For the first time in Lithuania, a pop-up chocolate lab by local Lithuanian producer Chocolate Naïve has been implemented at Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square in Vilnius. It is a unique project in which almost the entire procedure of chocolate making has been moved from the chocolate factory to the special lab established in the lobby of the hotel.
According to the team of Chocolate Naïve, only the mass roasting of cocoa is performed at the main chocolate factory and all further procedures of chocolate making are performed at the laboratory implemented at the hotel. The machinery has arrived from the main Chocolate Naïve factory to Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square, amongst which there is a melanger, where roasted cocoa beans are grinded, as well as a temperer, which is needed for the crystallisation process of the chocolate to stabilise the fat molecules. This makes the chocolate break easily, makes it melt uniformly and provides the shiny exterior, ensuring it doesn’t become white. The laboratory also accommodates a refrigerator, which freezes the chocolate shapes, and finally, the packaging of the chocolate is done. Every day, the Chocolate Naïve team makes new flavours of limited edition chocolate, which then materialises in chocolate bars, exquisite desserts used by the Kempinski kitchen, amenities for the hotel guests and products for chocolate tastings. Experimenting with flavours allows some very unusual chocolate flavours to appear, including honey and black rye dried bread, black chocolate with hibiscus, chocolate with baobab powder and others.
The chocolate lab idea developed as Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square and Chocolate Naïve's partnership has grown over the last couple of years. Currently, Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square is the only hotel in Lithuania where Chocolate Naïve chocolate is used in the kitchen, as well as in the mini-bars of hotel’s guestrooms. Desiring to become closer to the end customer, be more publicly open and experiment with new flavours, Chocolate Naïve was searching for the right premises for its chocolate lab.
“We thought collaborating with local chocolate producers and establish a chocolate lab in the lobby of Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square was a unique and interesting idea, creating additional value for our hotel guests as well as coming back to the historical origins of the Kempinski building. Before the city’s telegraph was established, the building also accommodated chocolate trade and industrial shop Pac, said General Manager of Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square Kees Heuveling. “As Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square has been a food and beverage driven hotel since its opening, it is essential for us to add to the unique guest experience whilst offering healthy, yet original options, as well as fostering local culture and traditions,”
Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square co-operates with local suppliers and Executive Chef Javier Lopez always uses Lithuanian game and cheeses from Dargužiai Village on his menus, and now he also takes advantage of the local chocolate production. In the kitchen, Chef Javier Lopez uses while creating dishes as well for spirit and chocolate pairings, Vilnius city guests are welcome to taste chocolate during chocolate tastings, and every day, different special amenities are served for the hotel guests.
The Chocolate Lab will be at Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square until 4 October 2015.