Ruth Hinks is the current UK World Chocolate Master and entrepreneur behind the multi-award winning chocolatier and patisserie, Cocoa Black.
Born in South Africa, Ruth has worked as a professional chocolatier and pastry chef for over two decades. Her passion and successes in international culinary competitions have brought her widespread acclaim and industry recognition. Ruth’s work is regularly showcased on national television and at culinary exhibitions around the world.
In 2004, Ruth was named Australian Pastry Chef of the Year. From 2005-7, she was employed as Head Pastry Chef at the 5-star Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh. In 2008, Ruth realised a career goal of starting her own chocolatier and patisserie business, Cocoa Black.
From humble beginnings (around the kitchen table), Cocoa Black has grown to include a production kitchen, a chocolatier and patisserie shop, an ecommerce website and a Chocolate & Pastry School. Cocoa Black was named UK Confectioner of the Year in 2011 and was recognised through regional awards including: New Business of the Year (winner), Town Centre Business of the Year (finalist), Independent Retailer of the Year (finalist) and Tourism Business of the Year (finalist).
With her business now launched and her passion for professional culinary competition undiminished, Ruth set her sights on the ultimate industry prize – the World Chocolate Masters. In 2012, she won the UK Chocolate Masters, becoming the first woman to qualify for the World Finals in Paris in 2013.
During the World Chocolate Masters, contestants were tasked with creating a 2m high chocolate showpiece, a chocolate layered cake, a gourmet chocolate dessert and chocolate pralines. Competing against 20 national champions during a three day event, Ruth secured a top-5 finish for the UK, the highest result ever achieved by a UK chocolatier. Watch highlights of Ruth at the World Chocolate Masters on the adjacent video.
Following her culinary successes on the world stage, Ruth has recently become an ambassador for global chocolate brand Callebaut. Her product endorsements and industry insights are much sought after within the chocolate and pastry industry.
Ruth is now one of a very select group of chocolatiers considered by the industry to be world class. In her journey to the top (she failed home economics at school), she has gained an insight into the commitment, sacrifices and dedication required to achieve great things. She exudes warmth, knowledge and a deep passion for everything chocolate.
In the summer of 2018, the Cocoa Black boutique will undergo a grand refurbishment under the supervision of a top international designer briefed to create “the greatest chocolate shop”. On reopening Cocoa Black will present a state-of-the-art retail place and a relaxed cafe ambience. It is expected to significantly increase tourist numbers to Peebles (near Edinburgh) and help secure up to 20 local jobs and the future of a much-loved local building.
Thanks to a starring role on The Hairy Biker’s Chocolate Challenge, Ruth is no longer an inside secret known only to the world’s best chefs. Her legion of fans includes members of the Royal Family, celebrities, and countless blissed-out chocolate lovers around the world.
Ruth Hinks is an amazing addition to any corporate event, be it through her cooking demonstrations, motivational presentations, teambuilding events or simply to show what wonders can emerge from a kitchen – anybody looking to book Ms Hinks is sure to be transfixed to her every word, movement and drop of chocolate.
"We are delighted to have Ruth behind our brand - she is an advocate for everything we represent and she delivers to the highest standard...”
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