ISOLA EXCLUSIVE Chocolate Bar’s Alison Nelson | Since opening at The Pearl-Qatar in 2009, Chocolate Bar has sky-rocketed to the top of Doha’s gourmet dessert scene, tantalizing visitors with its delectable desserts and scrumptious sweets, including its new collection of Chocolates.
For those with a sweet tooth, Chocolate Bar at The Pearl-Qatar is sure to satisfy even the most intense carvings for chocolates. With a mission statement that boldly declares: “Be Good to Yourself, Eat More Chocolate”, the founder of Chocolate Bar, Alison Nelson, leaves nothing to the imagination of customers craving for that special taste of chocolate that no one knows how to do better than Alison. isola speaks to Chocolate Bar founder Alison Nelson about her Chocolate Bar products and what it is that makes her excel in her passion for chocolates and pastry.
What is your pastry philosophy?
I generally try to keep my desserts fairly simple and straightforward and really highlight the ingredients I’m using as much as possible. I try to source out ingredients from producers I’m ethically in accordance with, and who are making a good product without negatively impacting the environment. And I try to emphasize those ingredients as much as possible without overworking them.
So tell me about the ingredients you use.
Pure Vanilla and Vanilla bean are very important ingredients that I use. There are different types of vanilla beans that are available throughout the world and each has a very authentic taste to them. Complementary are our chilies. I use lots of peppers, be it red pepper, black pepper or white pepper. Similarly, I use lots of salts which include pink Himalayan salt, sea salt and black salt. We have observed that different salts are becoming very popular with chocolates. The respect given to the raw ingredient here allows an intensity of flavor where sugar is added only as a condiment and salt gives balance.
What is your favorite ingredient of all?
I would say rice is definitely the most popular ingredient. You can make a meal or dessert out of rice. But for me chocolate is my favorite ingredient. But outside of these two, vanilla is also a very exciting ingredient.
What ingredients would you recommend everybody to have at home?
Pure Vanilla extract, Chocolate and some cream! That was not too hard, since these are the three ingredients to make a dessert with. It will be a simple dessert, but the ingredients are essential for each dessert no matter how complicated.
How would you like customers to remember you?
As one who creates something personal and special. It has to include high quality ingredients, shows attention to detail, and has a flavor and texture that’s simply unforgettable.
How do you stay creative with your different recipes?
I just always keep going with new ideas, and I keep up with food trends. If there’s a flavor that we see is trending, we really try to bring it out and experiment, to see what could be done with it.
What is most special about your chocolate?
The special points about my products are the smooth textures, the delicate flavors and the slightly rustic look, and above all the feeling that you are experiencing pure unadulterated luxury.
When you start a project do you have a vision or goal in mind, or do you figure it out as you go?
I generally have some level of a vision to begin with and then it’s a work in progress.
What does success mean for you?
Success is being in a position where you’re doing something worthwhile with your time that brings pleasure or beauty into somebody else’s life, does as little damage as possible to the environment, and [doesn’t] consume so much time that you don’t have any other life. It’s very important to me to have time for my friends and my family.
When do you feel most rewarded for your work?
I feel most rewarded when I see a client’s face and know I’ve exceeded their expectations.