Building a Chocolate Culture

I contacted Chef Reem after I had noticed the small, transparent boxes and exquisite chocolates that were on display at Caffe Strada, with the signature of Chef Reem Sadeddin. I never imagined that a few days after, I would be meeting this passionate, young chef to get an insight of her education and career paths, and her new adventure in the culinary industry.

She was a full-time pastry chef at one of Amman’s five star hotels, when she started her new venture in a hope to create a chocolate culture in Jordan. With her brother lending her his experience and helping her in the business aspect of her project, Reem couldn’t find a better partner to start her journey and be at her side. Explaining their business approach made it even more interesting; “ Understanding the product we are dealing with, the vision we have, and the passion we put in each piece of our chocolates, make our day-to-day mission to create the indulgence of chocolates a pleasant one”, Ahmad added. You do feel the bond they have built since they started back in January this year, and as Ahmad said: “ We complete each other, she is the culinary mind and I am the business muscle!”. Even though he has completed his Masters in Insurance and Risk Management, Ahmad is never away from the kitchen where Reem blends the seasonal flavors and her secret ingredients that result in those heavenly, mind-blowing truffles and molded chocolate.

At the age of 22, Chef Reem has built an experience that other chefs may have taken years to acquire. She finished her high school education in Jordan, then pursued to study International Business in Ottawa, Canada. The 10 months period she spent in Brussels, Belgium as part of her French language program, made her realize that pastries is what she would like to do next. She enrolled in the renowned French culinary school Le Cordon Bleu and was a graduate of their 2012 class, armed with the knowledge she needed to be the pastry chef she is today. Juniper Kitchen was the start of her work experience, where she was the pastry chef in Ottawa’s fine dining restaurant serving up to 130 guests a night. Months later, she set her mind to come back to Jordan, live among her friends and family, and start her journey in building Jordan’s chocolate culture.

It all started accidentally, when Chef Reem catered an order of 200 handmade fresh truffles for a private event. Her truffles were coconut, orange and cranberry inspired flavors combined with white, milk and dark chocolate. Chef Reem admits “I spend hours at my production kitchen developing flavors and creating textures that I feel comfortable with.”  She confesses that sometimes her best combinations have happened unintentionally, and that they were surprisingly delicious.  It is not easy for Reem to develop a new flavor, it is a challenge that she goes through each season, and whenever customers place a cake order, she replies “You have just to tell me what flavor you like, not what cake you want”. She only takes that piece of information and surprises her customers with the end result: the flavor they are familiar with and an added twist. Chef Reem custom bakes her cakes, and has never made the same cake twice!

Since she started in January this year, Reem’s truffles are spreading joy all over Amman. Being part of Taj Chocolate Festival, having two chocolate displays in Amman and the daily orders she receives, Chef Reem has so far produced more than 6,000 truffles and molded chocolates serving 6 kinds of her round delights and 4 of her smooth molded chocolate. The young chef is now preparing for her summer collection of fruity and refreshing flavors, and we can’t wait to get hold of some of those divine treats. “We want chocolate to be part of the Ammani lifestyle. People should engage all their senses in the chocolate experience; to feel, touch, smell, and taste our chocolates.” Reem added. There is more to expect from this young chef, as she will soon launch other lines and flavors to enrich her product line.


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