25 October 2011 by Chris Marais

The Chocolatier of Betty’s Bay

I first met Gaspard Bossut at a ‘blues night market’ in the Elgin Valley, just off the N2 near Cape Town. The band was late but that didn’t matter to me and my sweet tooth. We’d met Gaspard the Chololatier and were ensconced in a serious review of his products.

My wife Julie (even sweeter tooth, but don’t tell her I said so) and I arranged an interview and photo shoot with him at his house/factory in Betty’s Bay. We were going there for the story, sure. But there was, obviously, an ulterior motive.

I was given piles of exquisitely crafted chocolates to photograph and, obviously, ate all the props up afterwards. Burp.

After you taste the work of a serious Belgian chocolatier like Gaspard, you might never go for that common or garden candy bar in your life again. You will be spoilt for taste in Gaspard’s chocolate factory.

Gaspard has been making chocolates now since 2001 and he’s progressed to the point where he gets through two tonnes of Belgian chocolate in a year, recreating the massive slabs into delectable creations. Some of his chocolates go overseas (he has a buyer in New York), but most of the rest is sold in the Overberg area.

It may all be a local-based business, but the flavours he infuses into his chocolates are truly exotic. There are slabs with Hawaiian lava salt, others with Himalayan rock salt, orange peel, nuts, goji berries, pomegranates, ginger, blue cheese and biltong. Biltong? “Yes, the only chocolate you should perhaps eat with a toothpick,” grins Gaspard mischievously.

This man with his chocolate factory within sight of the sea, his client list and his desire for excellence is actually cutting edge, in terms of we should all be going. A small, home based business that offers quality will always bob up and survive in a Recession storm. And let’s face it: even when stocks are down, the sweet tooth rules…

Category: Culture & History

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