In the Vietnamese coastal city of Danang, a Spanish Willy Wonka is creating masterful artisan confectionery just like his grandfather taught him. Barcelonaborn Victor Ceano-Vivas Savall hails from five generations of confectioners, and their family sweet shop, Pastelería Reñé, has been a city legend since 1892, supplying Spanish kings and noblemen their candies. Savall came into the family business at an early age, working alongside his grandfather to prepare the desserts.
After training as a pastry chef, in 2016 the then 21-year-old apprentice decided to set up shop in central Vietnam, enchanted by the scents of market spices and tropical fruits he recalled from regular summers spent traveling the country as a child with his family.
Savall makes all his lollipops, candies and chocolate bonbons by hand, and uses all local ingredients, such as cane sugar, organic cacao, fresh ginger, turmeric, passion fruit and honey. He also handcrafts his own molds, drawing inspiration from royal insignias of former imperial kitchens and mythical creatures, like the flying dragon candy, a homage to the Dragon Bridge over Danang’s Han River. In just two years, Savall has turned his family tradition into an icon of Danang—his candies are now also available in local cafés, at the Four Seasons Nam Hai and the InterContinental Danang. That smells like sweet success. popkeo. com; lollipops from VND24,000.