Le chocolat is the ultimate indulgence food and we here at MyFrenchLife™ cannot go past a morsel of the decadent treat. Some of our best chocolate-filled memories were etched in Parisian avenues, and now we are desperate to rekindle the magic that is sweet, cacao goodness – this time closer to home.
So we asked ourselves where we could find authentic, French chocolate that could compare to those in our French fantasies right here in Melbourne.
Luckily for us, we found chocolatier extraordinaire and entrepreneur, Arno Backes, who travelled the world refining his craft before finally settling in Melbourne, where Australia was introduced to Gânache Chocolate.
Tell us the story of how Gânache began. What inspired you to create the company?
It was always a dream since my apprenticeship to have my own pâtisserie/chocolaterie and I wanted to call it something that I, as a master chocolatier, work with everyday.
What is the most challenging part of adapting your European knowledge of chocolate to the Melbourne lifestyle?
What Europeans understand is good quality and being prepared to pay for it. This is not always the same here in Australia.
What do you love most about Melbourne? And what do you miss most about home?
Melburnians ask for new things all the time and have a good understanding of quality. What I miss most about Europe is popping over to Paris or Milan for the afternoon or weekend.
What is a typical day like at Gânache?
As the head chef I start at 4am and work in the kitchen until around 2-3pm, and then [I’m] mainly in the office until 6pm.
What qualities does an excellent chocolatier need to succeed and excel?
Passion, drive and [to] see it as a way of life, not as a job.
What is your favourite product? Which is the most difficult to make?
Figaro, a chocolate I learnt to make in Munich: hazelnut praline with shaved almonds, diced pistachios and Amarena cherries. Timing in the assembly is crucial.
What are your most popular items?
Our chocolate bars topped with fruit and nuts.
Do you have any specialities, particular to your boutiques de chocolat? Is there something that people really seem to come back for? Why do you think this is so?
The massive range of ever-changing chocolate items and pâtisserie, macarons, drinks, etc.
What do you do with items left at the end of the day?
Give it to the staff and friends to have at home.
In Melbourne, do you have a favourite boulangerie, fromagerie, café, pâtisserie, boutique…?
My favourite restaurant is A la Bouffe on Toorak Rd, South Yarra. Fantastic food, service and passion for the best quality.
Is chocolate your guilty pleasure? Have you visited Arno’s chocolate lounges as yet? What was your opinion? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!
You can find Gânache at 250 Toorak Rd, South Yarra or 245 Collins St, Melbourne.
All images © Ganache.