The Star Gold Coast’s master chocolatier, Surath Perera, invites you to indulge your sweet tooth.
What’s your career background?
I trained as a pastry chef at a hotel school, then was given the opportunity to go to Switzerland (where pastry and chocolate is famous!) to specialise further. I had the passion to specialise in the chocolate area and went to one of the most prestigious chocolate academies in Switzerland, where I ended up living for 11 years. I did my diploma and became a chocolatier. I came to Australia, via Auckland, New Zealand, in 1997, and joined The Star Gold Coast in 2014.
I was born with a chocolate background – I grew up on a cocoa plantation in Sri Lanka. We used to make footballs out of the cocoa pods! Then, as a pastry chef, chocolate was always around. I had the artistic touch for sculptures and things like that.
What does your role involve?
I oversee the chocolate desserts in our restaurants, reporting directly into the head pastry chef, as well as anything to do with our chocolate promotions. I focus on the most important calendar dates – from Valentine’s Day to Mother’s Day and Easter. For these, we come up with showpieces (like the 2.2-metre high Easter egg we created and a 1.8-metre Christmas log ). I enjoy getting the whole team involved and sharing my experience and knowledge.
Do you have a favourite creation so far?
One of the highlights was a big tractor made out of chocolate (a chocolate driver was even sitting on top) that I got to present to Parliament House in Canberra.
Where do source your ingredients from?
I work with single origin chocolate from different countries – Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Ghana; the list goes on. These countries have the ideal climates for growing cocoa. I’m also working with some local ingredients from Australia’s first cocoa plantation up north in the Daintree Rainforest. Our cocoa usage at The Star Gold Coast is very close to five tonnes (around 5,000kg) per year.
What’s the must-try dessert at The Star Gold Coast?
Our signature “Garden Chocolate Patch” at Garden Kitchen & Bar – it features chocolate soil, chocolate mushrooms, chocolate truffles and caramel sauce filling a “flower pot”.
What do you love about your job?
The things you can do with chocolate are endless. I transform my creativity into chocolate. When the guests see these kinds of creations, it wows them. Dessert is the last thing to arrive on the table, so I want to make sure that everyone leaves satisfied.
If you want your own taste of our chocolatier Surath Perara’s dessert creations, book a table at one of our restaurants at The Star Gold Cost today.