19th May 2011 KEITH HURDMAN WINS JOINT CHOCOLATIER OF THE YEAR AT THE ACADEMY OF CHOCOLATE AWARDS At a champagne reception at Fortnum & Mason last night Thorntons Master Chocolatier Keith Hurdman was awarded „Joint Chocolatier of the Year‟ by the Academy of Chocolate. The chocolatier of the year is awarded to the person who wins the most golds in the Academy of Chocolate Awards and this year was shared amongst three outstanding chocolatiers, Keith Hurdman, William Curley and Laurent Couchaux of Rococo. Thorntons won four gold awards in total, with Keith collecting awards for his Raspberry & Rose, Crunchy Praline and Vanilla Caramel with crunchy sea salt in the awards, all created for Thorntons Centenary this year and included in the exclusive limited edition Wonder Box. Thorntons also won a gold for the Chocolate Block Tonka Bean bar. Keith accepted his award at a champagne reception attended by most of the UK fine chocolate market, along with chocolatiers and chocolate makers from around the world. Keith said: “I‟m delighted and honoured that my work at Thorntons has been recognised by the Academy of Chocolate. There are some fantastic Chocolatiers in the UK and some very worthy winners, so I‟m thrilled that these new chocolates we have created for Thorntons Centenary have been recognised amongst some of the best in the country.” Sara Jayne Stanes, chair of the Academy of Chocolate says „We were delighted to award Keith Hurdman, joint chocolatier of the year. He’s a fantastic chocolatier and his chocolates for Thorntons jubilee collection impressed the judges hugely.’ The chocolatier of the year award is sponsored by Quinta Do Noval Port and, along with his award, Keith also wins a trip to Portugal to visit the port producer. The award winning filled chocolates are available in the Thorntons Wonder Box, a limited edition £100 box of chocolates available from Thorntons website www.thorntons.co.uk and presented in a keepsake case celebrating Thorntons Centenary. The Chocolate Blocks range is available in all Thorntons chocolate shops priced at £1.79. For more information please contact Kate at nudge on: m: 07801 442 733 e: email@example.com or Emma Tagg at Thorntons on firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01733 542070 About Thorntons: Thorntons is the number one „Chocolate and Confectionery‟ brand and the number 19 overall brand in the UK according to Superbrands‟ latest research. Established by Joseph William Thornton in 1911, Thorntons is one of the UK‟s oldest chocolate retailers, headquartered in Derbyshire with more than 4,000 employees. Thorntons has 379 own stores, 37 of which have their own café, and 200 franchise stores across the country, as well as a strong direct (www.thorntons.co.uk) and commercial business, supplying all major supermarkets. Products range from gift selections, chocolate blocks to toffee and ice cream. Keith Hurdman is Thorntons Master Chocolatier. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, Keith is an unusual phenomenon for the British chocolate industry as a homegrown talent with extensive training with some of Europe‟s finest confectioners and chocolatiers in Belgium, Switzerland and France. He is now widely recognised as one of the UK‟s most talented chocolatiers. Keith has won a number of other awards including the International Belgian Chocolate Award and the highly acclaimed „Truffe d‟ Or‟ in 2000 as Champion Confectioner of Switzerland.