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Off The Wire
12 Pastry & Baking North America
Qzina Specialty Foods
Builds World’s Largest
Chocolate Sculpture
The Record-Breaking
Chocolate Sculpture
Weighs 18,239 Pounds
and Models an Ancient
Mayan Temple
IRVINE, Calif. – To celebrate its
30th anniversary, Qzina Specialty Foods, the premier
importer and distributor of specialty chocolate, pastry and
dessert ingredients in North America, has broken a Guinness
World Record for building the largest chocolate sculpture.
The sculpture models an ancient Mayan temple and weighs
18,239 pounds, far surpassing the previous record set in Italy
in 2010 by more than 7,500 pounds.
Qzina chose the Mayan theme because
of the crucial role the culture played in the
origins of chocolate.  The Mayans were
one of the first civilizations to cultivate
Cacao trees and discover the true potential
of the cocoa bean. Realizing the delicious
possibilities of this powerful discovery, the
Mayans worshipped the Cacao tree and
praised its beans as the food of the Gods.
Qzina’s Corporate Pastry Chef, Francois
Mellet, was the lead architect on this
massive project and MOF Stephane Treand
(Meilleur Ouvrier de France or Best
Craftsman in France) lent his artistic touch
to the sculpture’s intricate design elements.
Mellet, together with his team, spent
more than 400 hours constructing this
magnificent structure of solid chocolate
that was created using an assortment of
Qzina’s leading chocolate brands.
“Breaking a Guinness World Record for
building the largest chocolate sculpture
will be Qzina’s greatest masterpiece
yet,” said Richard Foley, founder and CEO of Qzina. “We
studied Mayan pyramids at great lengths to create an
exact replica of the Temple of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza
to honor the original chocolatiers. It was important for us
to create something memorable in celebration of our 30th
anniversary and the grand opening of the Qzina Institute of
Chocolate & Pastry.”
Extensive planning and research set the groundwork
to accurately capture the details and intricacies of an
authentic Mayan temple down to the exact number of
steps and panels representing numbers significant to
the Mayan calendar. Built proportionally to the ancient
temple’s true size, the solid chocolate pyramid is six feet
tall and its base measures 10 feet by 10 feet – exactly one-
thirtieth the size. The sculpture’s base alone weighs more
than 3,000 pounds.
“It’s amazing how far the company has come; from the
basement of my family home to a key player in the specialty
dessert industry,” said Foley. “From day one, I’ve been as
interested in the story behind the chocolate we source as
the quality of the chocolate itself. We’ve built a rich 30-year
history in the world of chocolate and pastry and I wanted to
commemorate this milestone in a big way while showing our
appreciation for where it all began.”
The chocolate pyramid will be displayed at the Qzina
Institute of Chocolate & Pastry, located in Irvine, California,
and will be available to view beginning June 4, 2012 when
the institute and product showroom is officially open to the
public (Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. –  5:00 p.m.). Qzina
plans to destroy the chocolate sculpture on December
21, 2012 when the Mayan calendar comes to an end. The
method for destruction is yet to be determined.
To see pictures of the world’s largest chocolate sculpture,
visit the Qzina image gallery: www.flickr.com/photos/qzina.