World-renowned chocolatier returns to Fife

A William Curley creation
A William Curley creation

William Curley, world-renowned patissier and expert in all things chocolate, came home to share his knowledge and passion by hosting a chocolate extravaganza showcase.

The event, organised by the Scottish Chocolatiers Network in partnership with Fife College, took place at Fife College’s Levenmouth Campus in Buckhaven.

Chocolatier William Curley, fifth from left,  at a demonstration at Levenmouth Academy in Buckhaven

Chocolatier William Curley, fifth from left, at a demonstration at Levenmouth Academy in Buckhaven

The 45-year-old, who hails from Methil, is now based in London and has been more familiar in recent years with creating mouth-watering desserts and treats for the rich and famous as well as featuring on TV shows such as Made In Chelsea where his shops have been a popular haunt of the Chelsea set.

William, whose fine chocolates and cakes have been sold in Harrods’ Food Hall since 2011, was delighted to be back in Fife to share his knowledge, passion and skills in chocolate with a like-minded audience including top chefs and chocolatiers gathered from across Scotland.

The audience also included 20 professional cookery students from Fife College and local interested foodies.

During the event William gave demos on a range of chocolate desserts and hand-made chocolates which the audience sampled.

He said: “It’s always great to come home to Fife - this is the first time I have done an event of this type so near home and I was really chuffed to see so many people attend, especially fellow chocolatiers! I’m passionate about this industry and getting the chance to share my knowledge and experience with students who are just starting out and in a new college campus built on my home turf was also special to me.

“The Scottish Chocolatiers Network is a fantastic group and their work is really helping to put Scotland on the map – I’m very pleased to be involved.”

William’s credits his gran, Peggy McHoul, who was a great baker, as a huge influence in his life.

He left school at 15 years old to train to be a chef at the former Glenrothes College in Stenton, now part of Fife College.

An apprenticeship at Gleneagles Hotel led him on to work in France, Brussels and London with some of the finest chefs including Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc.

His ambitions then took him to The Savoy Hotel, where he became their youngest Chef Patissier in its history at the age of just 27. William opened his own business 13 years ago and has achieved numerous accolades including being awarded the prestigious Britain’s Best Chocolatier award four times by the Academy of Chocolate.

William took questions from the audience throughout the demonstration and also did a book signing at the end of the event.

Julie Collier Chair and Founder of The Scottish Chocolatiers Network was delighted with the event and said: “We are very proud to have the support of Fife College in presenting William Curley in his home town, for a unique presentation of his award-winning techniques and hearing of his distinguished career to date.

“Without this generous support from both the management team and a huge input from the students, with refreshments also presenting their skills, we would not be able to make this happen. We are happy so many chocolatiers and pastry chefs attended to see the venue and support we are receiving.”

Lindsey Robertson, Curriculum Manager for Culinary Arts at Fife College said: “What a fantastic event – William is so inspiring and has a fantastic story to tell, a great role model for our learners to follow.

“We are so fortunate in Fife to have such a wealth of talent and opportunities from niche restaurants to five star hotels, using the best Scottish produce which benefits the local economy. This is the first event of its kind to be held in our new Levenmouth Campus and we look forward to similar inspiring events in the near future.”

Applications are open now for courses beginning at Fife College in August including NQ Bakery and General Operations, NC Professional Cookery and NQ Intro to Hospitality and Catering.

For further details visit www.fife.ac.uk or call 0344 2480115.