Willie’s Cacao food media launch, Sydney

To celebrate the national launch of his chocolate products across Australia with Coles, real-life ‘Willy Wonka’, the UK’s Willie Harcourt-Cooze, took an intimate group of editors, bloggers and food industry VIPs on a tasting journey at Henrietta Supper Club in inner Sydney Darlinghurst on November 12.

The chocolatier told the tale from his discovery and eventual purchase of a cacao farm in a Venezuelan cloud forest, to his labour of love rebuilding antique machinery for his factory, and though to his adventures today as he travels the world to source the best cacao to use for his chocolate range, Willie’s Cacao.

He introduced each of his single-estate dark chocolate products and explained how climate, soil and the DNA of the cacao beans influence the unique tasting notes of each. Guests also sampled the Willie’s Inclusions range, including Luscious Orange, Ginger & Lime, and Salt Flakes, before finishing off with Lime & Chilli and Salted Caramel from his decadent Black Pearls range.

Guests also dined on cocktails and gourmet canapés made by Henrietta Supper Club, inspired by and featuring Willie’s Cacao – including the ‘Peruvian Breakfast’ with a soft-boiled quail egg, avocado, chilli sauce and a dusting of 100 per cent cacao, a unique take on the breakfast Mr Harcourt-Cooze ‘eats every day’.

Other favourites included the soft-shell chicken taco with mole – made with Willie’s 100 per cent cacao, pickled cabbage and baby herbs – and warm chocolate vodka: Peruvian dark chocolate melted in Ketel One vodka.

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