The day I Met my Maker

Last night I attended an event which was part of Selfridges #MeetTheMakers campaign, and whilst pastry chef Carlito was no god, (his beard was too short and well kept) I would like to think that if I have been good enough to meet my maker, then he/she/it would have the abilities to make confectionery to his standards.

Actually #MeetTheMakers summer campaign gives us, the customer, an opportunity to meet the makers of Selfridges fantastic food offering. This particular evening (the 3rd in a series of 4) was entitled ‘ A Sparkling & Sweet evening’ where a glass of Prosecco, English Rose and Selfridges Esprit Champagne were to be paired with desserts. Winner!

 

After a brief stint watching the great and the good in The Balcony - Selfridges’ plush cocktail lounge, we were invited into the middle of the space where Chef Carlito, the maitre d' and his staff had laid out a dazzling array of chocolate creations. We took our seats and began to dribble over what lay before us...Check this out y’all, look at those macaroons! Let it be known from upon high that these are one of my personal non-savoury favourites.

In addition to the aforementioned macaroons were carrot cakes, white chocolate eggs, served in intricate chocolate nests – champagne flavoured fondant served in dark chocolate cups, and a gigantic chocolate horn filled with yet more intricately made chocolates. We were not sure at first if the horn was chocolate or made of wicker – I cajoled a fellow diner to find out, and as you can see it was the former!

Usually I’m not up for gimmicky serving apparatus but I think you’ll agree these miniature picnic benches beat the now standard chopping board or bit of slate.

After we were astounded by one plate (or bench) Chef Carlito just kept giving; he was cooking up a storm bringing bench after bench of mind-bogglingly good creations from his kitchen. He was obviously in his element, providing his labours of love for us all to enjoy, and enjoy them we did.

When asked what the inspirations were behind his chocolate creations Carlito explained that desserts are, in his experience, mainly ordered by women, and he was always thinking with the woman in mind when designing them – I suppose a reverse of the usual belief that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! It seemed to work though. A lot of thought had gone into each and every creation both in terms of execution and rationale.

Carlito was born in Jamaica; I figured he had moved to Birmingham because his chocolate kept melting. He has trained all over the world including Jamaica and New York, but he seemed to love working in Selfridges and for Searcys the company who run The Balcony and also the Gherkin in London. Carlito told me he is sometimes seconded here as well.

 

Before you ask, no, these desserts are not available on the usual Balcony menu, but fear not, chef Carlito assured us that if they are requested he and his staff would be able to whip some up in a jiffy.

If you hurry you’ll be able to book for the last event which is entitled The Balcony Presents Vom Fass: where you can discover how the oils and liqueurs of Vom Fass can be used to impress. The events cost £10 – and believe me that is an extremely reasonable price for an evening of such high standards. 

To book call 0121 600 6869

Paul (25/7/14)

 

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