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A Discover of Chocolate with Nicolas Berger at Fortnum & Mason

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Master chocolatier Nicolas Berger is a true artisan of chocolate.

Utilising his decades of experience as a leading pastry chef, Nicolas creates each and every couverture himself in his independent factory in Paris. His goal is simply “to provide chocolate makers, pastry chefs and restaurateurs with exceptional couverture chocolate with which they can express all their creativity, as unique as it is personal.” 

Craftsman for the artisans, Nicolas Berger offers couverture chocolates made from pure-origin cocoa beans and rigorously selected ingredients. 

Classic Fine Foods has curated a range of 12 couvertures each highlighting the very best of bean to bar couverture. Each 65% dark is produced with no additional cocoa butter whilst milk couverture is elevated to 50% and even 60% milk to truly express the beans unique flavour to its cleanest and truest expression.

Classic Fine Foods’ very own Chocolate Specialist, Sam Smallman, and Pastry Chef & Head of Culinary Development, Denis Drame MCA were joined by Fortnum and Mason’s Executive Head Pastry Chef Roger Pizey on an adventure to the amazing Nicolas Berger factory in Paris. 

Ahead of the exciting event we had in the pine line, Nicolas wanted to invite the us to witness his craftmanship first hand. Nicolas and his team showed us around and we were truly impressed by their love for what they do. Their dedication and enthusiasm are unique. 

“The impression I got when I went to visit the factory is that it’s incredible. It’s a one-man shop which is incredible, I guess it’s like a 3-Michelin restaurant, he mixes all the chocolates, he roasts the beans and produces all himself. You know that everything he does is to his perfection.” – Roger Pizey, Executive Head Pastry Chef at Fortnum and Mason.

Hosted with Executive Head Pastry Chef at Fortnum and Mason, Roger Pizey, Classic Fine Foods put together a fantastic Willy Wonka approved chocolate event. Held at Fortnum and Mason’s Food & Drink Studio, we invited many guest pastry chefs to discover everything amazing about Nicolas Berger’s artisan chocolates. 

The Event took place on Wednesday 31st January, with a guided tasting format, we took our guests on a journey of chocolate discovery with a delicious menu with delicacies made by six talented chefs.

The incredible chef line up compromised of:

Jeremy Chan, Chef and Co-Founder of Ikoyi London – Savoury Canape with 100% Sao Tome paste and Cocoa Nibs

Roger Pizey, Executive Head Pastry Chef at Fortnum & Mason – Afternoon Tea Cake with 75% Venezuelan

Alex Fubini, Co-Founder of Ice Cream Union – 60% Peru Milk and 65% Cuban dark ice creams

Thanos Linardakis, Pastry Chef – Plated Dessert with Cuban 65% 

Khalil Bouabid, Baker at Kayu – Viennoiserie  

Gwenael Girard, Executive Pastry Chef at Pavyllon London – Plated Dessert with 75% Venezuelan and 65% Cuban 

Each dish was presented to the guests by the chef with Nicolas Berger himself, explaining how the chocolate in the dish is sourced, made and the flavour profile that stands out. Before trying the creations, guests were encouraged to try the couverture as it is to get the full experience of the ingredient that inspired the recipe.

Morel mushroom stuffed with Dominican chocolate, smoked chilli and rye berry porridge set inside the morel. Roasted in butter and glazed in a stout beer reduction, seasoned with cocoa. – Jeremy Chan

Afternoon teacake with Venezuelan 75% and a raspberry insert. – Roger Pizey

Chocolate ice-cream with Peruvian 60% Milk chocolate. – Alex Fubini

Cuban chocolate cigar filled with a Cuban cigar smoked ganache inside and vanilla caramel, finished with a tonka bean ‘ash’. – Thanos Linardakis

Mini pain au chocolate with 60% dark chocolate sticks. – Sekher Rock

Plated dessert using Cuban chocolate at the bottom, topped with hazelnut and almon praline and a Venezuelan chocolate mouse finished with a sprinkle of Nicolas Berger cocoa. – Gwenael Girard

“I really enjoyed the event; I’m feeling very spoilt. It was great to be here with so many chefs who share the same passion. I make my chocolate in my little workshop and it’s great to see the stuff they do with it. It’s a second life for my work and it’s great to see that.” – Nicolas Beger.

A big thank you to all the guest chefs for your marvellous chocolate creations, to Fornum and Mason for kindly hosting us in your wonderful Food & Drink Studio and to everyone that came to discover, learn and taste the couvertures by Nicolas Berger. 

Explore the whole range of Nicolas Berger's chocolate couvertures on our website here

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