Chocolatiers eye the future, and the buffet

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Chocolatiers eye the future, and the buffet

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Kim Hye-yeon (right) and Park Young-bin prepare decorative chocolates for the buffet at JW Marriott Seoul. By Jeong Chi-ho

The beautiful people of Seoul will no doubt throng to Bar Rouge at the JW Marriott Seoul in Banpo-dong, southern Seoul, for a Valentine’s Day bash next Saturday, but partygoers undaunted by a high calorie intake might also enjoy the hotel’s intoxicating buffet, featuring handmade items created by chocolatiers Kim Hye-yeon and Park Young-bin.

The hotel imports luxury chocolate from Valrhona Chocolate and Cacao Barry, two major manufacturing companies in France.

The buffet will be weighed down with mendiants, a kind of dark chocolate with nuts and dried fruit popular in France; coconut chocolate; Jivara lemon, which is Jivara milk chocolate with a soft lemon paste inside; and Caraibe blackcurrant.

For added artistry, fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate, tarts and heart-shaped chocolate decorations will add further flavors.

Kim is hoping for a new culture in appreciating handmade chocolates and their taste.

“Just 10 years ago, Koreans didn’t know much about pastries,” Kim said yesterday, while crafting her chocolate tower called “L’Amour,” but today bread, cakes and other baked goods are a daily staple for many people here. Kim predicts that chocolate will soon enjoy a similar status.

“Koreans are craving for new flavors all the time,” the chocolatier said.

The party at Bar Rouge runs from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets cost 100,000 won ($72.50) per couple, including tax and service charges. The dress code is red and black. For information, call (02) 6282-6763.

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