ABOUT RUTH HINKS
Born in South Africa, Ruth’s passion for chocolate
and pastry was evident from an early age.
Undeterred by her failure at home economics at school, Ruth decided that making and selling chocolates was the best way to raise pocket money for a double tape-deck radio.
Chocolate distribution was coordinated through her father’s dental practice and after school runs on her 50cc moped.
Ruth graduated in 1994 from Silwood Cookery School with a Grand Diploma in Cordon Bleu cooking. She then trained at the Cacao Barry Chocolate School in Meulan, near Paris.
In pursuing her passion for chocolate and pastry skills, Ruth sought to work with the very best including Albert Roux OBE.
Aged 25, she was appointed Head Pastry Chef at the 5* Windsor Hotel in Melbourne, a position she has also held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh.
Ruth was the pastry chef for the Australian Culinary Olympic team which won gold and silver medals in 2000 and 2004.
Her good friend and teammate, George Calombaris is now head judge on the TV programme Masterchef Australia. In 2004, Ruth was named
Australian Pastry Chef of the Year.
In 2008 Ruth launched her own chocolate boutique, Cocoa Black. In 2011
Cocoa Black was awarded UK Confectioner of the Year.
A LIFE IN CHOCOLATE
1. Ruth failed home economics at school - she added salt instead of sugar into her doughnut mix
2. Masterchef Australia Judge George Calombaris was her apprentice in Melbourne
3. She lives and works in Peebles in the Scottish Borders
4. Ruth starts work at 5am with a double shot of coffee - chefs petrol!
5. Her children refer to the World Chocolate Masters as ‘The Chocolate Race’
Ruth launched the Chocolate & Pastry School in 2009. Her vision was to share the skills she learned during her 25-year career with the next generation of professional chocolatiers and pastry chefs, as well as passionate foodies.
The Chocolate & Pastry School is now recognised as one of Europe’s leading training facilities offering both public classes for beginners and professional chef training for the international market. In 2014 Ruth was appointed a Callebaut brand ambassador.
Ruth’s chocolate brand, Cocoa Black, manufactures luxury handmade chocolates, cakes and patisserie. All Cocoa Black products are freshly prepared each day by a dedicated team of chocolatiers and pastry chefs, to Ruth’s delicious recipes.
Demand for Cocoa Black has soared since Ruth’s success at the World Chocolate Masters, and her regular customers include royalty, celebrities and passionate foodies the world over.