Story by Adrian Brijbassi
Vacay.ca Managing Editor
TORONTO, ONTARIO — When you hear that the Trump Hotel in Toronto has a chocolate laboratory and that one man oversees the production of the dozens of delectable confections created within it each day, your mind may latch onto an image of a hefty chef stirring a vat shaped very much like his pot belly. Instead, what you find is David Chow, who has the physique of a distance runner and the discipline of one, too.
While slight in appearance, Chow is an immense talent with a unique background, having studied computer engineering at the University of Waterloo and then applying those skills to culinary arts. He worked as the pastry chef at the Drake Hotel before taking a job in the Bahamas to make treats for a resort co-owned by golf stars Tiger Woods and Ernie Els.
“It’s very technical, it’s very much a science,” Chow says of his craft, pointing out that a degree difference can ruin a piece from his lab. Well, ruin as far as chocolate can be ruined. “I love that kind of aspect and of chocolate work. Because I am an engineer by trade, my mind works in that very technical, mathematical, precise, orderly way.”
While many of the pieces are small truffles, Chow also creates lavish designs, such as a chocolate high-heeled shoe that he says is popular with Trump visitors. The peanut butter and jelly bar, another big seller, will coax you to reconsider any diet you’re trying hard to pursue.
For a chocolate lover, Chow’s creations are a must taste. They’re hand-dipped and made with Valrhona Grand Cru chocolate, produced in France. Chow and his staff elegantly arrange the pieces on trays that are delivered to the rooms for guests upon check-in. Several pieces adorn the wonderful chocolate cart that is in STOCK, the hotel’s flagship restaurant on its lively 31st floor. The chocolate cart, inspired by managing partner Inna Levitan’s trips to Italian restaurants, is a worthy indulgence. Some pieces cost about $2, an irresistible temptation for someone looking to pop in for dessert. The chocolates can also be purchased in gift boxes through the restaurant.
If you think that’s too much chocolate than your body can handle, Chow will also be an inspiration. “Everyone always asks, ‘If you taste chocolate so much, why are you so skinny?'” he says, acknowledging it requires diligence to avoid overnibbling. “It does take a lot of composure to not stuff my face every day. But obviously I have to taste everything to make sure it’s top notch.”
That’s a good line. After sampling the Chocolate Lab’s creations, you might want to see if it works on your trainer or dietician, too.
More About the Trump Hotel Toronto
Location: 325 Bay Street, Toronto, ON (see map below)
Contact/Reservations: Telephone 1-855-888-7867 (toll free) or 416-637-5550, or email Toronto.Info@trumphotels.com, or visit the hotel’s website to book.
Nightly Room Rates: Roughly $490, based on a recent search for rooms in late March. The hotel has numerous packages available on its website.
Chocolates: A box of Artisanal Chocolates ranges from $8 (for two pieces) to $48 (12 pieces). Visit the “Gift Collection” section of STOCK’s website to purchase.
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