Cuisine

Chocolate Heaven

Words: Protima Tiwary Images: Simone Liane Noronha 

The entremets will take you to the quaint cafes in the cobblestoned
lanes of Europe, and the hot chocolate feels like a warm hug on a
rainy day

It’s time for chocoholics to do a happy dance, as Le Flamington introduces Pune to the world of single origin chocolates.

Pune might have witnessed an explosion of coffee shops and cafés in the last few years, but it is the introduction of a chocolate café of world standards that had the city hooked on to its magnificence. Le Flamington entered the Pune market at a time when the market was still getting used to the concept of gourmet coffees. What started off as a humble establishment in Kalyani Nagar has slowly blossomed into a beautiful gourmet brand selling the best single origin chocolate drinks that the city has ever seen. The Manjari chocolate is a popular taste with the Indian palette and the Manjari Hot Chocolate remains to be one of the top selling items. The darker varieties of chocolate have found a few loyalists too as they are seen enjoying their steaming hot mugs of Abinao Hot Chocolate. Beverages like the Peanut Butter Drinking Chocolate and Orange Mocha spruce up the rich menu, while their entremets sell out on a daily basis. What makes Le Flamington so special? Is it the fact that they are the first in Maharashtra to incorporate single origin chocolates in their menu? Or the fact that they are the first establishment serving entremets as a stand-alone in Pune? Or is it simply the fact that their hot chocolate drinks and breads are so darn delicious? Well, it is a bit of everything that slowly built this magical brand.

Le Flamington is all about introducing the world to chocolates!
Chef Taha Khan, Founder of Le Flamington, was always intrigued by the aromas and flavours of a bakery. Growing up around establishments like Kayani Bakery left him enchanted. Being a chocolate lover, his love for baked goods and chocolate led him to pursue an education in hospitality, and it was in the last year of culinary school that he decided he wanted to work with chocolates and baking. His first baking job was at Ista, Hyatt Pune, where he trained and learnt all about garnishes, baked cookies and petit fours. When he introduced Le Flamington to Pune, Chef Khan was prepared to meet the challenges that would follow. “The hardest part about being a baker is training and retaining employees. The work hours are erratic too. There have been times when we have had to supply artisan breads at 7am and we only started production at 12am the previous night! Plus introducing a new taste is risky. You cannot expect the tastes to evolve overnight,” says Chef Khan who has found great support in Khuzaan Dalal who helps him run the show. “I also believe that challenges are opportunities. If the palate is not well suited, there’s room for awareness.”

Welcome to chocolate heaven
Chef Taha Khan built the brand with the aim of introducing the world of chocolates to Pune. He believes there is a lot of awareness that needs to be created in terms of chocolate. “I wish to familiarize Pune with chocolates. By chocolate I mean couverture and single origin chocolates. I want people to understand how chocolate works. For example, single origin chocolate comes from cocoa beans sourced from a particular region in the world that imparts flavour of the terroir. It is fascinating to see how different regions have different flavors! Also, I wish to create awareness about entremets and petit gateaux,” says Chef Taha Khan. Le Flamington sources ingredients all the way from Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, and USA. These are not easily available, and their exclusivity is what makes the products so special. The Modern Black Forest, Bonbons and Lemon Blueberry Basil Entremet make it to the top 3 products that sell like hot cakes.

Travel the world through tastes
Le Flamington has constantly strived to maintain the consistency of their brand, and has given Pune a one-of-a-kind experience and opened up the world through chocolates and entremets. Chocolates have introduced us to regions of Africa while the entremets will take you to those quaint cafes in the cobblestoned lanes of Europe, and the hot chocolate feels like a warm hug on a rainy day. You’re on a journey with every bite that you take; we assure you of that.

A gift of love
One of the products flying off the shelves is the chocolate gift box. You can customize to make your own box with 4, 8, 12 or 16 chocolates. We love the idea of gifting chocolates, and recommend this as a great gift for those times of celebrations. With its excellence, originality and refinement, Le Flamington has managed to set high standards and get Pune to take its chocolates pretty seriously. We’re not complaining!

    

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