Now tell me who doesn’t like chocolate? Especially kids? We’ve all grown up with chocolate being our reward for being good or our treat for a special occasion. I remember when I was a child, chocolate was a rarity. Not like how it is today. When we did well in our exams, or it was a birthday or something on those lines, we were treated to chocolate. There were various brands available, but when I say treated, I mean we were given amazing chocolate s- not the run of the mill types.
Even though I’m from Australia, the town I lived in wasn’t the back of beyond. The stores carried the usual – Mars, Aero, Bounty – you get the idea. But when we were really good, we would be given a couple of pieces of Belgian chocolate from the stash that my mum kept. Even as a child I could tell the difference in taste and texture. But then again, comparing a Bounty to a Côte d’Or chocolate is like comparing a Lamborghini to a truck. It’s just not in the same class.
The smooth texture, the creamy feeling as it melted in your mouth. Wow. Anyway, I digress. That was a passion for me – but I left the dreams of chocolate behind as I grew older. I went into the finance sector which was an utter bore. Somewhere down the line I decided to dabble in the arts of chocolate making in my spare time and got a job at a chocolate store. I mean, I always loved chocolates and this seemed like a dream job. At least, like a hobby or passion away from my normal office grind which left me feeling weary.
I became better at the chocolate arts and decided to take a trip to Belgium. Belgian chocolates are known the world over for their high quality in taste and processing, and where better to get inspiration than from the masters themselves? I landed there, one day in spring, and that day changed my life. I met my partner at a café as I was pondering on what to do. Her father ran a chocolate shop and a bakery and I slowly became apprenticed into the workings of the store.
Fortunately for me, my talents were recognized, appreciated and encouraged. I entered various amateur chocolate master competitions and at first I ranked in the top 3, but soon I was sweeping away all the top honors in nearly every competition I entered. If this was not a sign of my true calling, I don’t know what else was. This was proof that my skill was not a fluke born of chance and poor competition, but of a will to succeed, of a passion for chocolate that lasted through the years, and of a determination to continuously innovate to produce great products in the world of chocolate.
My biggest break came when I won the World Chocolate Master competition and I was placed firmly on the map in the world of chocolate. Now I am sought after by the biggest companies to design their products and I’ve opened a flagship store at the Grand Place opposite Galler’s store. You must visit me sometime and try one of my delicious pralines. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.