Saga announces that award-winning chocolatier and winner of BBC2’s ‘Bake Off Crème de la Crème’, Mark Tilling, will join Saga’s Capitals of the Emerald Isle cruise

Award-winning chocolatier and winner of BBC2’s ‘Bake Off Crème de la Crème’, Mark Tilling, joins Saga’s Capitals of the Emerald Isle cruise this Easter to present the art of chocolate.

During the five-night cruise, Tilling will host a range of events, including: a demonstration on how professionals create Easter eggs; a workshop teaching guests how to create the perfect chocolate truffle; a talk on the process from growing chocolate to the delicious end result, and a tasting-class exploring raw cacao and chocolate from South America, Africa and Asia.

Tilling has worked for over 25 years as a pâtissier and chocolatier and started his career in a pastry kitchen at a small, local hotel before working his way up to venues such as The Lanesborough in London and the Pave D’Auge in Normandy. He works as a UK Callebaut Chocolate Ambassador teaching a range of classes at exclusive cookery schools, and is an author of three books, and a regular contributor to a range of magazines.

Mark is a well-known face on TV, having won BBC2’s ‘Bake Off Crème de la Crème’ with his team in 2016, and he has featured in ‘Extreme Chocolate Makers’ for Channel 4. He has also cooked for well-known figures including Cher, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, and has won at the UK Chocolate Masters competition, which took him on to compete at the World Chocolate Masters representing Great Britain.

Mark Tilling, said: “I’m so looking forward to returning to a Saga cruise to host a range of demos, workshops, tastings and talks on the art of chocolate. The guests on board are always so engaged and fascinated in the topic, and many of them are great cooks themselves, so they enjoy the complexity and precision required to work with chocolate.”

Nigel Blanks, CEO of Saga Cruises, said: “We’re delighted to have Mark back on board again. His talks and workshops are always popular with our guests as he’s so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his craft. He joins a range of other celebrity chefs who’ve been on recent cruises, such as Phil Vickery and Kevin Woodford, and we plan to introduce even more in this coming season.”

The cruise on Spirit of Discovery departs Portsmouth on 4 April 2023, and will visit Belfast and Dún Laoghaire before returning back on Easter Sunday, 9 April. There is still some availability with twin cabins starting from be £1,326 per person.

This will be Mark’s fourth cruise with Saga, having previously hosted a range of classes and tastings on Saga’s Pearl and Sapphire ships. He also created the cake for Spirit of Discovery’s launch.