Star Turn for Highland Chocolatier
This week Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier added yet another 7 stars to over 40 prestigious awards received for his renowned Velvet Truffles.
The Great Taste Awards judges have just announced that Master Chocolatier and truffle specialist Iain Burnett, from Grandtully in Highland Perthshire, has been awarded 4 new awards. Last year Iain Burnett’s Velvet Truffles were awarded Best Truffle in the World for the second time at the World Finals of the International Chocolate Awards. The Great Taste Awards judges include chefs, food critics, restaurateurs and buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. From thousands of entries, the judges said the Velvet Truffles were “Outstanding – above and beyond delicious”.
The judges’ comments speak for themselves – the Orange & Clove Velvet Truffle is “beautiful looking… extremely well made… really delicious… a beautifully executed smooth ganache… the touch of orange and gentle twist of clove are in perfect harmony with the fruity cacao. This is brilliant!” The Espresso Mocha Velvet Truffle has an “excellent balance between the dark chocolate and the coffee with a lovely creaminess… very rich, luxurious texture, velvety, pure… simple but exquisite… a great after-dinner treat.” The Ginger Velvet Truffle has “a gorgeous melt… spices are fresh… incredible, so spicy and warming… intriguing little Pandora boxes of pleasure and naughtiness… an exquisite, delicious, brilliantly made product”. The Strawberry & Star Anise Velvet Truffle is a “very smooth ganache with a gentle sharpness from the strawberry… we loved the luxurious silkiness of the ganache”.
The judges’ comments underline Burnett’s approach to pure, natural ingredients and the refinement of highly skilled artisanal methods in his chocolate kitchen in Grandtully, Perthshire. The internationally recognised Scottish Artisan responded to the awards by saying “it is fantastic that these judges recognise in a blind tasting the value of artisan skills and exceptional ingredients – it is testimony to the rare fruity and spicy cocoa from the South Atlantic Island of São Tomé, this exceptional unblended fresh cream from a single herd of Perthshire cows, and a team with the patience and passion for excellence to create the special texture which the Velvet Truffles have become famous for.”
Iain Burnett has been creating bespoke Velvet Truffles for Michelin star chefs, corporate clients and Master Distillers for over a decade and sells them online for delivery as gifts all over the world. Based in the picturesque village of Grandtully, between Aberfeldy and Pitlochry, his specialised chocolate kitchen can be seen in the Scottish Chocolate Centre which has become an award winning 4 star attraction for locals and visitors who travel far to enjoy the chocolate Exhibition, gourmet Chocolate Shop and new Chocolate Lounge. He has recently launched audio-guided Tours and Tastings of the Velvet Truffles.
The Great Taste Awards is one of the most respected food accreditation schemes for artisan and specialty food producers. During the last 5 months over 500 judges have been meeting to identify the winning products. These judges come from all corners of the gourmet world to take part in a blind tasting of each product entered, ranging from Iain Burnett’s hand-made truffles, to artisan cheeses and preserves. To ensure a complete balance of expertise, age and gender the judging takes place in groups of 3 or 4. The judges are looking for truly great taste. They take into account the texture, appearance and of course the ingredients; they like a good aroma, a decent bite, a smooth finish or a lingering flavour. Everything comes back to taste.