Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Jenny and the Chocolate Factory

As part of Chocolate Week, I visited the L’Artisan Du Chocolate factory today.

Possibly the happiest day of my life…

The intoxicating smell as you walk in the door… An hour and a half of education in the mastery of chocolate as expert chocolatier, Gerard Coleman, guided a small group of us around his pride and joy…

I would reason that there are few chocolatiers in the world with more passion than Gerard. His immense love for chocolate glowed from him and the product of this devotion is truly some of the best chocolates in the world. This is quality food at its absolute pinnacle. Gerard uses only the best and freshest ingredients in his products and as a result his chocolates reflect a true and realistic shelf life of three weeks. Of course, who would want to keep them that long anyway?

As a fan of business systems (if you are ever thinking of setting up a business you must read E-Myth Revisited) I was supremely impressed with the efficiency and systemetisation of the L’Artisan factory. This is not to say the chocolates are not carefully crafted and made with love, rather that machinery is incorporated to ensure precise measurements and temperatures are used every time to guarantee consistency of flavour and texture. If it wasn’t for Gerard’s pride and obsession for quality that has him at the factory every single day quality testing (tough job that one!) he could very easily let the system create the chocolates.

Thank god for chocolatiers like Gerard.

My day was rounded off by attending a charity Brazilian night. Complete with dance lessons, performances, Capoeira demonstrations, Brazilian finger food and a Chocolate fountain… Unfortunately the nature of how these work means the chocolate itself can’t be made from high quality ingredients, but they do look so pretty!

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