My Philosophy of Couture Chocolate
Right now, there's nothing hotter than chocolate in Australia’s food capital, Melbourne. Propelled by innovative competitors--not to mention the studies highlighting the antioxidant power of dark chocolate--Melburnians are going gaga for high-cocoa-percentage chocolate.
But it’s all, as the Mad Hatter tells Alice, ‘much of a muchness’. ‘Melbourne chocolate all the same is’. What I have set out to do is create chocolates that are truly inspirational and unique.
Normally, the French word couture (which means ‘sewing’) refers to designing and making fashionable custom-made women's clothing (emphasis on custom-made). People who buy couture clothing don’t just pick items off a rack. They go to a designer at their atelier, who creates a truly one-of-a-kind piece of clothing. Garments are custom designed, patterned, fitted and sewn by hand. This means that each garment is piece of art made just for you, just the way you want it.
I do the same thing with chocolate. I start with a consultation covering what you want to have made, some sketches, a base quote, taking your specs and some basic planning. This way you end up with a chocolate that will be the envy of your sophisticated friends.
Let me reveal what is my core business model. Couture chocolat means making my customers uniquely happy. I use my food chemistry background to dream up special flavours for particular clients based upon their unique wants and needs. It’s all about creating something highly personalized for my customers.
My hope is to entertain and host my clients with great quality, freshness and a shared story.
One day, the wife of the mayor came in to my Szalón saying she needed 160 chocolates for a wedding. I said “at your service, madam”. She continued, “and they have to have New Zealand Maori flavours because it’s a Maori wedding”. “Oh”, she added, “did I mention that it has to look like the famous Mt Ruapehu volcano”. I said, “no problem”. So the Horopito Tamarillo Truffle was born, shaped like a mountain and tasting of Maori.
Throughout the years, I have made some very special chocolates. I made Deer Velvet Chocolate for the Meat Industry Association, Recycled Orange Peel-Chocolate for a Waste Management conference, and a Pop Rock Sugar Chocolate for the launch of the Mercedes Benz C-Class automobile.
For the New Zealand Prime Minister, I made a lime-flavoured “John Key Lime” choc in National Party blue foil that was the hit at his convention. For the Brewing and Distilling Conference in New Zealand, I rolled out a dark beer chocolate. And to make my male customers particularly happy I have created the Aphrodisiac Tomcat Alley™ Chocolate using powerful rain forest herbs.
These innovations have made headlines around the world from the US Fox News, to Australian and Irish radio stations, and Australian newspapers. Individualization in color, size packaging and even in structure is what Mámor stands for. Choose your own mixture of flavor, colour, adapt the size to your wish, and create the best combination for your chocolate indulgence. It’s up to you to choose the level of luxury and uniqueness.
In fact, the Meat Industry Association was so impressed with the Deer Velvet Chocolate that they asked me to beat my previous achievement. So I wracked my brain, “What to do?” That’s when I came up with a world beater, the Venison Salami Chocolate Truffle! The challenge was to use cured meat in the chocolate, but to make it a dessert yet with the wonderful savoury flavours of venison. Thinking that throughout history chocolate was mostly savoury before it became so sweet, I concentrated on getting a delightful flavour, yet with all the uplifting qualities of chocolate. The result was an extraordinary taste sensation with a salami aftertaste. You either love it or hate it though, just like anchovies. (Hmm, another idea here?) The good thing about salami chocolates is that they can be served as a starter (American entrée) not as a dessert.
So my basic philosophy is, everything can upgraded, and everything can be personalized for the sophisticated customer. Chocolate is the ultimate pleasure-food. There will never be enough ways to indulge in this gorgeous elixir, or to personalize it just like perfume.