Natra and the Basque Culinary Center are going to work together to design and develop a new range of chocolates filled with olive oil, cheese and wine.
One of the goals of the project will be to introduce the chocolates into the Asian marketplace, where there’s a demand for premium chocolate, as well as foods related to the Mediterranean diet.
“We are especially motivated with the idea of working with ingredients that normally are not associated with chocolate but which are so rooted in our Mediterranean culture,” says Mikel Beitia, Natra’s ceo.
|Mikel Beitia, Natra ceo, and Joxe Mari Aizega, director of Basque Culinary Center, shake hands after agreeing to work together. Photo provided.
The Research and Innovation Center of the Basque Culinary Center will create the formulations of the fillings and the design of the chocolates, while Natra will offer its plant in Oñati, Spain.
The project will include sensory and organoleptic tests of the pre-selected recipes with consumer profiles from different cultures, as one of the objectives of the agreement is to study acceptance of the products in Asia.
For Natra, the agreement with Basque Culinary Center is a response to several of its goals, including: innovating and developing its own product offerings, international growth outside Europe — especially in North America and Asia — and the commitment to quality and healthy nutrition.
The Basque Culinary Center Foundation is an initiative of the University of Mondragon with the support of prestigious chefs. One of its main objectives is to ensure the continuity of cuisine as an innovation goal, promoting research and the transfer of knowledge among professionals from the haute cuisine and the business sectors.
In addition to its own management bodies, the Basque Culinary Center Foundation has an International Advisory Board, chaired by Ferran Adria (El Bulli, Spain) and composed of the best chefs in the most important countries in the world, gastronomically speaking, such as René Redzepi (Noma, Denmark), Heston Bluementhal (The Fat Duck, United Kingdom), Michel Bras (Bras, France), Alex Atala (DOM, Brazil), Gaston Acurio (Perú, Peru), Yukio Hattori (Japan), Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana, Italy), Dan Barber (Blue Hill, USA), Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca, Spain) and Enrique Olvera (Pujol, Mexico)