Jane Stanton is chasing a serious dream. The dream of world chocolate domination – to be “gourmet chocolate of NZ”. Her attitude to life,marketing and her Chocolate is “dream big”.
Her vision is not just about making candy but “using candy to create a message of empowerment” She admits she is not just a maker of sweets but a “Wily Wonka” who wants to show that magical things can happen if you throw your entire passion into what you do. So far Jane’s not doing too bad in her goals of flying high; having being chosen to do a range of chocolates for Air New Zealand having already done chocolate for over 40 wineries including Gibbston Valley and Alan Scott Wineries. The most spectacular chocolate creation to-date? “The Chocolate wedding cake on the chocolate wedding cake table”
Jane is seriously patriotic “This is not just about making chocolate and getting rich. It is about employing kiwis and telling a uniquely kiwi story. To date those stories have included, Te Papa, Burt Munroe and more recently the “kiwiana” art work of NZ artist Dick Frizzle. NZ tales which have at their heart innovation and passion.These are a “reminder of what NZ can accomplish if it believes in itself and dares think outside the box”. Jan wants to defy the tall poppies syndrome and show case tales of Kiwis who punched seriously above their weight. “We want to market success”.
Jane’s desire is to use Chocolate to promote kiwi passion began in part with her love of classic kiwi cook books. These include the famed Edmundson Cookbook and Alison Holtz. Her “water for chocolate” genes also come,she thinks, from her grandfather “the former mayor of Hokitika who was also a chocolatier”. In 2007 she began her experiment into chocolate making while as a teacher. Using it as a means “to bribe her students”. That was “once upon a time” in 2000 Te Anau Fjordland. It was here the Gibbston Valley Wine Pinot Chocolate was launched. Then she made a Speight’s Beer Series (and has even created an Emerson’s Beer chocolate). It seems for Jane life “really is a boxof chocolates”
From their she went off to Australia took a professional chocolate making course and then set out on a mission to be serious about the flavour, texture and packaging, of chocolates. “Were creating all the time improving all the time” she says referring to her ever growing team of “oompa loompas”.
“My goal is to take us back to NZ flavours”. This means a time where the flavours tended to be more rich with less use of process sugar than used in American confectionery which Jane accuses of “hijacking the rural kiwi palet”.
The end result is chocolates with names like Mutton Bird (caramel salt), Blufff Oyster (Chocolate cream), Pavlova & Paua (Sambuca liqueur and coconut milk). These are adult’s chocolates to be included in the menu of meals. Their flavours include the richness of Fjordland Venison, the gameness of wild eel kumera, the succulence of Crayfish and the earthiness of fresh coastal seafood. The kind of cuisine kiwi’s take for granted unaware of just how exotic they are in terms of not just their sophisticated flavours but the uniquely kiwi story that comes with such kiwi fare.
Yet it’s not all adult time. Make sure you try their seriously good hot chocolate. They invoke a sensation of rainy days and after school treats. Taste and texture shape shift from first the foam, then the energising hot liquid, transforming lastly into a smooth rich powder at the bottom. The only issue at this point is it hard to scoop the goodness left at the bottom. As if you’re anything like the author you have already eaten your chocolate spoon its rich dark chocolate melting into your fingers mmmmmm yum and fun
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