The Chocolate Weekly 35 – 2015
What does chocolate mean to you?
We have asked this also some of the most exciting international chefs. Here are their answers (part 1):
For me chocolate is very sensual and calming. It is fun and you can be very creative with it.
I don’t use chocolate very often, but when I do, I really try to use it in a way that people haven’t had it before. Someway to excite the mind without discouraging the palate.
Chocolate is for me something marvelous because almost everybody likes chocolate. I like to see it as an artisanal product which is alive and requires to be handled with care and love.
Chocolate represents a world of possibilities. My first encounter with tempering chocolate came at the formidable hands of Mateu Casañas at el Bulli. He poured 8kg of chocolate on a marble work top and asked “Do you know how to temper chocolate?” I was frozen with fear so he looked at me and said, “Watch and learn.” I spent the rest of the day working chocolate and learning the fluid dance of hand-tempering. I gained an acute sensitivity for chocolate’s composition and chemical properties, which formed the base for getting creative with new possibilities of texture and flavor.
Pleasure! I usually use it for the last dessert in the tasting menu because it leaves a better memory for the guest.
For me it’s about the memories from my childhood when I was waiting to break the big chocolate Easter eggs to get the surprise hidden inside. The perfume that filled the air.
It also reminds me of my schooling at the Richemont in Lucerne.
Chocolate is nurture. it’s an elixir… It’s both healthy and blissful (in moderation of course). It’s one of mother Earth’s gifts to us… it’s precious…
In many ways, chocolate is like wine. It is heavily influenced by terroir and the chocolatier who makes the chocolate. In many ways, it is an Artisan craft in its purest form. As chefs, it’s our responsibility to use it wisely and not ruin the integrity and flavor of the chocolate. Also, creatively we can manipulate chocolate to create many different forms, shapes and textures.
“Well I could say I like chocolate a lot! It is easy for me to eat it during the cold months in the winter. Memories come to my mind from the time I lived in Switzerland when I was 4 years old – I still have in my mind that fabulous smell of the Swiss chocolate.”
Part two will follow next week.