A Temple Wrought in Chocolate
May 17, 2012
There’s 9 tons of chocolate in that there pyramid. The colossal cacao structure was commissioned to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Qzina Specialty Foods, which tapped chef Francois Mellet and M.O.F. Stephane Treand to create a six-feet tall edible replica of the Temple of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza, the most well-known and ingenious example of Mayan architecture. The finished model sits on a ten square foot base and weighs in at 18,239 pounds, a world record for the largest chocolate work, easily beating the previous 7,500 pound title holder.
The massive piece was made from using an assortment of Qzina’s line of chocolates that was poured in vast amounts and left to cool in bricks that form the core of the structure. Together with a small team, Mellet and Treand travailed for over 400 hours to build the edible sculpture, meticulously recreating the exact form and details of the temple in an effort to “honor the original chocolatiers.” Much research was conducted to familiarize the team with the precise proportions and ornamentation of Mayan temples to ensure verisimilitude to the real thing. Each of the pyramid’s four staircases is faithfully reproduced here, as are the temple effigy and the period dress of the diminutive guards. Not only that, the chocolate and stone temple will share the same fate and ruin as predicted by the Mayan calendar. Qzina will exhibit the piece through December 21, 2012, when it plans to destroy the model in accordance with prophecy–the end of all things, chocolate or otherwise.