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Shangri-La’s Mactan, The Chocolate Chamber showcase cacao history, chocolate creations

Chandelier and fine tableware.

Raquel Choa’s favorite childhood tales of Maria Cacao shape not only the artisan chocolates that she creates but the spaces where one gets to appreciate them.

At a gathering to launch the second phase of the partnership between Choa’s The Chocolate Chamber and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, she explained that she imagines Maria Cacao with dainty ceramic pieces for her banquets while the chandelier represents the fireflies that provide the dazzling glow to her palace.

Chocolate treats like these raspberry tarts are available in Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in partnership with The Chocolate Chamber.
Chocolate-infused treats like these raspberry tarts are available in Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in partnership with The Chocolate Chamber.

Through the collaboration with the resort, Choa gets to show guests the local way of tablea production as a precursor to TCC’s artisan cocoa drinks (locally known as sikwate) and chocolate products.

Talks on cacao and its history and experiential activities will be regular features at The Chocolate Chamber.

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa General Manager Rene Egle said he was looking for a local product that can be brought from farm to table in 2015.

When Choa provided a demonstration complete with mortar and pestle for pounding the roasted cacao beans and created chocolate drinks out of the tablea, he added that this was the start of the tie-up that has now grown to become a showcase for the cacao plant as well.

The resort has put up its own cacao nursery and even provides farm tours to guests.

TCC products are also being introduced to guests through the buffet, starting with the champorado and a special table for chocolate and chocolate-enhanced dishes.

Raquel Choa talks about the tale of Maria Cacao.
Raquel Choa talks about the tale of Maria Cacao.
GM Rene Egle with Executive Chef Roshan Fernando.

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By Marlen Limpag

Marlen is the editor of MyCebu.ph and co-founder of Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media.