Crossbasket Castle chef wins UK award for best chocolate dessert

A Scottish chef is celebrating after earning the truly indulgent top prize of Chocolate Dessert of the Year at this year’s Chocolate Show in London.

Published 1st Nov 2016
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

David Simak, pastry chef at Crossbasket Castle hotel near Glasgow, impressed judges with his delicate creation simply titled hazelnut, wild blueberry and yuzu mousse. He was praised for his finesse, complementary flavours and creative innovation.

David, who has previously worked at and Gleneagles Hotel and five-star establishments in Edinburgh and Ascot, was praised for his finesse, complementary flavours and creative innovation.

Now in its fourth year, the Chocolate Show brings together top-tier chefs, chocolatiers and chocolate companies for what is hailed as the UK’s biggest celebration of chocolate.

Organised by Salon du Chocolat, this year's show was held at London’s Olympia National Hall.

Judged by a panel of acclaimed dessert connoisseurs including Chocolate Show founder François Jeantet, David triumphed over tough competition from the final nine, which included the Royal Opera House, who took second place, and The Salt Room, who took third.

Speaking of his impressive new accolade, David said: “I’m extremely honoured to have been crowned the winner of the Chocolate Dessert of the Year competition. I am sincerely grateful for the recognition I have received for my work, especially as I was up against such tough competition.

“Having the opportunity for your food to be sampled by some of the UK’s most well-respected judges is incredible. However, nothing can beat that moment when you are standing in a line with some of the most talented chefs in the UK and it’s you that is declared the winner.”


Crossbasket Castle launched in April this year following £9 million restoration by a local businessman and his wife, Steve Timoney and Alison Reid-Timoney.

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