THE REAL WILLY WONKAS

a look be­hind the se­crets of Bri­tain’s big­gest in­de­pen­dent CHOCO­LATE EM­PIRE…

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Choco­late Dreams In­side Ho­tel Choco­lat Sun­day, Chan­nel 5 HD, 8pm

BRI­TONS EAT MORE choco­late than any other coun­try in Europe and Ho­tel Choco­lat, Bri­tain’s big­gest in­de­pen­dent choco­late maker, pro­duces a mil­lion items of con­fec­tionery ev­ery day to keep up with de­mand.

This two-part doc­u­men­tary ex­plores how the com­pany does it and fol­lows a team of choco­latiers as they de­velop and pitch new choco­late cre­ations.

In the first episode, Kiri Kalenko pitches her Lady Mar­malade choco­late, but first she has to get it past the tough crit­ics on the tast­ing panel. ‘When you work quite closely on some­thing and you’re re­ally happy with it and some­one doesn’t like it, it can make you a bit ner­vous,’ she says.

On the taste test­ing panel is Ho­tel Choco­lat’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, An­gus Thirl­well, who co-founded the em­pire in 1993.

Be­cause soil and cli­mate af­fect the flavour of a co­coa crop, he vis­its the com­pany’s 140-acre co­coa plan­ta­tion in St Lu­cia sev­eral times a year to check on the lat­est har­vest. Thirl­well also does reg­u­lar spot checks on the com­pany’s 100-plus out­lets.

‘I’m look­ing to see if the stock lev­els are good and the sig­nage is straight – I’m al­ways on the look­out for crimes against good re­tail­ing!’ he says.

CO-FOUNDER AN­GUS THIRL­WELL

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