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  • The Man Behind the Chocolate - Introducing David Demaison


David might think that he chose to come to New Zealand after falling in love with it whilst on holiday. He might think it was the beautiful scenery that drew him here. Or perhaps the friendly people? But we here at Bennetts know better. Fate drew him to our shore -- and frankly we were only days away from snatching him and dragging him here.

We are proud to introduce our new chocolatier, David Demaison. A truly international chocolate expert, David and his Irish wife, Nuala (who can be found working in our office), have settled in Mangawhai after a whirlwind six months in which they moved countries twice and got married whilst looking for the perfect location to live and work. We are thrilled they have chosen Bennetts of Mangawhai as the next chapter in an already bustling career.

David seems surprised to realise that he has been working with chocolate for over half his life but after seeing him work with chocolate, we can testify to the dedication and expertise that has come from 17 years in the industry. Besides, he started young, beginning his training in France at the tender age of 14! David grew up in a bakery in South-West France so the culinary arts must run in his blood.

A career highlight is his work at the famous Hotel Chocolat. Originally tasked with creating the chocolate menu for one of the cafés, David was quickly commissioned to work on the menu for an exciting restaurant the company was opening as part of their cacao plantation in Saint Lucia (yes, we’re pretty sure amongst the distinctive French and British notes in David’s accent we can detect a Caribbean influence – told you he was truly International!). The owners wanted chocolate incorporated into every dish and it was David’s job to make that happen – a testament to his creative genius. David’s pioneering attitude also led him to help with the development of an award-winning store and café for Hotel Chocolat that saw chocolate being made on site from raw beans from the Saint Lucia plantation.

So, you might wonder… what’s in store for Bennetts with this avant-garde chocolatier at the helm? David is tight-lipped but says change is always necessary, so we invite you to keep an eye out for new products and innovations at Bennetts because we’re sure exciting times are ahead.