie Heppell, head chef at Royal Air Force Officers Mess at RAF Leuchars; and Simon Woods, patisserie lecturer from Westminster Kingsway College.

This year’s theme is ‘The Architecture of Taste’ and competitors will have to produce a showpiece, moulded praline, chocolate pasty and chocolate pastry among other products over the three day competition (2-4 September).

One addition for this year will be the reinvention in chocolate of a classic local recipe – for the UK finalists this will be a chocolate log.

The international competition, an initiative by Barry Callebaut, Cacao Barry and Carma, serves to promote the best artisans in the world of chocolate, and the help move the industry forward.

Speaking at the launch event at The Gherkin in London last week (26 July), to fit in with its ‘architecture’, Robert Harrison, sales director – gourmet UK & Ireland, Barry Callebaut, said: “It is the only culinary competition solely dedicated to the creative use of chocolate.”

As well as promoting the talents of individuals chocolatiers in the UK, he said he hoped the competition would provide inspiration to bakers, confectioners and pastry chefs to create something really special for their customers.