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Mad About Music (And Chocolate) 

Abbey-Road Anat Hultzer

Talking with Ika about music is like talking to her about chocolate – basically we end up discussing her entire life – past and present.

“I used to work in a radio station for many years as a sound technician. I can’t possibly describe how much music means to me. I flew four hours to Barcelona from Tel Aviv and back last week just for a Sting concert.”

As usual, Ika’s answers are just a prelude for a longer story: “His voice fills me with hope. Sting has been an inspiration for me ever since high school. In general, I feel that music is instrumental to my work. On the sound job I learned how to mix and balance sensory experiences. But the most important lesson sound engineering taught me is how to be patient while working. It wasn’t an easy lesson to learn, let me tell you,” and she goes on…

What’s the most memorable concert you have ever attended?

“It was a Tosca performance at the magnificent Sydney Opera House.”

Surely even just entering the building is a hugely inspiring experience: The pure curving shapes rise across the harbor render a heroic artistic achievement.

Inspiring architecture - The Sydney Opera House

Savoring Splendor

Another magnificent opera building, though completely different in its Baroque style, is the famous Opéra Garnier. We mention it here because the building is said to have been the inspiration for a luxurious popular cake – the Opera Cake.

Gâteau opéra is an elaborate almond sponge cake with a coffee and chocolate filling and icing (Grande Larrousse Gastronomique).

Opera cake

Cyriaque Gavillon claimed he had invented the cake in 1955, while working as a Pastery Chef at La Maison Dalloyau (established in Versailles in 1682); Gavillon’s wife Andrée supposedly named it after the Garnier Opera building.

opera garnier wikimedia commons

Opera Garnier (c) wikimedia commons

The idea behind this dessert is that all of the flavours of the cake should be tasted in just one bite.

And what is a praline, if not pleasure concentrated into one rich chocolate-y bite?

Ika Chocolate Passion Fruit Praline

Ika Chocolate Passion Fruit Praline

Pâtisserie Expressions

On the night before flying to the Barcelona Sting concert, we visited a new temporary exhibition here in Tel Aviv: The artist Anat Hutzler created eight unique chocolate desserts, each inspired by a song or an album she loves. Anat had let the words and melodies inspire color and taste combinations, textures, compositions, under the title FoodPlay.

“Behind every act of creation there is inspiration, igniting passion.”

Abbey-Road

Above: inspired by Abbey Road: Pralines filled with bittersweet English Breakfast Tea Ganache, crossing strips of homemade vanilla marzipan. Every band member has a different shell.
Did you guess that John is made of white chocolate?

The Sweet Sound of Sting

What do you listen to when you work?

“I’d like to have been able to tell you that I put on an opera CD early every morning at the chocolatery, when I start my long day at work,” Ika says. “But really, I only listen to a couple of uplifting songs on my iPhone, before the craziness of the workday tasks and calls take over.”

Here is her favorite Sting song, à propos de #MarchMadness

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