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Limited Edition Peter Gordon X WCF Chocolate Bar Celebrates The Pacific

Chef Peter Gordon has collaborated with Wellington Chocolate Factory to create a limited-edition bar inspired by his favourite Pacific flavours. The bar will be launched at Chocstock, New Zealand’s only festival dedicated solely to chocolate, later this month.

Chocstock Pacific Coconut & Ginger Chocolate-Bar (Credit: Ashley Alexander)

Gordon is this year’s official Chocstock Festival Ambassador, which will celebrate the Pacific’s influence on the local craft chocolate industry. Fijian coconut, ginger, and Tongan vanilla take centre stage in the brand-new Pacific Coconut & Ginger Chocolate Bar, made using Vanuatu cocoa and sprinkled with cacao nibs, which are smoked in Samoan cocoa husks, and sea salt.

“On your first bite, it immediately connects you with the islands. I like to think it transports you to being on the beach, with the smokiness of a nearby umu and the scent of vanilla in the air,” Peter says

Wellington-based fine artist Michel Tuffery (MNZM), who is of Samoan, Rarotongan, and Ma’ohi Tahitian heritage, crafted a Uso Woodblock that has been printed for the wrapper, telling the story of how the bar's ingredients were gathered.

“It shows how vanilla is picked, dried and extracted, and how we collect and prepare coconut. Its deities will resonate with all Pacific Islanders; it’s a tapestry of stories honouring these ingredients and the handmade kaupapa of Wellington Chocolate Factory,” he says.

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A vaka and compass sit at the heart of the print, a nod to the 4000 km, 13-week journey WCF co-founders Gabe Davidson and Rochelle Harrison took in 2015 to the Pacific. The pair and a 12-strong crew sailed 10,000 nautical miles in a double-hulled canoe (the Uto Ni Yalo, from Fiji) using largely traditional navigation techniques to collect one tonne of cocoa beans - which made WCF’s first single origin bar from Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.

“This voyage was driven by two things - promoting the exceptional cocoa grown in the Pacific and helping local cocoa farmers upgrade the drying facilities for their cocoa beans - which was made possible at the time due to the generous support of more than 500 people via Kickstarter,” says Gabe.

“The Pacific, its people and flavours have been part of our story for ten years. In 2022, we launched our Grower Partner programme, sourcing beans directly from Vanuatu farmers - doing this ensures they’re paid well for their work, creating a sustainable local industry.

“Creating this bar of this calibre with Peter Gordon to showcase these uniquely Pacific flavours, using Vanuatu beans, feels like a full circle moment from when we first set sail from Wellington in 2015,” he says.

The Pacific Coconut & Ginger Chocolate Bar can be purchased at Chocstock from 21 - 23 June, and then online and in-store at Wellington Chocolate Factory and selected retailers. Chocstock tickets can be purchased here.

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