This year sees talented chocolatier Paul Wayne Gregory, known for his Pure Indulgence range, launch his own range of Easter eggs for the first time. Not one to do things by halves, Gregory has created a range of four visually striking eggs, each one different from each other. “Until all the chocolates in my Pure Indulgence range had won awards, I refused to bring anything else out. Now that they have, these eggs are really the start of me saying I can be free. I can do what I want to do, which is chocolate artistry. Having a range was important and I wanted to create 4 eggs which were totally different from each other”
While exploring his creative side has been enjoyable, a lot of sheer hard work and much experimentation has gone into developing them. “I wanted to create eggs which I hadn’t made for anyone else before and which were a challenge. It was fun coming up with the ideas, but making them is painful,” he laughs. “Because each one is individually made, it’s a lot of work getting them to look as they’re supposed to.” Gregory’s range includes ‘marble’ eggs, which do indeed resemble the stone. “Getting the gloss on the marble eggs was really very difficult and challenging, but I’m glad I did it.”
The other eggs include an extraordinarily lifelike, orange-hued ‘mango’ egg. “My Aunty has a mango tree in her garden, so that’s where the colours come from.” The moody, mysterious Atmosphere egg depicts the sky above, complete with clouds. In contrast, the fourth egg – Butterfly – is gloriously springlike, complete with an cheery orange butterfly fluttering over an Impressionistic flower meadow against a blue sky background.
Helen Heslop, General Manager of Alexeeva & Jones, welcomes this development in Gregory’s chocolate work. “It’s fantastic that he’s doing it because now he‘s going to get credit for what are creatively absolutely stunning eggs. It’s so nice to see that chocolate sculpting side that has become so prominent for him in Easter egg form.”
When Gregory bought in the first sample marble egg to show her, she “couldn’t believe it was chocolate. The shine was incredible. The fact that’s been created by sheer polish is amazing. A huge amount of work must go into it.” Heslop also appreciates the fact that Gregory’s come up with a range of styles. “They’re each very different from each other. So you could buy one egg for one member of your family and another for someone else within the family.”
She regards Gregory’s creativity as a sign of the British chocolate scene’s vibrancy. “Back in the day, chocolate producers could just make a large egg and people would buy it. The nice thing now is that every year we’re starting to see different developments, whether it’s stronger visuals or a different way of creating the egg. Look at what Paul A Young is doing with filled eggs. The chocolatiers are not just sitting on their laurels; they want customers to have something new and innovative every year. People like Paul Wayne Gregory, Paul A. Young and Damian are always trying to outdo themselves. For me this means that Easter is not just a season that’s commercially viable – it’s about creativity and what you can offer the client that’s going to delight and surprise them fresh each year.”
Paul Wayne Gregory’s new Easter egg collection are on sale at Alexeeva & Jones (both in-store and online), Harvey Nichols and Paul Wayne Gregory’s Pure Indulgence shop in Brixton Market and also online.