Head Chef at the award winning AA Rosette Mirabelle Restaurant based at The Grand Hotel Eastbourne, Gerald Roser, gets geared up for Chocolate Week.
Mention the word “chocolate” and most people’s taste buds start tingling. From the pain au chocolat served at breakfast to the petit fours at the end of an evening meal, it is impossible to think of a meal where chocolate doesn’t feature.
With its rich history dating back to 1900 BC, chocolate has long played an important role in royal and religious events and in its many modern day forms is enjoyed as a decadent treat, which can put a lift into even the dullest of days.
One of the most popular ingredients in the world, chocolate has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a ‘bitter water’ and it is not surprising that we now have a whole national week dedicated to celebrating its origins and existence.
As a chef, I get a great deal of satisfaction researching new recipes and experimenting with and adjusting ingredients to enhance their flavour. Chocolate is one of my favourite ingredients to work with due to its versatility.
It is interesting to note how chocolate can easily be worked subtly in to a savoury dish, such as being created into the most delicious rich sauce to be served alongside a gamey meat like venison or as the star of the show in a delicious and luxurious dessert.
Of course, chocolate desserts are some of The Grand’s most enduring and popular puddings on the menu, with our Trio of Chocolate in a Glass and the Extra-Bitter Guayaquil Chocolate Fondant with Nougat ice cream being regular best sellers.
In its rawest form chocolate also has many positive effects and can be beneficial for the circulatory system and may help to reduce blood pressure.
However, perhaps one of the most unequivocal and universally agreed interpretations of chocolate is that of a feel good treat to be enjoyed as special and indulgent luxury to enhance the mood; and that alone is worth celebrating.
The Grand Hotel’s next event is the Christmas Smorgasbord which will be hosted in The Mirabelle Restaurant on November 27.