Paul Wayne Gregory has worked across Europe. He is a former pastry chef at Peacock Alley in Dublin and also did a 6-month stint working with the legendary Spanish Chocolatier Oriol Balaguer in Barcelona. Now based in London, Gregory specialises in serving handcrafted moulded chocolates with innovative flavourings such as Space Dust or caramel combined with sea salt. He is passionate about using only the finest and freshest ingredients in his creations. His commitment to quality has paid off earning him a clutch of awards: Award of Excellence 2010, 2009, 2006, Academy of Chocolate Awards 2009, 2008, 2007, UK World Chocolate Master 2005 and BEEAM Award 2007. Gregory’s multi-award winning, handcrafted Pure Indulgence chocolate box contains twelve mouth-watering bonbons, each dedicated to a different flavour and each emblazoned with his mission statement, “Indulgence is everything”. His bananas enrobed in chocolate pay homage to Gregory’s heritage. You will have the opportunity to taste that at the Tasting Lounge.
In Gregory’s chocolate sculptures creativity meets skill. In the past he has paid tribute to artists as diverse as Marc Quinn and Henri Matisse. Paul Wayne Gregory’s mission statement is ‘Indulgence is everything’ – and to taste his creations is to see why. Trained by Master Patissier Jean Valentin in France and top chef Oriel Balaguer in Spain, Gregory’s work has a unique focus on purity and balance of flavours that owes much to his classical training. His full-flavoured centres use only a minimal percentage of sugar or perhaps a pinch of salt to enhance the natural flavour of his ingredients, before delivering an after taste of perfectly tempered, silky smooth chocolate. Gregory’s confections are currently served at the Michelin-starred restaurants of chefs Gary Rhodes and Michael Caines and regularly pick up awards at the Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards and The Academy of Chocolate Awards.
Q. What do you love about working with chocolate?
A: I think it’s better you ask me what I don’t like, nothing! My best is probably the opportunity to take part in festivals related to chocolate.
Q. What’s been the high point of your career so far?
A: Apart from making chocolates for the Queen, creating Pure Indulgence, the first true box of award-winning chocolates. It picked up 15 awards.
Q. What in your opinion makes for great chocolate?
A: Quality ingredients every time.
Q. What was your favorite chocolate as a child?
A: Marathon, which they now call Snickers, it will always be Marathon to me!
Q. What advice would you give a budding Chocolatier?
A: The key to any achievement is dedication and determination, the rest is just time.
Q. Your ‘Pure Indulgence’ range invokes the flavours of the Caribbean, what inspires you about the place?
A: There is simply nowhere in the world like Jamaica, for the backdrop, vibe and it’s my cultural roots.
Q. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
A: The wife and a good alarm clock after a 12–16 hour day. (Ha ha ha.) I love the art of what I do. That’s the thing.
Q. Who would you invite to your ideal dinner party and what would you serve for pud?
A: Well, it has to be the President of the USA, President Barack Obama and I would serve light Passion Fruit and Chocolate Mousse with Pistachio Nut Ice Cream and his favourite chocolates, Salted Caramel bonbons.
Equipment needed: Saucepan, balloon whisk, mixing bowl, hand mixer with whisk attachment, shallow tray, clingfilm and a teaspoon.
Split the vanilla pod and remove the seeds, then place pod, seeds, sugar and cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil over moderate heat. Once boiled, remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand until just warm to the touch. Remove the vanilla pod, scraping any attached seeds back into the pan. Add the butter to the infused cream and whisk until melted. Place the chocolate in a mixing bowl; pour the warm mixture over the chocolate and leave to stand for three minutes. Add half the Courvoisier VS to the mixture and whisk together. Once the mixture has come together, add the remaining Courvoisier VS and whisk using an electric hand mixer until the mixture is smooth and silky. Pour the mixture into a shallow tray, cover and leave to set in the fridge for a minimum of four hours. For best results, chill the mixture overnight. Shape into small balls and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. Dust with Fairtrade cocoa powder and arrange on a serving plate.