Award-Winning Chocolatier Celebrates Local Flavours
Good quality chocolate is the ultimate indulgence. In Canada, we are lucky to have some really talented small-batch chocolatiers pushing the envelope and infusing chocolate with plenty of creativity. The result is some outstanding and completely gorgeous works of art that anyone would be thrilled to receive as a gift.
Since chocolate and the holidays tend to go hand-in-hand, we are using every Wednesday of this month to highlight one incredibly talented Ontario chocolatier who is raising the bar when it comes to art and flavour in the chocolate world. Today, meet Angela Roest, a multiple award-winning chocolatier from Warkworth, Ontario.
Stay tuned next Wednesday for more chocolate stories.
Angela Roest: Centre & Main, Warkworth
Warkworth is a tiny artist community located in Northumberland County, about 90 minutes east of Toronto. Surrounded by scenic hills and plenty of working farms, the community of about 900 residents is united by their love of all things local and artisitc. This is the perfect location for chocolatier Angela Roest. At Centre & Main Chocolate Co., Angela takes chocolate to a whole new level of creativity — and she does it by looking to her neighbours for inspiration.
Here you’ll find bars like the Gin & Tonic (2019 gold medal winner of the International Chocolate Awards) inspired by flavours of gin from the Kinsip House of Fine Spirits in Prince Edward County or the Affogato (the 2018 gold medal winner) that uses freeze dried ice cream from Reid’s Dairy in Belleville and locally roasted beans from the Our Lucky Stars Café in Warkworth.
“My chocolate creations are a celebration of local food,” Angela says. “I’m guided by what is growing around me, what foragers are harvesting and what is in season at farmer’s markets. This focus on local ingredients is an endless source of inspiration and experimentation and it has sparked multiple collaborations with local farmers and food producers.”
There are plenty of collaborations to be had in the surrounding region. Just down the road, for example, is True Saffron, the only commercial grower of saffron in Canada. Angela works with True Saffron to create a delicate white chocolate bar that can only be made once per year during harvest time because it requires the use of fresh saffron blossoms.
Her store is less chocolate shop and more art gallery. Each display is thoughfully curated and the chocolates for sale are almost too beautiful to eat. While she enjoys creating daring and adventurous flavours, Angela also creates some sinfully delicious classics like Almond & Cranberry or Salted Maple Sponge Toffee. Her main driving force remains the concept of local.
“While this is an unusual approach for chocolatiers, it has inspired some incredibly diverse creations that have received multiple international awards.”