Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chocolate Making Class

I had the opportunity to try my hand at making chocolate today. It was something new, and I am glad I did it.

We worked in teams, and one of my team mates laughed because every time one of the chocolate pieces get mangled or we crush the shell, I just go "Oh well", then I pop it straight into my mouth.

It's a lovely thing, where it's ok to make mistakes. You can just eat it. That's what I love about cooking - it's ok to make mistakes. No one will die. It's not brain surgery. You can just eat your mistakes (most of the time). Every mistake is an opportunity to learn. Yes, this applies everywhere, but let us try to avoid mistakes for brain surgeries, okay?

Our instructor was the lovely Chef Judy, who showed by step by step the different processes of making the chocolates in the photo above. But when I took most from the class, was the story she shared with us.

Chef Judy shared that she helped craft the tallest chocolate sculpture in 2008, with two other chef. One of them, she told us, was a Belgian chef who used to own a shop that sold beautiful artisan chocolates. Her friend would work on each chocolate by hand, pain-stakingly crafting each piece. The sad reality is, when it comes to production, it was difficult to compete with chocolate factories that could mass produce chocolate way faster. While the Belgian chef put in a lot of heart into his chocolate, yet when it comes to market forces, we seem to prefer the soulless mass produced chocolate. The shop isn't around anymore.

This has been something I have always wondered about cooking, or any other kind of art. The handcrafted art versus mass produced copies. What happened to the days when we used to appreciate the heart and soul that goes into making something beautiful? And how sad it is, that we make choices that drive these heart works out of existence. We get what we deserve, if we don't know how to appreciate the finer things in life needs effort, and deserves the time.

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