Academy of Chocolate Awards THREE BRONZE MEDALS
The seventh RaffinĂŠe creation Tonka bean, a trove of flavoures CHOCOME in the Czech Republic Memories of Hungary Souvenir Shop
9TH ISSUE SUMMER 2015
chocoMe won three Bronze medals in the same timeat the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London Celebrating it’s fifth birthday this year, chocoMe the chocolate manufactory with 100% Hungarian ownership won yet another international contest - this time in London. The company been awarded with three Bronze medals for three different Raffinée products at the Academy of Chocolate Awards contest in London, where only the best chocolate makers in the world are allowed to compare their skills. With this event chocoMe has recieved 9 international awards so far (and 26 awards in all). With this honour chocoMe became the first Hungarian chocolate maker to recieve acknowledgements at all three world-class chocolate contests (Academy of Chocolate Awards, International Chocolate Awards, Great Taste Award). “This world event has the strictest rules and entry conditions, and the names in the jury tells a lot about how serious this contest is: Charles Metcalfe, Sarah Janes Evans, Paul A. Young, Cecilia Tessieri, Amelia Rope, Kate Johns, Fiona Gately, Judith Lewis, Marie-Pierre Moine, gastronomy experts of international shopping chains (Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Selfridges), which makes me escpecially proud that out of 4 of our nominated Raffinée products 3 recieved an award” - said Gábor Mészáros chocolatier, founder of chocoMe. “The weight and significance of this event would be on par with competeing and getting a medal at the Olimpycs."
"I’m very happy that we were successful at our third world-class competition and our goal now is to shoot for the Gold medal with one of our products.”
- Gábor Mészáros.
The ceremony was held on April 23 in London, in the fourth floor ballroom of the fascinating Fortnum & Mason house. Award-winning products: Almonds coated with dark chocolate and Voatsiperifery pepper (RF105) Piemonte hazelnut coated with milk chocolate and cinnamon (RF103) Pecans covered in milk chocolate mixed with caramel and salted vanilla powder from Tahiti (RF104)
About the Academy of Chocolate The Academy of Chocolate was enstablished in 2005, in London with the sole purpose to serve as a forum to true quality chocolate consumption, for the products made with the best ingredients, the best plantations, and for fair commercial principles. Members of the Academy are the most renowned chocolate makers and gastronomy experts who hold the Academy of Chocolate Award contest biannually, where the best chocolate makers compare their skills. This year brought the most nominees and products by far, they had 500 applications from 35 countries.
We introduce the latest chocoMe Raffinée with the most elaborate flavour yet Product development took a long time as usual, as we take great care to find and gather the most perfect ingredients. We combined the deservedly world-famous almond pieces from Avola, with the incredibly delicious 40% milk chocolate from the French Valrhona company, made only with the finest cocoa beans, and the intensive tasting tonka beans with their almost intoxicating fragrance. chocoMe's dragee speciality, the Raffinée counts the seventh unique creation with the almonds from Avola covered in tonka bean flavoured chocoMe Mariage de Grand Crus 40% milk chocolate. „The Raspberry Raffinée's Silver Medal at the Great Taste Awards in London, and the Hazelnut Raffinée's Silver Medal in the International Chocolate Awards world championship confirmed that we are on the right track with this product family. Since the competitions we enjoy a lot of special attention and we would like prove even more worthy with this groundbreaking creation.” – said Gábor Mészáros, the owner and founder of chocoMe. The new creation is special because of it's trio of ingredients: famous almond pieces from Avola, the French Valrhona chocolate maker's Mariage de Grand Crus 40% milk chocolate debuting at chocoMe, and the tonka beans with their one of a kind flavour. The French Valrhona chocolate maker's special milk chocolate with it's 40% cocoa content is a mixture of equatorial Forastero cocoa beans, creamy milk, cane sugar and a dash of malt. Because of it's high cocoa dry content it boasts with an astounding cocoa flavour with intensive tones of almond and a hint of vanilla. The finely ground tonka bean is an incredibly rich source of fragrance and flavour: it brings to mind vanilla, cinnamon, clove and almond at the same time, and if mixed makes milk chocolate taste more fluffy and creamy. We drop the almond pieces from Avola, Sicily into this melting pot of flavour, and after their chocolate bath we gently roll them in cocoa powder. By the ingredients that are incredibly complex in and of themselves the almond pieces covered in tonka bean flavoured milk chocolate dragee's taste is a true delight: different "layers" and tones dominate during consumption. First the cocoa powder's rawness, then the tonka bean and milk chocolate mix breaks through, followed by the crispy almonds cavalcade, which leaves a long lasting, spicy aroma in the mouth.
Tonka chocoMe beans, Caoa70% treasure csokoládé trovebemutatása of flavours - a Voilé termékeink egyedülálló alapanyaga
The wrinkly, black, enlongated raisin-like tonka bean brings a rich world of scent and flavour: it reminds of vanila, clove and étcsokoládéja almonds at the same time. kakaós Because of this A franciausCacao Barrycinnamon, 70% kakaótartalmú lehengerlően karakterrel complexity it is able to bring out different textures upon pairing it up with other ingredients: rendelkezik. A csokoládé alapjául szolgáló, válogatott kakaóbabok az egyenlítő közelében it makes dark chocolate to be akin to cinnamon, makes milk chocolate to be more soft elhelyezkedő ültetvényről származnak, ahol a különleges terroir és a kedvező időjárási and creamy with a hint of coconut, and it makes oily seeds to have a more intense natural körülményeknek köszönhetően gazdag aromákat hordoznak. A csokoládéban flavour, leaving a long lasting spicyegyedülállóan aftertaste in the mouth. így az erőteljes kakaósságot enyhén virágos és savanykás gyümölcsös jegyek teszik teljessé. Here in Hungary it is not easy to get a hold of some, but in the U. S. it is near impossible: it is illegal to use the spice because of the naturally occuring kumarin found in the beans A Cacao Barry több mint 170 éve a kíváló minőségű csokoládék megkérdőjelezhetetlen which in big doses lead to liver failure and haemophilia. By the way kumarin can be found szakértője – a francia gasztronómia szimbóluma -, neves francia séfek, szaktekintélyek, in unrefined cinnamon as well, but the PR people of cinnamon done a better job in the U. S. innovatív csokoládékészítők és mestercukrászok választása. Egyedi terroir és rendkívül kedvező időjárási viszonyok ahol kakaóingyümölcsöket helyi Tonka beans supplied in the EUjellemzik used bykakaóültetvényeiket, chocoMe as well are at firsta dried their raw form, then soaked in alcohol, then driedtermesztik, again whichmelynek will rid the beans of all their kumarin content, és farmerek közreműködésével köszönhetően a kézzel begyűjtött leaving only the incredible,páratlanul characteristic flavours. válogatott kakaóbabjaik gazdag aromával rendelkeznek.
chocoMe is popular in the Czech Republic Though chocoMe is present on the Czech market since 2012 it was in the last year when the company started really growing. About this and a lot more we talked about with our Czech chocoMe partner Pavla Kyralova. Please introduce yourself in a couple of words! I'm working in trade for long years now, this was also my parent's profession, I am immersed in this world since childhood. All my life I adored pretty things and smart design, so it was natural that in my first store I started selling home furnishing and interior decoration items. Do you remember when you first saw chocoMe products? Probably because of my interest in aestethics, but it was love at first sight. I reminded me of beautiful, handmade jewelry. I didn't know anything about the brand yet, but I was sure: I want to be the one introducing it to the Czech Republic. This was around the beginning of 2013, as a distributor I sold the chocolate bars for 1,5 years until the previous Czech importer had to step down because of some financial troubles. I felt like my time has come: I finally got a chance to sell the products and build the brand in my own way. The later was an urgent matter as chocoMe's brand perception was really low, and we had to rebuild the whole commercial network from the ground up. We spent all our time working on the branding and it was worth it: by now chocoMe can be found in the busiest prestigious stores and hotels, and we are present at all the big expos. What are your plans for the future? Second half of the year looks to be rather interseting: we are going to introduce chocoMe to Czech winemakers and experts, and we will attend exhibitions around Prague and Brno. Our goal this year is to introduce chocoMe to smaller cities as well. What are the reactions? Do the Czech people like chocoMe? Absolutely, the scene of the first contact is almost always the saem: wide eyes, big smile, we can see on the customers faces they think the same about chocoMe as we do. Which are the most popular creations? Hands down the dark chocolate with forest berries and the white chocolate covered raspberry RaffinĂŠe is a close second.
best of hungary on 300 square meters The Memories of Hungary Souvenir Shop opened it's gates in the Summer of 2011 in Budapest, next to the Basilica. The 300 square meter store puts quality above all else, holds an average 3000 items on shelf which took 2 years of preparation to acquire. They are selling Hungary althought a bit differently as we might imagine: they build on Hungarian folk and cultural traditions, but through a fresh, hip, creative lens. The have Rubik's cubes in their inventory as well as Gömböc and of course chocoMe. Dóra Gombai manager answered our questions. What are the prequisites for a product to get into your shop? Not only tourists frequent our shops, but local Hungarians as well. That's why we strive to have a stock that caters for those looking for authentic Hungarian things, and those who are into more modern aspects of our culture, like design. It is our goal for the store to carry Hungarian values but in the same time be welcoming to all ages and nationalities. What are your experiences, what kind of souvenirs are the most popular with foreigners? What kind of preconceptions do they have when they enter? According to sales, which item represents our country the most? We meet with lot's of ideas every day. Some come in looking for a specific thing, cause they saw it on the internet, or someone told them about it, or saw it on someone wearing it on the street. But most of them are spontaneous walk-in customers. They are looking for traditional things like red paprika, quality chocolate, "Hungarian" wine and palinka, but porcelain from Herend and Kalocsa are also popular. Folk products are fast sellers, may them be bookmarks, table cloth, cushions and of course the Rubik's cube and Öcsi Puskás memorabilias. What nationalities are the most frequent? We are lucky to have a wide range of customers from many countries; our customers who favour chocoMe products tend to be Russians, East Asian or from the US. How did you get in contact with chocoMe? Based on what principle do you choose the products? As we knew the company already we approached them through normal channels and started a cooperation. Our first order was based on what toppings and flavoures convey our company values the best. The orders that came after that were also influenced by our customers experiences. It is very important for us to cater for the widest possible audience, so we always have no added sugar items in store and several creations without nuts, for those with food allergies. How popular are the chocoMe products, which sells the best: chocolate bars, Carré, Raffinée or Voilé?
In our stores we keep 100g bars, Raffinée és Carré of which - probably cause of it's size - Carré goes out first, then the chocolate bars, then the Raffinée. All three types of products are very popular as they radiate a feeling of quality just by their looks.
„Sometimes it's hard to keep up with the brand”
Interview with Tamás DANCS How did you get in contact with chocoMe? Did you know the brand before? I came to know chocoMe as a startup because of my profession, and when the creative who set the company on course steped down to do his own stuff, the marketing director (who I worked together with on other projects at the time) asked me to take over temporarily, and I am here ever since. We made an interview with Gyula Ebedli, chocoMe's designer in our previous issue; what does your workflow look like? Do you even have any overlaping responsibilities? Gyula's expertise benefit the company in the bigger scheme of things, he executes long-term plans, dreams up packages, he is into product development and architecture. My job is a lot more well defined with tight schedules, but we operate along the same principles. Do you make the graphic design for other international chocoMe partners as well? Yes, I support the brand development in 15 countries now. Some of our partners have their own designers, but we produce the master materials and visual assets they use for adaptation and translation to so many languages. Besides chocoMe you work as an Art Director at a multinational advertising agency: tell us, is there a lot of similarities between the two? The expectations in quality and the dealines are the same, the main difference may be that in advertising 90% of our ideas inherently end up in the bin as part of the process, while at chocoMe I work with my clients really personally and up close, and we have a consensus that keeps us on the right trek. Which one is your favourite chocoMe work?
The catalogues and the leaflets, which are part of the starting kit for every new "expedition", and are the visual ambassadors of the brand. We have a lot of work in these brossures and they have been really popular with our customers from the Middle-East through Europe to Canada. What is the biggest challenge when you're working for a brand like chocoMe? The fast expansion, the brand development and all the special and unusual requests that come with it are the biggest challenges. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with the brand. Through the years we got a lot of new partners - and dare I say friends - each with their own unique challenges and market goals. We try to support everyone as quickly and as efficiently as possible, but sometimes that's not an easy task. Do you have a favourite creation? Which products do you like best? I don't have much of a sweet tooth but I could eat all the M110s (milk chocolate with crystalized almonds coated in cinnamon, coconut shavings and dark chocolate drops) and K106s (milk chocolate with bourbon vanila, crystalized almonds coated in cinnamonand Yirga ground coffee beans from Ethiopia) in the world, these are my all time favourites. As I am really into unusual gastronomic experiences, I pretty much go wild for the Ginger Voilé and the Wildpepper Raffinée. I was very happy when we finally launched the no added sugar bars as well.
Virágok és virágos INTRODUCING
who gives form to the chocolate What's your job at chocoMe precisely? Well, back when I was hired I was doing packaging, but after long months of learning I mastered chocolate making, and now I'm responsible for the production of our creations.
How did you end up in the team? In September 2013, I came to the company as a student worker and was offered a full-time position in March 2014, half a year later.
What are the pros and cons of your work? I think the cons are the winter season crunches, fast paced work, lots of pressure, but luckily we are working in a tight, professional and friendly team, we can always cheer each other up, even in tough times.
Do you know what was your record of chocolates made in a day? It was last year, we made 4300 bars in a single day.
What did you do before chocoMe? This is my first position, I came to work here straight from school. I studied to be an assistant pharmacologist.
Do you have a favourite chocoMe product? The Hazelnut Raffinée is my favourite since the first tests, and recently I really enjoy our tonka bean product as well.
chocoMe Kft. 1135 Budapest, Kisgรถmb utca 23. www.chocome.hu firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/chocome.hu +361 789 5755