Alistair Birt, Head Pastry Chef of Harrods London Heads to the Maldives

Alistair Birt, Head Pastry Chef of Harrods will go beyond chocolate in the Maldives.

Vakkaru Maldives will be opening its shores to Alistair Birt, Head Pastry Chef of Harrods London this 22 – 25 October 2019 for an extraordinary experience with chocolate.

Guests on the island will be in for a treat as they embark on a journey to discover this ancient food of the gods with Alistair through a series of experiences curated exclusively for Vakkaru Maldives.

From “Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Masterclasses” and “Cacao Cocktails” overlooking the Maldivian sunset

From “Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Masterclasses” and “Cacao Cocktails” overlooking the Maldivian sunset, to a “Chocolate Degustation” and an afternoon in the sun with Alistair’s “Chocolate Ice Cream Pop-up Parlour”, Vakkaru Maldives will transform into an immersive chocolate playground for guests of all ages. As an Ambassador for Cacao Barry® Alistair will be using Cacao Barry® chocolates and the recently discovered ruby chocolate by Barry Callebaut — the first new type of chocolate in 80 years, for this exclusive island experience.

Alistair’s rise in the culinary world began in 2010 when he won the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Annual Awards of Excellence. During his time with renowned British chocolatier, “William Curley”, Alistair rose through the ranks to become Head Chocolatier and went on to represent the UK at the 2015 World Chocolate Masters Final. In 2015, Alistair was Awarded the coveted Acorn Award — a 30 under 30 award for individuals making waves in the hospitality industry. Alistair joined Harrods – the world-famous department store in Knightsbridge, London in 2016 as Head Pastry Chef. He oversees a large talented pastry team and multiple award-winning outlets.

Chocolate Macaroons by Alistair Birt
Chocolate Macaroons by Alistair Birt.

22 October 2019: Alistair Birt’s Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Masterclass at Vakkaru Reserve

Hosted at the intimate Vakkaru Reserve, the resort’s wine cellar, this very exclusive masterclass by Alistair will take guests on a journey through the origins of chocolate from around the world, from the preparation of the beans in the cocoa plantations to the roasting of cacao beans. Guests will also learn about conching — a process where cacao butter is mixed under heat into fine chocolate liquor, and tempering, a crucial step to achieve the perfect gloss and shininess of chocolate.

Throughout the masterclass, guests will also learn about Cacao Barry®’s sustainability program which addresses the challenges facing the cocoa industry.

Ending the masterclass on a sweet note, Alistair will work with each guest to create their very own personalised chocolate truffles using Cacao Barry®’s line of Origins — the Mexique 66% Origin Dark Chocolate Couverture, the Tanzanie 75% Origin Dark Chocolate Couverture, and the Ghana 40% Milk Chocolate Couverture.

Alistair Birt, Head Pastry Chef of Harrods London Heads to the Maldives 2
Lagoon Bar at Vakkaru Maldives.

23 October 2019: Alistair Birt’s Cacao Cocktails at Lagoon Bar

Overlooking an idyllic Maldivian sunset, guests can sip on chocolate-infused cocktails like the “Cocoa Old Fashioned” made with cocoa nib-infused whiskey, bitters, sugar and a twist of orange or the “White Chocolate Pina Colada” made with Cacao Barry®’s Zéphyr 34% White Chocolate, white rum, coconut cream and pineapple.

Guests will also have the option of trying Alistair’s take on the classic Margarita with his “Frozen Chocolate Margarita”, a cocktail laced with delicious chocolate liquor, tequila, cream, orange and lime. Also on the list, will be the refreshing “Chilled Mint Chocolate”, made with Cacao Barry®’s Tanzanie 75% Origin Dark Chocolate Couverture, mint-infused milk and vanilla, making it the perfect mocktail for our Parrotfish Club members – Vakkaru’s exclusive club for very special guests between the ages of 3 and 12.

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart by Alistair Birt.
Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart by Alistair Birt.

24 October 2019: Chocolate Degustation at Vakkaru Reserve

Hosted by Alistair Birt and Island Sommelier Stefanie Weisner, Alistair’s chocolate degustation menu is an experience for the senses with three bespoke chocolate desserts. Starting off with some of Vakkaru Reserve’s signature dishes, Alistair’s desserts will then begin with “The Vakkaru”, a playful take on the coconut with a Maldivian mango compote centre using a Cacao Barry®’s Mexico Origin 66% Dark Couverture Chocolate paired with a dessert wine. Followed by the Chocolate Moelleux Tart – a heart-warming chocolate moelleux tart using Cacao Barry®’s Tanzanie 75% Origin Dark Chocolate Couverture served with Maldivian chilli and spice-roasted pineapple served with a light sparkling wine.

Alistair will end the indulgent night with his take on a classic British dessert – a ruby Eton Mess. The ruby is a completely new taste and colour for chocolate, born from the ruby cocoa bean – to achieve an intense pink colour with no additional colourants or fruit flavourings. The Ruby Eton Mess promises a sensorial high for the epic end to an extraordinary dinner.

Alistair Birt, Head Pastry Chef of Harrods London Heads to the Maldives 3

25 October 2019: Alistair’s Chocolate Ice Cream Pop-up Parlour by the Poolside

A limited-edition collection of Alistair’s bespoke chocolate ice cream will be made fresh on the island using ingredients from the resort’s organic farm. In an interactive and immersive experience, guests will be able to create their very own ice cream flavour using a combination of very special chocolates.

Going Beyond Chocolate – Where and how?

To experience “Going Beyond Chocolate” with Alistair Birt, guests can book our Beach Villas starting from USD 533++ or Over Water Villas starting from USD 612++ per night including breakfast for two persons. For reservations and general information, please visit or contact [email protected].

Editorial Team

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