Three of the city’s finest chocolatiers, Thomas Haas, Thierry Busset of Thierry, and Adam Chandler of Beta5 Chocolates invited me to their workshops for a taste of their holiday sweets.
Thomas Haas makes confections that truly are a work of art, each lovingly hand-spun to perfection by his dedicated team. Even his One! Chocolate Bars, made from wild-foraged cocoa from Grenada, have a limited release, each stamped with its own number. To this day, Haas, a fourth-generation pâtissier, still carefully selects and sources only the finest, high-quality raw ingredients for his decadent confections.
Adam Chandler’s star is clearly on the rise. Since opening in late 2011 at Main and Terminal, his Beta5 Chocolates has soaked up plenty of praise, and earned a silver medal at the 2012 Canadian National Competition of the International Chocolate Awards in London England for its Imperial Stout confection and a gold in 2013 for its Fisherman’s Friend truffle, along with two silver medals in the world final of the 2013 International Chocolate Awards. With his commitment to quality, flavour, and freshness, Chandler’s hand-crafted chocolates taste as good as they look.
Thierry Busset learned his craft at the hands of the masters, including notable chocolatier Bernard Sicard in Auvergne. He dedicates his efforts to the creation of classics: palmiers, Viennoiseries, and signature macarons. (He makes 1,500 a day!) His former colleague chef Gordon Ramsay called Busset “one of the finest pastry chefs in the world,” and for the holidays, Busset’s Alberni shop is full of festive cakes, chocolates, and confections.
Photos by Joshua McVeity.