sue lewis • chocolate extraordinaire
place // heritage state buildings
colour // red brick
sound // metal bowls clanging
word // movement
Sue's chocolatier must be one of the only in the world where I've seen an equal distribution of men and women vying for a piece of chocolate. It tastes better than any chocolate you've had before (and she's ready to prove it to you with tasting workshops) and she's constantly developing new flavours through collaborations with local breweries, distilleries and restaurants.
Sue may be serious about chocolate, but she's ready to have a laugh about everything else. With a dry sense of humour and and some colourful language, Sue has constantly got me in stitches. She's always got a good story or two up her sleeve, and Perth is so lucky to have her.
Sue's the first to tell you she's not a very good chocolatier. You'll laugh, because if she's not good then there's no hope for anyone else. Sue truly knows what it takes to deliver darn good chocolate, day after day. She sources only the best bean to bar chocolate, which she then tempers to create the beautiful shine and clean crack. She could tell you about the tempering process down to the molecules, honestly.
Tempering chocolate is a really beautiful process to watch - it's completely mesmerising as the chocolate is pushed back and forth on a marble bench. The chocolate has to stay at a temperature so precise, within two degrees, yet Sue's been doing this long enough to know just by look and feel whether her chocolate is at the right temperature at any point.
From there, Sue works fast. She pours chocolate into moulds and seconds later tips it back out again, leaving a beautifully set case for one of her delicious fillings. Sue is constantly developing new flavours - last month she features Cheeky Monkey's incredible Imperial Stout, this month there's strawberry, basil and Hippocampus Vodka. Um...amazing! She makes the best salted caramel, and on the day I filmed she paired it with sandalwood nuts for an added crunch (and health benefit!).
In just a few short hours with Sue, she made salted caramel bars, raspberry bark, Christmas surprise balls with cute penguins and santas, sandalwood nut and caramel balls...and I think I ate at least three of everything. And then during every hour of editing her films I ate more.
If you're Perth based or visiting, Sue has her kitchen and beautiful little store in the incredible State Buildings on St Georges Terrace. She's open every day, and she definitely never stops working.
It was such a pleasure to film Sue and her wonderful team.