On board with Simon from the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie

Meet Simon, a chocolatier at the incredible Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. On arrival to the Chocolaterie, you can’t help but notice the chocolate being made right in front of you. We had the pleasure of interviewing Simon, to find out more about the creation process and talk all things chocolate.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

 I grew up in Normandy, a lovely region in North West of France and I came here 10 months ago. I am a production team leader at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery and it excites me a lot. It is really enriching to manage a team.

How did you come to work as a chocolatier?

When I was 7 years old, I saw a demonstration of a chocolatier and I loved that. It became a dream that I followed. I had several formations and diplomas in pastry and chocolate to be a real chocolatier.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is the creation, how we can mould, sculpt and manipulate the chocolate at low temperature, which is fantastic! It is more malleable than gold and we can eat it, it is just extraordinary! I also love listening to the Rolling Stones when I roll the truffles.

Where do you find inspiration for new flavours?

Everywhere, I find the inspiration in what I eat, smell, see, listen, everything is a source of inspiration. When the products have a very good quality and are well chosen, natural and full of flavours, it is even more interesting.

How many kilograms of chocolate are produced each day?

We use around 400 kilos per day, 3 tonnes per week and then 150 tonnes per year.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Time is a challenge. Everything we make is dependent on the time, if we wait too long or not long enough the chocolate can completely change and give the opposite of what we want. We must always be reactive, precise and efficient.

What do you like the most about working at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie?

I love the atmosphere, the Australian accent, and the large range of products.

What is your favourite thing about the Yarra Valley?

I enjoy the fog in the hills early in the morning. I imagine the groups of kangaroos are like raptors in Jurassic Park.  I love the green we can see in the forests and the winery fields.

Are there any exciting new products or events coming up at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie?

Yes, there are lots of new products every month/week that come up. There are also lots of events during the year like the hot chocolate festival or the ice cream festival and so on. These events enable us to be creative and offer a fresh touch in our routine.

Coming from France, how does chocolate in Australia compare?

Here the chocolate is more sugary and bigger. We can have double or triple taste and flavour here and in France we don’t have this kind of chocolate. We also use marshmallows here, in France it’s really rare to have that.

What is the most unusual flavour of chocolate you have ever made?

Maybe it was Oyster Ice-cream. I was working in a luxury Ice Creamery on a famous Island in France and we made some weird flavours.