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Monto Mansour is that rarest of birds, a pastry chef whose style is so distinctive you can recognise his cooking the instant you taste it.
You might have enjoyed his cooking in Michael Deane’s restaurants in Belfast, in Primrose in Derry, Harry’s in Portstewart or Dublin’s The Greenhouse. If you tried it in one place, you would spot it instantly in another. Mansour’s style was to create a dish that was ethereal, yet with direct fruit flavours. He used conventional dessert templates, but the signature was always his own vivid style.
All the while he was working in kitchens, M. Mansour was also obsessively scouring and staging in Europe’s leading patisseries and chocolate shops. With the pandemic came the chance to reconfigure, which has now gifted us with Monto Chocolates.
Monto’s flavours are kinetic, intertwined and intense. The sinuosity of a bon bon made with salted Bourbon vanilla and Abernethy butter caramel, for example, is nothing less than a wild ride for the senses, a narcotic adventure replicated by every one of the seven flavour combinations in the box. Whilst some chocolatiers like to turn things up to 11, Monto chocolates don’t conquer your tastebuds: they seduce them. They are magnificent creations.