At The Bar with Koko Black’s Head Chocolatier Remco Brigou

When renowned Belgian chocolatier Remco Brigou moved to Australia for his culinary next chapter in 2012, he eventually found his way to Koko Black. It’s where he’s collaborated with some of Melbourne’s biggest names including Attica’s Ben Shewry on a delectable sweet collection a year ago, and Four Pillars Gin for many gin-soaked delights.

As Head Chocolatier at Koko Black, Remco Brigou recently relocated to Sydney, having spent a decade in Melbourne. He continues to innovate chocolate and the new Koko Black Easter drop is no exception – featuring a playful mix of critters from the Koko Koala to Pip Platypus and Percy Penguin.

He spoke to The Write Drop for our At The Bar series, and we test his sweet tooth along the way.

MY CITY

I live in Sydney now, but was initially based in Melbourne when I first moved to Australia from Belgium. During my time in Victoria, I moved around from the beautiful Yarra Valley to St Kilda and the northern suburbs. I love the culture, bars, and restaurants of Melbourne. After 10 years there, it was time to try Sydney, which I have now fallen in love with – the weather and life near the water is unparalleled.

FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY

Eating at Roger Vandamme’s restaurant Het Gebaar in my hometown of Antwerp, Belgium. Het Gebaar specialises in plated desserts that are a work of art – so being a chocolatier and experiencing this culinary mastery first hand was a real bucket list moment. The whole experience was exceptional, one that I would recommend to anyone travelling to Europe.

FAVOURITE BAR

Byrdi Melbourne. The cocktail selection is delicious and unique it’s hard to choose! The seasonal menu allows for a new discovery every time you visit.

GO TO DRINK

The Negroni is a classic, refreshing and versatile that can be enjoyed as a pre-dinner drink to warm up your taste buds, as easily as it can be the perfect late-night cap in a cosy bar.

BEST HANGOVER CURE

A morning swim and a can of Coke! Noting it has to be a can of coke not a bottle, I’m not sure why, but the crack of the lid on a can perks me straight up. The other addition to my hangover routine is plain dark chocolate, a little pick me up as I don’t drink coffee.

BEST INTERSTATE BAR

Four Pillars Gin Laboratory in Surry Hills (NSW). I had the pleasure of working with Four Pillars on one of our Koko Black collections, and as an avid gin lover this collaboration was a match made in heaven. Throughout the collaborative process I discovered and fell in love with the Gin Laboratory – the perfect hotspot for Gin lovers everywhere. The bar has the most incredible selection of gin and their cocktails are top notch.

FAVOURITE WINE

I do love a glass of red, Shiraz is my usual go to. Last year I had the pleasure of exploring the Hunter Valley with a few friends on a wine tour. It was here that I discovered Tyrell’s, and while the Hunter Valley is known for their Semillion. I fell in love with their ‘Vat 9 Shiraz’ and ‘Mother’s Shiraz’.

FAVOURITE WINERY

Tyrell’s in the Hunter Valley.

NEXT DESTINATION

I would love to discover Western Australia – Ningaloo Reef looks beautiful.

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