Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Any foodie travelling south from Perth to Margaret River is likely to have stopped at a variety of places seeking elusive amazing new tastynoms. My recent trip south included several discoveries worth a mention.
The first, and in many ways the most significant is Gabriel Chocolate. All we knew of it was a mark on a map, a splash page we found online and that they had chocolate. When entering the building I glanced through a glass panel and saw sacks. Of cocoa beans. Unroasted.
No one, to the best of my knowledge, roasts cocoa beans in Western Australia. Except me, just once for LOLs.
Gabriel roasts the cocoa, hand sorts, grinds, conchs, tempers and pours. That is, they actually make chocolate, not just blend courveture or enrobe things to make truffles.
Better yet they use single origin cocoa beans of great quality that have characteristic flavours.
It has been open just a matter of weeks and quite obviously they are still just working up the premises which is still requiring finishing touches, but the chocolate...
Yeah, there were maybe a few particles larger than 20 microns that I noticed, and their sample trays had obvious tempering fails but regardless of any minor teething flaws, Western Australia now has a genuine chocolate producer using high quality ingredients and rare bean stocks.
Beside me right now is slightly less than 85g of a bar of Chuao (missing only the little I took for a tiny taste! I could resist no longer), from a remote microclimate region in Venezuala where the beans fetch up to four times market price for their uniform quality. Only 20 tonnes are produced annually and Gabriel in Margaret River managed to acquire one tonne, remarkable for a new company competing for a bean that has been the battleground of Valrhona and Amedei.
This is bean to bar chocolate, superbly prepared and a new chocolate experience. If you are going to Margaret River I think you really need to add a visit to this tiny producer of amazing things.
As a bonus, if you drive out of Gabriel's driveway and into the driveway immediately opposite you will drive into our next discovery - Windows Estate.
Gabriel are located on the corner of Caves Road and Quininup Road in Margaret River and can be contacted on:
Phone: 08 9756 6689