Chef Bart Van Cauwenberghe is the perfect example of a fine chocolatier who successfully flourishes outside of a major city. In his atelier he and his assistant create thoughtfully-flavored pralines, crafted into little works of art.
What motivated you to open a chocolate business?
My former boss decided to work computer-controlled (industrial) instead of hand labour. I then decided to open a small shop where I could put my creativity in chocolates.
Did you have any formal training in chocolate making?
Six years of training and one year specialization was my basis, and now I try to collaborate with my colleagues and share ideas.
Where do you get your inspiration for the different flavors and textures you include in your chocolates?
By means of my own inspirations, cooking... I am inquisitive and like to find new ingredients to taste and experience.
If you had to describe your product line in a couple of sentences, what would that be?
We have two product lines: the Classic Line using praliné, créme fraiche, etc. And we have the Flavour Line where we work with flowers, spices, herbs, and more.
What is your personal favorite out of all the products you make and why?
When we're giving tasting demos all over the world specific to kitchens, we work with strange combinations: fish, meat, wine, whisky, sherry... and chocolates. We are trying to get chocolates out of the dessert line and put it in a whole menu. One of my favorites is fois gras with spice chocolate and old port. Why? Because all the flavours are additional and compliment each other.
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