'Chocolates are special'

'Chocolates are special'

Sweet tooth

During his summer holidays, chef Olivier Vincenot used to spend his time in the French countryside by making pastries with his grandmother. Later, at the age of 14, he decided to pursue a vocation in one of France’s best-known bakery — La Patisserie. That is where he created many types of creamy French cakes as well as experimented with chocolates.

And then, he went on for the next seven years to strengthen his specialisation. “While some people express themselves in painting, writing and singing, my passion is baking, and chocolates become an important part of the process,” says Vincenot who also headed a pastry shop in a Japanese vineyard, making French style Japanese flavour cakes.

“What appeals to me about chocolates are its different origins. Chocolates are special. Mousses, cupcakes, creams, drinks and anything that you can do with food can be done with chocolates. You get some (chocolates) which are bitter than others and some which are sweeter and some can be spicy as well. It can be used in a broad range of cooking — not just as sweet but also savoury,” adds the corporate chef at Foodhall, a premium lifestyle food superstore.

Mentioning his secrets and techniques of making “perfect chocolates” through various applications like tempering, moulding and decorating, Vincenot mentions that the flavour of the chocolate used should predominate. “Chocolate has to be tasted first and then whatever else one adds, whether chilli flakes or cardomon or cinnamon has to come second. There has to be a balance,” Vincenot tells Metrolife on the sidelines of his recently held ‘Art of Chocolate Making Workshop’ at DLF, Saket.

On the need of conducting such workshops, he says, “There is a need to entertain and educate the audience. As a professional, I know chocolates. But for others it could be just two types — couverture or compound chocolates. So we try to explain the processes.”

While he points out that fusion is being tried with chocolates for a long time now, he questions if it is being done right. “People tend to use chocolates and try fusion. But if one overdoes it, then it kills the effect,” exclaims the chef who started his culinary journey, 35 years ago.

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