Skip to main content

26 April 2011

Will serves up a royal treat

Waitrose Royal wedding dessert. Photograph: courtesy of Waitrose

By: Harry Smith, UK Skills

Will Torrent is currently involved in an exciting new collaboration with Michelin starred celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal to create a Royal wedding dessert for Waitrose.

WorldSkills UK Alumni member Will Torrent (Team UK 2007) is currently involved in an exciting new collaboration between supermarket giant Waitrose and Michelin starred celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal which will see him help create new desserts for Waitrose.

It all began just before Christmas 2010 when a Waitrose director spotted the talents of confectioner and pastry chef Will, who is just 24 years old. He introduced him to the executive chef of Waitrose, Neil Nugent, and following this, Neil asked the budding chef to work with Heston to help Waitrose create a range of desserts that would knock the spots off those from rival supermarkets. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Will accepted.

Will first met Heston when he was a teenager, studying at a school which was just around the corner from Heston’s now famous Fat Duck restaurant in Berkshire. Aged just 15, Will had never heard of Heston as he was yet to hit the headlines; so he was completely unaware how the one week he spent there as a work experience student would shape his future.

Having started his career with Heston, Will is now relishing the opportunity to link up with him again. The pair have just finished designing a Royal wedding dessert with other chefs from Waitrose and the Fat Duck, which will go on sale at Waitrose a week before the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton and will be available throughout the rest of the summer. The recipe is a marriage of two classic British desserts, a trifle and the Eton Mess and the ingredients include; cream infused with saffron, Amaretti biscuits soaked in brandy, strawberry compote, meringue and rose petals.

Will recently returned from Celtic Manor in Wales where he cooked the dessert for 350 Waitrose delegates and senior management as well as Delia Smith. The event was held to inspire the supermarket’s workforce as they implement new policies and launch their new products.

There are plenty more exciting opportunities on the horizon for Will as he prepares to cook for the Chairman of John Lewis, Charlie Mayfield, alongside 180 other guests at Partnership House in London. The guests will be treated to some of Will’s signature creations such as Will’s Popping Rockets, Jaffilionaires, Pistachio and Christmas Tree Extract Madeleines and Meringue Wands.

With a number of potential BBC projects also in the pipeline for Will it looks like we may soon have another celebrity chef as part of the WorldSkills, UK Alumni.

Will Torrent competed at WorldSkills Shizuoka 2007 in confectionery and won a Medallion for Excellence. To keep up to date with Will’s progress follow @willtorrent on Twitter or take a look at his website