Laurent Bernard, 49
Founder of Laurent Bernard Chocolatier
How did you develop an interest in pastries and chocolate making?
In school, I trained specifically in pastries, ice cream and chocolate. I was most attracted to the produce and the possibilities of what you can do with chocolate because you can make ice cream, pastries and so on with it. There are different varieties of cocoa beans – it’s infinite! It’s extremely exciting.
What do you love most about being a chocolatier?
You can’t get bored because there’s so much variety. It’s very important to meet the farmers too. I can keep track of the bean, from the time it’s harvested to the time it’s served to the customer.
What’s the secret behind your high quality chocolate products?
The secret lies in the ingredients. It’s as simple as that. I like to keep the produce as pure as possible, without too much transformation. I need to have relations with the farmer – be it for cocoa, vanilla or hazelnut – I need to see the person face to face. I’m very old school. It’s a question of trust so you must go to the producer. When I was a kid living in France, we bought milk from the farm on the way home from school. So, I learned to buy everything from the farm because creating relationships with the producers is important.
What is your proudest achievement during your career as a chocolatier?
In the past 10 years, I have customers who frequent the café almost once a week, if not once a month. When I see young Singaporeans coming with their parents, it’s also an achievement. Or when you have people in their 60s and 70s coming to the shop. Managing to get different generations under the same roof and having everybody agree that this is the best place to go for a slice of cake or a piece of chocolate is a great achievement on its own.
Visit Bernard at the Laurent Bernard Chocolatier at 80 Mohamed Sultan Rd, Clarke Quay.
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