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A Date with Chef Laurent Bernard @ Portsdown – An Evening of Chocolate Appreciation

The Chocolate Space recently organised a Friday evening chocolate appreciation session at Laurent Bernard Café, Portsdown Road. We opened this workshop to the public via Curica, which is a great way for scheduling classes and getting a group together.

We were warmly welcomed by Chef Laurent Bernard himself, who took us for a quick tour of a cacao tree that was planted just behind the café. Chef Laurent gave us an overview of the origins of cacao in Latin America and the regions where cacao can be found today.

Adjourning to the Laurent Bernard Café Chocolate Room, we were invited to sample a few types of chocolates. The Chocolate Room is a must see whenever you head down to the café. You’ll be greeted by a whiff of cocoa upon stepping into the room where Laurent Bernard’s freshly made pralines are kept.

As part of the four chocolates we tasted, the real treat was the single-origin chocolate made from Venezuelan Chuao cacao beans. The Chuao region in Venezuela continues to cultivate pure Criollo beans, which are the highest quality of bean in cacao bean variety. They are considered a cultural delicacy in the Americas, and a kilo of these beans can sometimes cost several hundreds of US dollars. There is a distinct taste in Chuao-made chocolates. Aside from being the most aromatic of all cacao beans, it has a deep-set taste that stays on the palate.

Sharing about his culinary experience, Chef Laurent explains that it is a life-long learning process of experimentations. He constantly goes in search for fresh ingredients from all over the world, and experiments how they can be paired with chocolate. His creative pairings bears testament to the “limited edition” desserts that you can find at the café on occasions.

Chef Laurent also let us in on his diet. Despite having lived in Singapore for many years, he actually doesn’t eat chilli. Chef Laurent explains that as a Chef, he requires to have a keen sense of taste. Since chilli causes a gradual lost of taste overtime, he refrains from having too much chilli.

Check out more about Laurent Bernard Chocolatier from our previous posts:

Laurent Bernard’s Easter Inspired Menu

Getting A True Appreciation of Chocolate from Chef Laurent