Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oui! Oui! We Lurve Chocolat!

He is French. He creates gourmet chocolates. And he has lived and worked around the world ~ from France to London, where he worked at the prestigious Waldorf Hotel and Harrods. Then off to Israel, where he took up the post of Executive Pastry Chef at Jerusalem's King David Hotel, one of the leading hotels in the world.

From the Middle-East, he moved to the US where he worked onboard luxury liner, Celebrity Cruise Line Inc. before heading to Bermuda to helm the pastry kitchen in a 5* resort.

In 2003, he finally arrives in Asia and joins the Meritus Mandarin Singapore as Executive Pastry Chef. But the Business Bug bit this chocolatier, and he took the plunge to start his very own chocolate bar at The Pier @ Robertson in 2006. Initially called The Chocolate Factory, it now caters to more discerning chocolate connoisseurs, and has since been renamed Laurent Bernard Cafe & Chocolate Bar.

And who is this Frenchman who was our guest in The Living Room today? No brownie points for guessing his name. Oui! It's chocolatier extraordinaire, Laurent Bernard.

Laurent proudly explains his chocolate creations to us during the show.

Stan & I can vouch that his chocolates are oo-la-la! They almost make you want to break out in French. Oui! Unfortunately for us, Stan did. The whole darn day... *groan*

It's clear how passionate Laurent is about his creations. When we asked him to introduce the chocolates he brought us, he did so almost gleefully. He rose to his feet, made us rise to ours as well, and explained each creation like a proud father.

And we picked up a thing or two about chocolate-pairing: Never pair chocolates with cold beverage, always warm. Coffee and tea is good, whiskey too. And to make the perfect cup of cafe mocha, start with a latte base, then add chocolate shavings. Milk chocolate is better than dark chocolate, he says. The best is 40% cocoa. And forget about cocoa powder, please.

If you want to treat your palate to Laurent's chocolates, head down to The Pier @ Robertson, or his second outlet at Portsdown Road (opposite Colbar). Although a tad pricey, we promise you there will be no regrets. After all, chocolate is a balm for the soul.

As the framed postcard on my desk puts it so succinctly: "Chocolate is the Answer. And I don't give a damn about the question".

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