Qzina Specialty Foods builds the largest chocolate sculpture
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Qzina Specialty Foods, the premier importer and distributor of specialty chocolate, pastry and dessert ingredients in North America, has broken a Guinness World Record for building the largest chocolate sculpture. The sculpture models an ancient Mayan temple and weighs 18,239 lb, far surpassing the previous record set in Italy in 2010 by more than 7,500 lb.
Qzina chose the Mayan theme because of the crucial role the culture played in the origins of chocolate. The Mayans were one of the first civilizations to cultivate Cacao trees and discover the true potential of the cocoa bean. Realizing the delicious possibilities of this powerful discovery, the Mayans worshipped the Cacao tree and praised its beans as the food of the Gods.
Qzina’s Corporate Pastry Chef, Francois Mellet, was the lead architect on this massive project and MOF Stephane Treand (Meilleur Ouvrier de France or Best Craftsman in France) lent his artistic touch to the sculpture’s intricate design elements. Mellet, together with his team, spent more than 400 hours constructing this magnificent structure of solid chocolate that was created using an assortment of Qzina’s leading chocolate brands.
“Breaking a Guinness World Record for building the largest chocolate sculpture will be Qzina’s greatest masterpiece yet,” said Richard Foley, founder and CEO of Qzina. “We studied Mayan pyramids at great lengths to create an exact replica of the Temple of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza to honor the original chocolatiers. It was important for us to create something memorable in celebration of our 30th anniversary and the grand opening of the Qzina Institute of Chocolate & Pastry.”
Extensive planning and research set the groundwork to accurately capture the details and intricacies of an authentic Mayan temple down to the exact number of steps and panels representing numbers significant to the Mayan calendar. Built proportionally to the ancient temple’s true size, the solid chocolate pyramid is six ft tall and its base measures 10 ft by 10 ft – exactly one-thirtieth the size. The sculpture’s base alone weighs more than 3,000 lb.
“It’s amazing how far the company has come; from the basement of my family home to a key player in the specialty dessert industry,” said Foley. “From day one, I’ve been as interested in the story behind the chocolate we source as the quality of the chocolate itself. We’ve built a rich 30-year history in the world of chocolate and pastry and I wanted to commemorate this milestone in a big way while showing our appreciation for where it all began.”
The chocolate pyramid will be displayed at the Qzina Institute of Chocolate & Pastry, located in Irvine, California, and will be available to view beginning June 4, 2012 when the institute and product showroom is officially open to the public (Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). Qzina plans to destroy the chocolate sculpture on December 21, 2012 when the Mayan calendar comes to an end. The method for destruction is yet to be determined.