A Passion for Chocolate

Apr 24, 2017
Renowned chocolatier Bernard Callebaut to host intimate event this Mother’s Day, May 14.

Chocolate runs deep in Bernard Callebaut’s blood. Four generations deep. The Master Chocolatier has turned this passion into a lifelong journey that’s led him around the world. It will bring him to top of the Banff Gondola on Mother’s Day for a special tasting that’s open to a small group of the public. 
“Chocolate is a passion,” he says. “It’s a discovery. I love to share it with people.”
His mother, who always dipped a piece of dark chocolate into her hot coffee, will be front of his mind when he comes to Sky Bistro to lead a Mother’s Day Chocolate Tasting event on Sunday, May 14. 
“My mother came to Banff many times,” he says. She passed away in January of this year after what Bernard calls an ‘extraordinary life’. Together, they took the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain.  “I think of my mother often, so this will be very nice for me.”
Born into a chocolate-making family in Belgium, Bernard has become one of world’s most respected chocolatiers. He’s certainly an icon in Calgary.

Bernard Callebaut

Photo: Bernard Callebaut, Master Chocolat

“I was born 20 meters from a chocolate factory,” he says. And the journey continues as he moves into his new chapter at Master Chocolat. He says he has rediscovered his passion and is inspired by new techniques, new sources and experimenting.  “I’ve created a product now that’s better than anything I’ve done before.”
  Tip: Bernard's mother made the most amazing hot chocolate. He says it was a simple recipe: heat up milk, add a chopped-up chocolate bar, mix. Voila! “We ate a lot of chocolate as kids,” he says.
Bernard is also a Banff-lover. Like so many Calgarians, he was first lured to live in Alberta by the promise of having the Rockies so close. He comes every weekend in the winter to the Rockies to take his children skiing.  He thinks Sky Bistro is “one of the nicest places to eat in the world!”

Sky Bistro at the Banff Gondola summit
Bernard says the Mother’s Day tasting will be an intimate event that will combine learning with indulging. Participants will taste the essential ingredients in all fine chocolate, and learn to pair chocolate with liqueurs and wine. They’ll follow the Master Chocolatier on a journey from semi-sweet to bitter. While there are a number of outstanding drinks to pair with chocolate, Bernard is a fan of port. “Port goes with all types of chocolate,” he says. At the tasting, the group will sample some port and also explore other pairing options guided by Sky Bistro’s sommelier. 
  Tip: Bernard insists it’s essential to eat chocolate at room temperature. “People eat chocolate too cold! The complexity gets lost.” Take it out of the fridge, give it an hour to sit. Then, take a bite and let it melt in your mouth.

It’s this passion and sense of heritage that propels Bernard Callebaut out into the world to share his love of chocolate. “I get out of bed each day happy to go to work,” he says.

At the exclusive tasting, Bernard Callebaut will present six pieces of chocolate, each paired by wine or liqueur by Sky Bistro’s Sommelier. Participants will get a Master Chocolat Mother’s Day gift box containing 16 chocolates and a souvenir photo with Bernard to take home. Seats are limited. Tickets are $125/person and include Banff Gondola admission. 

Advance reservations are required. Reserve by phone at 403-763-8792
The event starts at Sky Bistro at 3:30pm, gondola upload is at 3:10pm, so plan to be at the Gondola no later than 2:50pm to pick up your tickets. 

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