A Paphos chocolatier is celebrating her recent win at the international chocolate awards held in Florence recently.
Her silver award means that ‘Joulietta Chocolatier and Patissiers’ Fig and Ouzo hand crafted chocolate will now automatically go through to the World Chocolate Awards, due to take place in London later this month.
It’s a real accolade for a small business set up almost three years ago in the heart of Paphos.
Joulietta James said she was thrilled with her award. She attended the award ceremony along with her father ex Manchester restaurateur, Demetrios, and husband David.
“It was an amazing experience and I met lots of other chocolatiers from all over the region. I felt very honoured to be among all these people; I couldn’t really believe I was there,” she said.
The International Chocolate Awards is an independent competition recognising excellence in fine chocolate making and in the products made with fine chocolate.
Joulietta won the silver prize for her artisan ‘Fig and Ouzo’ chocolate, made using local Cypriot produce. She hand crafts her chocolates, cakes and pastries at her Paphos shop, and is helped out by her father, who often collects fresh fruit, herbs and other local products to be used in the process.
The International Chocolate Awards covers various regions and Joulietta’s chocolate was entered under the Italian/Mediterranean competition, which was open to entries from Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and all Middle East and North African companies.
Joulietta explained how she created her winning chocolate, which are made using local figs.
“We dehydrate and macerate them in ouzo and use that as the base of the chocolate. I have wanted to do something using a local fruit, as I like to use local herbs and products in my chocolates. We have some really lovely figs here and I think it’s a difficult fruit to pair with anything, but I thought the ouzo should work well with it, and it does.”
The aim of the awards is to give smaller chocolatiers, who may never normally be noticed, a platform to showcase their chocolates.
Both Joulietta’s parents are Cypriot, but she was born in London, although she didn’t speak English until the age of eight. “I’ve always been a Cypriot at heart,” she said.
Joulietta said she has also always been a ‘chocoholic’, passing by Harrods chocolate counter a number of times a week when possible.
“When I came back to Cyprus to stay, I thought I could do something luxurious and there was nothing here like my shop. So I went and trained.”
She then set about developing a line of luxury artisan chocolates with the taste of Cyprus. She expanded her products to include cakes and pastries and uses locally sourced herbs, fruits and liqueurs found on the island and also serves teas, coffees and hot chocolates.
Chocolate is a passion she shares with her father.
“For me, it’s very important to try and educate people about chocolate, the health benefits of dark chocolate and to try and help people understand the difference between our chocolates and mass produced stuff, Demetrios said.
Joulietta and her father Demetrios in her Paphos shop (Photo: Jane Baddon)