The event was opened up by a talk by Francois Chartier explaining the mysteries of aromatic pairing. The whole philosophy is based on synergies between molecules and as a result, one plus one equals three. So how do you pair chocolate, which on average has around 600 different aromatic molecules? The answer is by finding the dominant aromatic molecule of each chocolate and associate it with ingredients that share a similar dominant aromatic molecule. So for example dark Chocolate Single Origin Venezuela surprisingly goes really well with mature cheeses as they share some similar dominant aromatic molecules.
Andres LaraFollowing this agitation of taste buds, the second part of the evening was taking further this principle and applying it to desserts. Andres Lara, Cacao Barry Chef took the challenge to explore new combinations of taste. The first dessert was playing around Zephyr caramel chocolate, in an unusual shape of tart, enriched with cheese cream, passion fruit meringue, apricot sorbet and honey decoration. The second dessert was more extreme and unleashed the power of smokiness by pairing Alto el Sol Dark Chocolate in a Nougat Glace shape with whiskey and apple. As Andres introduced his desserts, it may be too strong for some people but Cacao Barry is all about pushing the boundaries of taste.
The third guest of the evening was Erik van der Veken, Technical Advisor at Redmond Fine Foods and newly appointed Cacao Barry Ambassador in Ireland. He met Andres several years ago, the first time during a course in the Middle East and the second time in the USA and they stayed in touch. So this was the perfect opportunity to work together again and Erik joined as well the quest to unbox creativity. His dessert untitled “ Memories from the Middle East” combined Alunga milk chocolate 41% with sesame in all possible textures, also with dates and Ras el Hanout. And to finish on an elegant touch, he treated the guests with exotic bonbons blending coconut, almond, or bananas, lemon and brown rum.
All the guests felt really inspired after the evening and many said they had never tried such blends of aromas and would definitively have a play with it when back in the kitchen. This truly embodies the spirit of Cacao Barry to enable Chefs to push the boundaries of flavours and to unbox their creativity.