Enhancing 70% flavor, an interview with Chef Santiago Cueva
Our chocolate Ecuador + Peru 70% is incorporated into the mix while the music starts beating. The drums and flutes, the toasted and fruity notes are mixed to remind us of our essence: a composition of flavors that incorporates fluidity, versatility and balance in our recipes. We talked with Santiago Cueva, Executive Chef of Republica del Cacao who shared his inspiration in the creation of these three sublime recipes: Bombon Azahares, Panchita and Obsidiana.
The names of these dishes, what do they represent for you? Panchita are Latin American inspirations, trips and friendships that have been part of what I am now. The essence of a fruit such as “maracuyá” or passion fruit, takes its name in Venezuela as "Panchita", reminding us of the femininity of each object that surrounds us.
Azahares are aromas and traditions that come together leaving room for an interpretation of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian cocoas, which are united by enhancing their acid, fruity and empyreumatic notes. Always starting from the playful part of a flower.
Obsidian are the fruit of volcanoes, fruits of the earth, fruit of our hands. Obsidian has been a rock used for millions of years. Our cacao and our fruits join the technique to form something as harmonious as an ancestral tool.
What inspires you to create your recipes? I am passionate about the markets of the world, the local food, the different taste of people and different cultures. But also, I am Ecuadorian, and in our food there are many notes of acidity (lemon), aromatic herbs (mainly cilantro), spices, peppers, ferments ... etc etc; so in my pastry I want you to have these peaks of gustatory explosion. Always considering that less is more.
70% represents two countries: Ecuador + Peru what would highlight from the profiles of each one? Peru: acidity, fruits, ferments. Ecuador: cocoa, empyreumatic, continues in mouth.
The essence of orange blossoms in the bonbons, passion fruit, berries… I sense many acidic flavors, this is in relation to the product 70%? I can define it as something cultural, we are in the country of fruits and my goal is to enhance the acid and fruit notes of 70% chocolate with the fruits that surround me. I always consider the taste of the chocolate I am working with first and then strengthen it with nuances that already exist within its aromatic profile.
Have you used any particular technique for the creation of each dessert? I believe that the technique is a tool that is used based on the flavor of each ingredient. First I think about the taste I want to propose and then the technique that will allow each flavor of the gustatory combination to be enhanced.
What should an excellent dessert have? It is very important that it has the identity of the person who creates it. Always considering that we are proposing something that has been culturally used as a reference to the festive and ludic, the sweet. A dessert should be sweet.
What other recommendations would you give to people who use our 70% Enjoy its versatility.
Thank you Santiago keep surprising us with new creations!
Enjoy the recipes in these amazing videos
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM