My edible art installation titled ‘Code Chocolate’ grew out of my interaction with an Indian Chocolatier at IIMB who has set up a chocolate factory called Sihi Chocolaterie and holds a Masters in chocolate arts from the César Ritz School, Switzerland – Akshaya Ravindra Babu.
The objects in ‘Code Chocolate’ draw connections between the memories associated with Cadbury’s Dairy Milk for those of us who grew up in the pre-liberalisation India and the positive associations elicited by the smell, taste and appearance of Dairy Milk.
Cadbury’s is synonymous with chocolate in India and has been around for more than 70 years with a 43.5% market share.
Chocolate is very versatile. It can be sour or sweet. It can be filled with nuts, fruits, salt, chili, or even bacon. It can be infused with teas, herbs, and zest. It can also be imbued with a rich range of difficult themes, including the history of colonialism and enduring systems of capitalist exploitation. But chocolate for me and a majority of Indians is Cadbury Dairy Milk and this is the subject I’ve addressed in my chocolaty installation at VR Bengaluru.
On the occasion of World Chocolate Day, I hosted Chocofest 2018 in association with VR Bengaluru that included a Choco Masterclass by my good friend and fellow graduate of IIMB’s Women Startup Program 2018 : Akshaya Ravindra Babu.
A little bit about Akshaya : Akshaya is a master chocolate maker with global exposure from countries like Madagascar, Dubai, Singapore, even the world chocolate capital Switzerland. Where she also completed her masters in chocolate arts. After working for Michelin restaurants to heading some of the finest chocolate kitchens across the world, she brings home her expertise to enhance the livelihood of cocoa bean farmers. Sihi Chocolaterie is her brain child and the first Indian couverture Manufacture sourcing cocoa beans directly from the farmers in the Karnataka , Kerala and Andhra regions. Apart from breathing chocolate, she literally lives off a chocolate Icecream diet.
If you missed the Chocofest, make sure to watch the highlight reel. If all this chocolate talk is making you crave some chocolate, you can get in touch with Akshaya to try some from her Sihi Chocolaterie range. I absolutely love Sihi’s 55% dark chocolate version. Her email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!