Dominique and Cindy Duby, the husband-wife team behind Wild Sweets by Dominique and Cindy Duby, understand the meticulous attention to detail required when creating artisan chocolate. Both acclaimed pastry chefs and chocolate researchers, the Dubys put great emphasis on the chemistry of their craft. Dominique and Cindy often work with the University of British Columbia to conduct research, teaming up with undergraduate students on specific projects. Last year’s venture incorporated polysaccharides from different plant sources, like mushrooms, into a nutritious yet delectable chocolate result.
With such an approach, the Dubys achieve a deeper understanding of their craft and develop innovative ideas for future concepts. “You have to have very good ingredients to start with,” Dominique explains. “But then the process to convert the very good product into something that is equally as good but in a different form—that’s where the science and the know-how comes in so that we can create things that make an impression.” With certified organic ingredients and the majority of their produce fairly traded, the Dubys have certainly done their homework. “You can’t eat chocolate with guilt,” Dominique continues. “You have to enjoy it.”
The Valentine’s Day CocoArt Hearts collection is no exception. Available in their online boutique and at select retailers, the limited-edition collection is made with beans from La Red, a cooperative of small-scale cacao producers in the northern Dominican Republic. The cocoa bean varietal Hispaniola was used specifically for its distinct chocolate flavour, notes of tamarind and citrus, and deeper tones of caramel and toffee. Individual hearts are filled with ingredients like raspberry ganache, almond nougatine, raspberry jelly, and then hand-painted. The final product is wrapped in a design by graphic artist Linda Mitsui. “You can’t be sitting on the fence when it comes to precision, beauty, and art,” Dominique says, maintaining how artistry is a principal component of small-batch production and something his team takes very seriously.
An idea of a storefront is in the works for Wild Sweets, one that would allow customers to come in and observe this artistry and bean-to-bar process while sampling products, akin to a wine tasting. Although nothing is set in stone just yet, chocolate lovers can still find their sweet hearts online in the meantime.