Choc value

There’s a world of choco­late creativ­ity hap­pen­ing across the UAE. Meet the peo­ple who are tak­ing choco­late from bean to bar

Friday - - Front Page -

This is made out of choco­late! Find out how we did it on

sourced from raw choco­late pro­duc­ers Barry Calle­baut. The but­tons are then melted into a smooth blend and moulded into a stan­dard choco­late bar (35 dif­fer­ent per­mu­ta­tions are pos­si­ble from the nine va­ri­eties of but­tons) right be­fore your eyes and then it is wrapped in a gift wrap­per of your choice along with a mes­sage.

The sec­ond is the more creative and in­ten­sive Be­spoke pack­age that sees Richard Cueva, the head choco­late artist, carve minia­ture Mercedes jeeps out of white choco­late blocks or repli­cate a pho­to­graph as a por­trait in liq­uid choco­late in a work­shop in­side the bou­tique. Throw any odd­ball choco­late dream you have at Richard and he’ll turn it into a de­li­cious re­al­ity whether it’s a life-size choco­late abaya, an As­ton Martin or the ex­act replica of the Dubai Cy­cling Tour’s tro­phy. De­pend­ing on the in­tri­cacy and size it takes him any­where from 30 min­utes to four weeks to cre­ate the choco­late art.

To­day, Richard is per­son­al­is­ing a choco­late bar for his cus­tomer, Isil Dik, who wanted her best friend’s name carved in a block of choco­late. ‘It’s like a choco­late birth­day card for a choco­holic,’ says the Dubai Ma­rina res­i­dent who is one amongst the grow­ing fans of this 10-week old es­tab­lish­ment.

Michael watches as the choco­late bar is carved to per­fec­tion.

‘We have a few reg­u­lar cus­tomers from here as well as some who come from Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, even Saudi Ara­bia, look­ing for choice choco­lates. Amedei, a Tus­can brand, is pop­u­lar now,’ Michael lets slip. ‘Here you can ex­pe­ri­ence prod­ucts you might have en­joyed on your trav­els over­seas; and for peo­ple who haven’t had that op­por­tu­nity it’s a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence lux­u­ri­ous in­ter­na­tional choco­lates here at home.’

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