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Unbelievable chocolate sculpture immortalises NZ’s pride and joy

The chocolate model, on display from Monday at the Voyager NZ Maritime Museum is a scale replica of the Emirates Team New Zealand craft

The chocolate model, on display from Monday at the Voyager NZ Maritime Museum is a scale replica of the Emirates Team New Zealand craft

The excitement of America’s Cup race day has been immortalised in a large chocolate sculpture of the Emirates Team New Zealand racing catamaran.

The 82cm high sculpture is breathtaking. It will be put on display today at the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum. It forms part of the famous Museum’s 20th anniversary celebrations. In pure chocolate, from its twin hulls to its delicate cables, it is a precise scale model of the real thing.

It’s creator, French chocolatier Frank Richard of Philippe’s Chocolates on Great North Road in Auckland, wanted to create something which celebrated New Zealanders’ pride in their nation. The America’s Cup was the perfect event, and Frank is delighted his masterwork will be unveiled now, on the heels of the New Zealand team’s victory in the nail-biting first race of Louis Vuitton Cup Final.

Frank also relished the technical challenge of the project. The chocolatier, who has worked in top restaurants around the world, has plenty of experience in making chocolate do extraordinary things. But the AC72 catamaran’s sleek geometric form is created from the strongest and lightest of high-tech materials. Frank would have to battle against challenges like the weight of the tall fin resting on the slender frame, and the fragility of the fine cables which run from mast to the four corners of the craft. Most would’ve been tempted to coat stronger materials in chocolate, but Frank is nothing if not a perfectionist. By carefully heating and cooling the chocolate elements to control their pliability, he was able to replicate the form in 100% pure chocolate!

When the Voyager NZ Maritime Museum heard about the project, they contacted Philippe’s to ask if they could display the creation in their “Blue Water, Black Magic” exhibit. Philippe’s jumped at the chance to share their love of chocolate and sailing with visitors to the Museum. It will be unveiled as part of a special 20th anniversary event on Monday 19th August, and will be viewable by the public from then.

Watch this space for more photos of the full sculpture, and the epic challenge of moving it from Philippe’s Chocolates to the Museum.

Now is a great time to visit the Maritime Museum and see the remarkable chocolate model for yourself, not to mention the rest of the 20th anniversary exhibits. But if you can’t, you can see more (and give this project a ‘Like’) by going to the Museum’s Facebook page.

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Twenty fabulous years of the Voyager NZ Maritime Museum! Frank, a pastry chef by profession, also made the birthday cake for the celebration.

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