(Published in Flava magazine 2016, issue 1)
If you have a sweet tooth, then The Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort’s newly opened La Bomboneria should be top of your must-visit list.
This charming little stall is filled with exquisite handmade chocolates and truffles, bound to satisfy the most demanding of chocoholic cravings.
These decadent bite-sized chocolates in an array of pretty colors are made by the resort’s in-house chocolatier, Denise Jerez. Originally from Argentina, Denise trained as a professional chef at the Instituto Aregentino de Gastronomia, before specializing in artisan pastry, and then chocolate.
“My first encounter with chocolate was when I started to sell Easter eggs back in Buenos Aires,” Denise says. “It was then that I realized that I wanted to learn more about the art of chocolate so I started to research new techniques and flavor profiles.
“I believe that being a chocolatier is a form of art. It is a craft where you are constantly learning new things, absorbing the culture that surrounds us and using this as inspiration.”
She adds: “I find inspiration for the bonbons that we sell at La Bomboneria from things I see daily or flavor combinations that I try as part of working in the kitchen.”
Mouthwatering flavors include coconut rum, passion fruit, dulce de leche and yerba mate, along with bonbons made from locally sourced seasonal ingredients, such as mangoes. As well as the bite-sized chocolates and truffles, the Bomboneria also sells eye-catching chocolate lollipops and decadent chocolate bars, all bound to tempt chocolate lovers island-wide.
Guests are able to buy a selection of chocolates by the piece, which are packaged in a keepsake tin featuring the Bomboneria’s creative branding – a cheeky monkey, designed to salute the first pioneers of chocolate.
“These amazing creatures were the first to discover the cacao pod and therefore the cocoa beans inside,” Denise explains. “Monkeys would break open the cacao pods to get to the delicious pulp that surrounded the beans. Little did they know that when they would eat the pulp and spit out the beans they were also spreading the beans, which led to cacao trees growing all over South and Central America. Looking back, we have these monkeys to thank for all our favorite chocolate creations.”