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Chocolate In Canada:  Greg Hook

On the hunt for Canada’s best chocolates?  And where to find them in Paris too?  Vancouver chocolatier Greg Hook’s your man!

Greg Hook is the owner/head chocolatier at  Vancouver’s Chocolate Arts.  He studied cooking in London, England, and chocolate at Belgium’s Callebaut College and the Ecole du Grand Chocolat in France. Greg opened his Kitsilano shop Chocolate Arts in 1989. Chocolate Arts is known for it’s devotion to creating unique chocolate products that feature local, organically grown ingredients and the best raw chocolate from producers in Belgium and France. Perhaps that’s the reason his shop is celebrating its 25th year in business.

Tell us about your latest chocolate creation? It’s a reworking of a seasonal standard:  ‘Pumpkin & Praline’. We use organic sugar pumpkins from a grower we have been working with for over 25 years. We evaporate the water in the pumpkin to intensify the flavour so the chocolate doesn’t overpower it. Thisyears is the best. We discovered a missing element when  we added apple cider vinegar for a little acidity. It tastes like pumpkin pie on steroids with a little crunch from almond praline.

Do you have a chocolate idol? Not so much idols but professionals I respect immensely. Enric Rovira is a chocolatier from Barcelona that does not get much recognition but who is a master of sculpture & a creative genius. His creations have influenced chocolatiers around the world.

The two best bonbons I have ever tasted were made by Barcelona’s  Ramon Morato  –  now the international technical director for Cacao Barry.

When I’m in Paris I  drop by Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse & any shop of Patrick Roger’s. Ducasse because his chocolates are free from adornment & always impeccably done. Roger because he always has fantastic sculptures in his windows.

What’s your favorite Cacao Barry chocolate to work with? Truth is they are all great to work with because they have so many single origins (and some single plantations) so there is always a chocolate to match whatever we want to create. I must profess that my favorites are  the ones I created at Or Noir in France,:  our dark signature blend ALLURE & our milk signature blend AMORE.

Do you have a fantasy chocolate moment? Sitting in St Sulpice square on a sunny ay eating any chocolate creation by Pierre Hermé.

 

 

 

Do you have a must-do chocolate ritual?  My ritual is part of my job which is tasting all of our creations on a continual basis.

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