Celebrity Chef Uses Vincentian Chocolate To Make Beef chilli

Electric Ireland

Irish Celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna says she has discovered an amazing chocolate which is being grown on the caribbean island of SVG.

Dark, good-quality chocolate slow-cooked with beef is brilliant. It might seem a bit odd but it’s a classic combination in French and Mexican cooking. The chocolate adds a fantastic silky texture and deep notes of cocoa. 

I discovered an amazing chocolate recently called Islands. It’s made by Wilf Marriott, who is just 24, using the cocoa from his family estates on St Vincent and the Grenadines. They grow the cocoa on their own land and transform it into chocolate there. 

This is unique because most chocolate companies either buy in ready-made chocolate to re-mould as their own brand or they buy cocoa at relatively low prices, often from Africa, and create chocolate from those beans.

These beans have all been mixed up so you lose the origin and also the varieties of beans, which makes it difficult to control the flavours. 

Islands Chocolate’s cacao is grown from seed in a nursery so its farmers know exactly what variety of bean they are planting.

The company supports more than 100 local farmers by giving them free plants and advice, as it is vital that the industry is sustainable.

It is the only chocolate company in the whole world that grows cocoa on its own land on one island and transforms it into chocolate on that same island. 

Paired this dish with a fabulous claret from Bordeaux — I recommend the De Luze, Pauillac 2013, from Sainsbury’s. 

Clodagh McKenna is a chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and broadcaster who develops wholesome recipes using seasonal produce for entertaining at home with family and friends.