My 2016 in chocolate: Russell Pullan & Albert Chau, Fifth Dimension

With an ever-expanding range of brain-bending flavours that actually deliver in the eating, Fifth Dimension Chocolates has gone from strength to strength this year; winning awards, refreshing packaging, and launching new lines. As the company’s main men Russell Pullan and Albert Chau look back on an eventful 2016, I’m already crossing my fingers that next year brings yet more success to two of the chocolate industry’s nicest chaps.

Your highlights of the year?

Winning a total of 12 awards at various competitions this year, including an International Chocolate Awards Gold for our New York apple and Calvados caramel chocolate – one of the most difficult chocolates we have developed. We encountered so many difficulties in getting the flavour balance and texture exactly how we wanted that we considered giving up on its development last year!

Favourite chocolate product you ate in 2016?

Chocolates from Peter Svenningsen, The Nordic Chocolatier. Particularly the award-winning Lovely Lazy 85%, in which birch sap works wonderfully with Mikkel Friis-Holm’s chocolate. We treasured every bite of it – imagine our disappointment when we finished the last piece. The Grated 100% has a beautiful light texture, and we love the blueberry one for its amazing flavour.

The makers you think have done exceptionally well this year?

Solkiki – we first came across Bob and Iris’s chocolate in March at the Oxted Chocolate Fair, and immediately fell in love. The flavours from the beans come through beautifully, and the flavoured bars are also delicious. We’re very happy to see them win a string of awards in such a short period of time.

Fifth Dimension chocolates Journey box circle large

Favourite chocolate creations you made in 2016?

There is divided opinion at Fifth Dimension on our favourite filled chocolate! Russell’s is Sydney (mint and miso) – an East-meets-West fusion cuisine-inspired flavour; Albert’s is the curry-and-raisin flavoured Cape Town, which is based on the South African dish of Bobotie.

2017 goals and plans?

To continue to create new, exciting flavours in chocolates that will bring surprise and happiness to everyone; and to spread the word about – and love for – fine-flavour cacao. And, of course, we’d like to see our business continuing to grow.

Who would you crown your chocolate hero of the year?

David Greenwood-Haigh. Apart from educating people about chocolate, his passion for Haiti means he’s done a lot of great work in improving the quality of the chocolate from one of the world’s poorest countries – and raising awareness of it. Following Hurricane Matthew, he also did a lot of fundraising to help to rebuild the severely-damaged country.

  • To read chocolate expert Hazel Lee’s 2016 highlights, click here
  • Spencer Hyman from Cocoa Runner’s 2016 highlights, click here
  • To read Isobel Carse from Dormouse Chocolates’ 2016 highlights, click here
  • To read about my favourite bean-to-bar chocolate of 2016, click here
  • To read about my chosen chocolate Christmas gifts for 2016, click here
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