AN award-winning chocolatier visited a Hampshire college to teach students how to make desserts with chocolate.

2016 winner of BBC Two's Bake Off Crème de la Crème and former City College hospitality and catering student, Mark Tilling returned to the college yesterday to give students a chocolate flower demonstration and an insight into how to be successful within the catering industry.

The UK Chocolate Master winner began his career in the catering industry after completing the BTEC National Diploma in Hotel and Catering and Level 3 Pastry at City College Southampton a decade ago.

Subsequently Mark has worked in hotels and restaurants including Hotel du Vin in Winchester, and the Pave D’Auge in Normandy, France.

He has even cooked for the likes of President George Bush Senior, Cher, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and HRH Prince Edward.

Mark said: “I have always had a passion for food, especially pastries, and knew from a young age that I wanted to have a career making sweet things.

“I had a great experience studying at City College, gaining valuable knowledge and the technical skills to become a pastry chef, and went straight from college into work where I have gained a wealth of experience working in many hotels and restaurants.”

Mark was ranked as seventh in the world for his master of chocolate work.

He gave the students a step-by-step demonstration of how to create a chocolate flower showpiece, and helped them create the intricate work of making and bonding the delicate petals.

City College’s learning manager for hospitality and catering, Paula Lock said: “Mark has excelled in his career and listening to him today has certainly inspired our students to think about the career options open to them in the catering profession.”