Sisters and Brothers in Chocolate I'd like to introduce you today to the lady behind Sucré Bleu, Persia Tatar. We'll be featuring one of her creations this coming Saturday in honor of various approaching neo-pagan and earth based religious holidays that some of you may be celebrating.
Thanks TammyJo, excited to be here!
Persia do you consider yourself an artist, a chocolatier, a chocolate maker, or something else?
I am an artist. The chocolate is just the medium, albeit a delicious one!
Do you have formal training (if so, where) or is this all raw talent that we see in your creations?
If not raw, at least rare! I have a business degree and studied fashion design; I’ve spent a lot of time in advertising and social media. My husband is an artist, so we work together on many of the sculptures.
How did you get into making works of art in chocolate?
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to make a chocolate Jesus. I grew up in a very religious area and was also obsessed with candy. One day after school I attempted to melt candy bars and form them into a sculpture and you can imagine how this turned out. Many many years later I still had this dream and have been finally able to realize it!
Your first creation for Sucré Bleu was the Chocolate Jesus and now you've turned to the Venus of Willendorf. Why did you decide to start with these two iconic images?
The Chocolate Jesus was always something I wanted or needed to make. The Venus of Willendorf seemed like a logical counterpoint because she’s a prehistoric symbol of girl-power!
Did you get any backlash against your Chocolate Jesus?
Very minor, and on Twitter only. Chocolate Jesus is about peace and love, and for the most part I think people get that. We’ve had many orders from religious people and even several churches. I don’t believe that humor and deliciousness are outside the realm of the spiritual.
We begin by making the sculpture by hand (currently we use sculpting clay). When we have the perfect shape and size, I make a silicon mould and create a casting in plaster. The castings are then sent to a mould making company, I use TOMRIC and they’ve been very helpful. I also work with an amazing chocolatier, Jean-Francois Bonnet of Tumbador and he makes sure that the mould works well with the chocolate. Once we have perfected the test mould, TOMRIC creates production polycarbonate moulds and Jean-Francois and his team perform their magic. I also use Tap Packaging Solutions for my custom boxes – I actually connected with them through the Chocolatiers & Confectioners Linkedin group and have really enjoyed working with them on packaging for both chocolate sculptures.
To some extent the shape of each piece dictates what will work in terms of inclusions or fillings. The intensity of dark chocolate sparked by fleur de sel seemed fitting for Chocolate Jesus. With the Venus, her primitive power called for more substantive inclusions. Working with Jean-Francois on multiple flavor combinations, we went with pretzels and peanut butter chips for the salt and also the textures.
Are your creations only available online or do you have a brick and mortar storefront?
We sell online and will also be available at Smorgasburg this fall in Brooklyn.
Have you begun to think about your next creation? If it happens to be for Halloween we have our Annual Halloween Treat Challenge here on The Chocolate Cult.
We love Halloween and challenges – so we will have to brainstorm for victory!
Is there anything else you'd like our world-wide readers to know about Sucré Bleu?
We’re all about having fun. We strive to share our joie de vivre through absurdly delicious conversation pieces!
Thank you, Persia, for your time today.
Thank you! Thrilled to be a part of The Chocolate Cult!
Sisters and Brothers, please leave a few comments for Persia and perhaps she'll answer back. Let us know what you think about the idea of chocolate as art.