Iain Burnett: The Highland Chocolatier
Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier is an award-winning Master Chocolatier based in the picturesque village of Grandtully in Highland Perthshire. Iain and his team create their range of chocolate delights in his specially designed Chocolate Kitchen on the banks of the River Tay.
A local international business
Everyone who works here lives in the local area, including Iain and his wife, and it’s a friendly, welcoming place. Many people stop in to buy the chocolates, and consignments are also sent around the world to chocolate-lovers who appreciate the taste that comes from Iain’s attention to detail. Well-known customers include Gordon Ramsay, British Airways First Class, Claridge’s and several master distillers. But, as Iain says, “These chocolates are for everyone. I love the smile that they bring to people’s faces.”
Iain’s famous Velvet Truffles have twice been voted the world’s best truffle*. Iain insists on using only the finest ingredients; the Velvet Truffle is an exquisite combination of a rare São Tomé single-origin chocolate and unblended fresh cream from a specially selected herd of local Friesian cows. The result is a “naked” truffle (i.e. no shell) with a unique, luxurious texture and quite unforgettable taste. As Michelin-starred chef Albert Roux put it, “This is the one.”
The rest of the range is equally impressive: spiced pralines, chocolate Florentines, chocolate-dipped fruit, the finest bars of milk, dark and white chocolate – and heavenly hot chocolate as you’ve never tasted it before.
Iain admits to being a perfectionist, always striving for excellence and thinking of new ideas. After studying at Glasgow School of Art he trained under French, Belgian and Swiss Master Chocolatiers to learn the art of the chocolatier and spends over three years training each of his own team members. They make 10,000 chocolates each week, and every single one is checked at least four times.
*Gold Winner at the World Finals of International Chocolate Awards in 2015 and 2016
What to expect when you visit
From the minute you walk through the door, your senses are in for a treat. There are stunning displays of truffles, pralines, wrapped chocolate bars, chocolate lollipops, hot chocolate and many other treats.
There’s a small multi-media exhibition in the Chocolate Centre (just past the wall of awards!), where you can read and hear about the story of Iain’s chocolate.
Try one of the new Chocolate Tastings in Iain Burnett’s Chocolate Lounge as his recording gives you a personally guided tasting with a flight of gourmet chocolates. Taste at your own pace, as Iain shares insights into the differing flavours, ingredients and textures of his creations. In the walking tour of the chocolate exhibition Iain’s recording gives you a glimpse into the art of a Master Chocolatier, the processes to create great chocolate from the tree to the kitchen, and the difference between true artisan gourmet chocolate and others. You can also sample delicious cakes and savouries – or ganache ice cream! – with a tea or coffee.
And to round off your chocolate experience, there’s a lovely gift shop full of unique chocolate-related items, vintage-style homewares and fine gifts.
Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier is open to the public seven days a week from 10am to 5pm. (Check visitor information on their website).
How to find Iain Burnett The Highland Chocolatier
Iain Burnett The Highland Chocolatier and his team welcome visitors to the beautiful village of Grandtully, four miles from the A9 Perth-Inverness road. If you’re coming from Perth, take the A827 signposted for Aberfeldy; if coming from the north you’d turn off at Ballinluig onto the A827. Follow the brown tourist road signs marked Highland Chocolatier.
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