When we think about chocolate, the origin of the cacao beans are often overlooked. Having dived deep into cacao bean growing regions of the World, we stumbled across a small island called Malekula, some 200km North West of Port Vila in Vanuatu. With rich, volcanic soils and dense tropical rainforests, this is the ideal location for the cohabitation of jungle and cocoa trees. The wildness of this island enhances the flavours that only someone equally spirited could do this chocolate justice.
That wild spirit has come in the form of a Frenchman, Olivier Fernandez, who understands that the key to great chocolate is in working closely with the 1,000 cacao farmers to produce flavours that embrace the region and then utilises other native products of Vanuatu to elevate each bar beyond just a simple treat. This is the ultimate tree to bar operation that is rarely witnessed in a world of commodities and consumerism. Great things take time. Gaston perfects it.