Chocolate is definitely an Aphrodisiac

Chocolate is definitely an Aphrodisiac

For Artisan Chocolatier, Ferdinand Vandaele, there is no question. Chocolate is definitely an aphrodisiac. He is joined in this opinion by his native countrymen of Belgium where to be an Artisan Chocolatier is a very fine calling indeed.

“From an early age, many students opt to choose to enter the chocolate industry in Belgium,” says Ferdinand. “As early as age 13, students can select courseware that begins their education in the food industry and then again at age 15 and age 18, they can again choose studies that will train them in the art of making chocolates.”

Ferdinand himself, now the co founder of Chez Emily in Dublin, decided at an early age that he wanted to not only work in the chocolate industry but to become an Artisan Chocolatier. An Artisan Chocolatier distinguishes himself from the mass produced chocolate business through the very highest standards employed, the hand made nature of the chocolates and the freshness of all ingredients used.

“Going through school, I kept on choosing the different food courses, specialising in chocolates as I matured,” remembers Ferdinand. “In my holidays and after school I also worked for the local Artisan Chocolatier in my village, all the time learning my craft and understanding the business.

Move – Belgium to Ireland

“However, I knew I could not set up my own chocolate business in Belgium where there are thousands of similar businesses,” he said. “It was only when we moved to Ireland, that I saw there were only a few other Chocolatiers and so decided both the time and the place was right.”

In 1996, Ferdinand set up Chez Emily with his wife, Irish-born, fellow-Belgium Helena Hemeryck. “Initially, we designed five different kinds of truffles and slowly our reputation grew. Each year, we developed new kinds of truffles and now we make more than 30 different kinds of chocolates, of which 15 are totally hand made. The others are either hand crafted or finished. When it comes to filling them, every single chocolate is hand filled – and tested!”

Set up Business – Workshop

In 1999, Ferdinand established a specialised fitted out workshop and now employs five people year round, with extra taken on at Christmas.

One of the biggest growth areas for Ferdinand is the wedding market. “Brides and Grooms like to provide wedding favours for their guests, especially at the end of the meal. Our favourite chocolates are shaped in the form of hearts and can be filled with whatever the couple prefer,” says Ferdinand. “Caramel filling is a big favourite at the moment.”

Whatever the preference, the presence of chocolate at a wedding is very appropriate and always welcomed by the guests. Not everyone can catch the bouquet, but all can enjoy a chocolate. And you know what they say about weddings – they breed yet more weddings!

More Information

For more information on Chez Emily at the Temple Bar Food Market on Saturdays from 10am until 5pm where shoppers can chose from a selection of Ferdinand’s fine handmade chocolates free from additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients, available singularly or in gift presentations. Ferdinand also has a wide range of chocolate goods, including seasonal gifts and confectionary – nougat, Turkish Delight, Orange Peel, and marzipan.