This purveyor is a classic example of the student overtaking the teacher.
Previously featured Christmas Gift List purveyors .
I’ve never forgotten about Benoit Nicolay, the Manila-based Belgian chocolatier who made my custom-made chocolates of choice. When I began thinking of whom to invite for the Dessert Comes First Christmas Gift List, Benoit was on the top of my list.
So you can imagine my utter shock and dismay when he replies to my email saying that he’s relocated to Singapore! Turns out he’s sold his business to his work partner, Dustin Andaya, who runs Island Rose, the largest local retailer of roses. It was Dustin’s unique flower delivery service that Benoit had utilized to deliver his chocolates nationwide.
Now it’s Dustin’s wife, June, who has taken the bull by the horns, so to speak, and become the master chocolatier. A greenhorn when she and Dustin acquired Benoit’s business back in June of this year, June has trashed the learning curve and now creates chocolates all her own. I’m truly amazed at the confections this woman produces, and in such a short span of time too.
The couple calls their business Bruges (pronounced: broozh), in honor of Bruges, Belgium and they make use of chocolates from that country, famous for its meticulous production and chocolates unlike any other.
Bruges has five collections:
- The M Collection (P650): 12 Mint pralines encased in 64% dark chocolate (“I like dark chocolate because it’s got a stronger, more chocolate taste,” avers June.
- The C Collection (P700): The chocolate of choice for caramel lovers. A box of 12 has six truffles awash in vanilla and spices coated in 64% dark chocolate. The remaining six truffles are steeped in espresso and 43% milk chocolate for simultaneous smoke and silkiness. “Think of it as a caramel macchiato,” June chuckles.
- The Classic Collection (P750) is for traditionalists and those who want a little of everything. A dozen truffles and pralines are filled with fancifully named selections. Consider the Sarah, a commingling of chocolate and gianduja; or one of my Bruges favorites, the Louise, a pyramid-shaped truffle gushing with toasted caramel, dark chocolate, and topped with fleur de sel.
- The Jewel Collection (P850) is so named because they look like jewels. Each one is painstakingly hand-painted cradling a treasure of exquisite fillings such as cayenne, orange hazelnut, chai tea latte, and coconut.
- Lastly, the Black Luxe Collection (P950) is for the refined men and women who have it all … or appreciate a good stiff drink. A box of 12 has six separate variants, each made with 71% dark chocolate and bequeathed a masculine name such as: Armando (white chocolate ganache with Marc de Champagne), Sebastien (dark and milk chocolate ganache with Amaretto), or the Paulo (silky milk chocolate ganache with a splash of Amarula, a South African cream liqueur).
At the event, Dustin and June will be sampling a trio of pralines and orangettes. Of course all their collections will be on sale as well.
Dustin & June Andaya of Bruges Belgian Chocolate
Facebook Fan Page