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Barry Johnson is a meticulous and passionate chocolatier and pastry chef, whose attention to detail and innovative flavours have won him honours in many national and international competitions. Barry is the founder of the Cocoa Lab, an artisan producer of chocolate and patisserie products. He is also a member of the International Chocolate awards and the Academy of Chocolate judging panels.
Barry has recently started a new role teaching chocolate to the students of The National Bakery School – South Bank University. He is also a consultant chocolatier and pastry chef helping individuals and businesses with anything from sourcing ingredients, selecting the correct equipment, new product development, up scaling, packaging and labelling.
Previous to this Barry spent 4 years working as Principal Chocolatier for Rococo Chocolates. During this time in he managed to dramatically increase Rococo’s chocolate production, develop new and innovative flavours, teach classes at the Rococo Chocolate School and helped to write Rococo –Mastering the art of chocolate. Chocolates that Barry developed have also won Gold and Silver medals at the 2013-15 Academy of Chocolate Awards, International Chocolate Awards and Great Taste Awards.
Barry also takes part in live competitions and was awarded the title of UK Pastry Open ‘taste’ and overall winner 2014. Barry then captained the UK team to win the 2014 European Pastry cup in Geneva, achieving the highest marks in all categories. In January 2015 he returned from Lyon where he captained the UK team to 6th place at the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie, the highest ever result for the UK team and something he is extremely proud of.
Barry trained as a pastry chef at The Connaught Hotel under Michel Boudin and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir au Quat Saisons. During that time he won the Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Award of Excellence in pastry and was awarded a scholarship to America. Working at The Wolseley, Harrods, and as Head Pastry Chef at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel, he became increasingly interested in chocolate and decided to specialise.
Constantly learning and looking for new inspiration and challenges, in 2008 Barry travelled around the world including South-East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and America for 2 ½ years. Over this period he visited many chocolate shops and cocoa plantations, worked for different chocolate companies and won the innovative chocolate category at the 2009 Australian Chocolate Championships. This journey introduced him to new ways of life, experiences and flavours that influence his chocolate-making today.
Upon returning to England, Barry worked for the Dorchester Collection at Coworth Park Hotel, established its chocolate room and helped to win a Michelin star during his tenure.