You don’t have to travel far to taste the world’s best chocolate. Chez Christophe Patisserie et Chocolaterie, on Burnaby’s Hastings Street, a few minutes east of Boundary Road, features hand-crafted works of art that will melt in your mouth, using Carma, an award-winning brand of Swiss chocolate which was elected best milk chocolate in the world in 2006.
“I am the first in Canada to work with this chocolate,” says Christophe Bonzon, award-winning Swiss Pastry Chef and Chocolatier who now makes his home in Burnaby Heights. “There is nothing quite like it anywhere in the Lower Mainland.”
“It took me almost a year to arrange to import it directly from Switzerland. Now that we’ve received it, I’ve transferred over my entire chocolate collection to feature this new and unique Swiss chocolate, from my hand-crafted chocolate bars, to chocolate showpieces and sculptures that reflect seasonal changes,” he continues. “My Mango Chocolate has now won a Gold Medal at the Canadian selection in the Milk Chocolate category at the International Chocolate awards 2013.”
Christophe, whom trained in Switzerland and France, also worked as a pastry chef for high end patisseries and restaurants in Australia and Canada, including Cin Cin Ristorante on Robson Street. He and his wife, Jess, launched their high-end chocolate boutique in March of this year.
In addition to his chocolates, his French-inspired pastries change daily, and use local and in-season ingredients. During the month of October, Christophe will be using the Seline line of Carma chocolate to create individual showpieces featuring a Halloween theme. “We will be offering several prize giveaways on Facebook and Twitter of our artisan chocolate sculptures, and who can resist that?” says Christophe, with a grin that just might melt the chocolate in his showcase.
Chez Christophe is situated in the developing North Burnaby stretch of Hastings Street in the Heights. The 1000 sq ft space in the newly constructed Altezza building is dedicated to the creation of a full range of handcrafted chocolate, innovative cakes, viennoiserie and a wide variety of macarons.
“The shop realises an important dream of mine,” says Christophe. “Everything is made directly on the premises, with our work space visible from the store front and the continuous aroma of chocolate drifting directly into the shop.” The accessible space features clean modern lines with a small cafe. All items are hand-crafted daily using only premium and local ingredients, such as fresh seasonal fruits and the finest chocolates sourced from Carma from Switzerland and Cacao Barry from France.
They are open Tuesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed Sunday to Monday.
Address: 4712 Hastings Street, Burnaby.