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09 February 2024

InterSICOP 2024 Main Sector Personalities: Raúl Bernal, Best Spanish Chocolate

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The chef, owner of By Lapaca, will give a step-by-step guide to the chocolate considered the best in Spain, as well as tips and tricks at the next edition of the fair, which will take place from 17 to 20 February at Ifema Madrid.

Raúl Bernal's talent with chocolate is indisputable. Trained at the Escuela de Pastelería del Gremio de Barcelona (EPGB), he combined his studies with technical work in various bakeries in Barcelona. In 2011 he won the Lluis Santapau trophy and subsequently worked for five years as a teacher at the Chocolate Academy, training professionals from all over the world. During this period, he also wrote the book Four in One, together with three other renowned chefs (Miquel Guarro, Ramon Morató and Josep Maria Ribé). A volume, with chocolate as the central theme, which offers techniques, recipes and technical information to boost creativity.

Currently, in addition to being an ambassador for the Chocovic brand, he runs By Lapaca in Huesca, an innovative, multidisciplinary space that revolves around chocolate and in which Bernal expresses his vision of the craft. In 2023 he won two awards that further confirm a brilliant career that seems to have no limits: DPAS Award for Best Artisan Bonbon in Spain and Best Master Artisan Chocolate Maker in Spain (MMACE).

At InterSICOP 2024, Bernal will give the technical seminar "Championship bonbons" on Saturday 17 February at 12 noon. In this talk, he will explain how he went about the process of winning the award for Best Artisan Bonbon of Spain. A bonbon made with a base of yuzu, lemon and hazelnut in different textures, and which incorporates elements such as biscuit, gel, ganache and praline inside. And that's not all. The chef will also detail the complete step-by-step of this recipe, giving guidelines, tips and advice to attendees to achieve the best possible result.

Interview with Raúl Bernal, speaker at InterSICOP 2024

1.- In 2023 you won the 1st Dulcypas Competition for the Best Spanish Bonbon. How do you rate the experience?

I think that when you enter a competition with the intention of winning you always learn things, as the day-to-day running of a business is too absorbing and it is not easy to find time for creativity.

2.- What has this victory meant for your professional career?

Personally, it has come at a time when I was somewhat demotivated by trying to do things well and not finding any reward. Winning doesn't mean you're better than the day before, but people take you into account more. It has allowed me to dedicate more time to chocolate, which is something I am passionate about.

3.- The winning bonbon is a combination of lemon, yuzu and hazelnut. Do you think the key to success lies in the ingredients, technique and originality?

The key is to try to cover all the points to be taken into account in a chocolate:

- The combination of colour and gloss

- A fine casing

- Finding various textures

- That all the flavours participate and you find them (balance).

- If you can eat 10 in a row and you want more, it's good. If the opposite is the case, you have to work harder.

- A fine chocolate sole

- A shiny chocolate closure, in our case with a silk-screen print of the lemon cut so that all sides of the chocolate are involved.

4.- At InterSICOP 2024 you will show the step-by-step of this award-winning bonbon. Will you reserve any information or explain the whole process of making it?

I always explain 100% of the recipes, I don't think it's ethical to keep secrets when you are a trainer. We will give all the guidelines that we consider important for the participants to be able to make a good chocolate.

5.- What would you say to a professional confectioner to encourage them to attend your talk?

If you would like to have a good time and find out the story of how we managed to make the best artisan bonbon in Spain 2023, we invite you not to miss it.