Chef Sanjana Patel gets a design and architecture team to sculpt chocolate bars


The dessert chef Sanjana Patel behind chocolaterie-patisserie La Folie decided to make architectural marvels of cocoa to mark the launch of La Folie Lab’s latest outpost in June.


“Our first prototype wasn’t the best. The edges were too sharp, and chocolate’s viscosity had led to air bubbles. Beans used from Kerala and Karnataka gave the bar a grainy texture,” she says.

After introducing regular bars last year, she was looking to launch a whimsical line, but one that didn’t lean towards luxury. She roped in graphic designers Bianca Dsa and Hetal Ajmera of Sharpenerinc, and architect Shweta Kaushik, also the team behind La Folie Lab’s interiors. Kaushik took to researching international trends in architecture and arrived at the idea of tessellations, an arrangement of shapes closely fitted together in a repeated pattern. Dsa and Ajmera took the concept forward in the Lab’s flooring and the chocolate bar.


This led to a 3D model of 70 mm by 140 mm and a base width of 10 mm. The trio focused on the herringbone pattern which is dominant in the interiors of the lab at both, Bandra and Lower Parel. “We had created a tessellation mesh pattern for the flooring which we used to create the base of the chocolate,” says Dsa.

“Sanjana wanted fillings in the chocolate and we had to figure how much space she would require. It was important to get the grooving right to avoid air bubbles. We tried a lot of permutations and combinations on Google Sketch Up. The filling, we decided, would only be in the base, and top would be a topographical shape,” explains Kaushik.

“At La Folie, we have chosen to break barriers. I am studying cuisine and the influence of architecture and fashion. I was strongly influenced by Japan and its focus on origami, which is closely related to tessellations,” says Patel.


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