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