Guatemalan Origin Cocoa Beans by Julien Alvarez

Julien Alvarez, Le Bristol’s formidable Chef Patissier opened up to us about the phenomenal dessert he has created for Chef Eric Frechon’s 20th-anniversary menu at Epicure. The dessert is called Guatemalan Origin Cocoa Beans. We’ll let Julien explain the rest…

What is the concept behind this delightful cocoa bean dessert?

My idea was to experiment with the cocoa bean itself. By working on the texture, the visual and the flavour– blending and infusing it with different essences. The concept centres on releasing the magic of cocoa.

How is it plated?

The glass dome is pre-soaked in cocoa essence and then infused with smoke at the table to bring out the roasted and smoked vanilla flavours in the dessert. The display is both visual and olfactory– offering a sensory experience before the diner even picks up a spoon.

The porcelain plate was custom-designed by Safran for this particular dish, honouring Eric Frechon’s 20thanniversary at Epicure. The shape and colours were chosen specifically to complement the cocoa bean.

Christofle supplied the silver. It is from an existing range called Marly that has been engraved for Le Bristol Paris.

What are diners saying?

The dessert has been on the menu for 7 or 8 months now, and the feedback we’ve gotten is very positive. As a gourmet dessert, it isn’t overly sweetened with sugar, which seems to please many. The complex flavours of roasted cocoa beans and smoked vanilla add a gentle hint of sophistication and mystery to the comforting delight of rich chocolate and smooth cream.

Come taste Julien’s masterpiece dessert. Book your table at Epicure here.

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