YBrighton chats to unique local extreme chocolate maker & finds out why Brighton inspires her
Happy Easter from the YBrighton team! During these emotional and uncertain times the need for family, friends, community and of course chocolate has never been so great. Every month we speak to an inspirational local to discover how and why Brighton inspires them personally and professionally. This Easter installment just had to be chocolate related… but with a twist.
This month we’ve turned the spotlight on extreme chocolate maker and sculptor Evelyn Day, owner and artist at Chocadyllic. Evelyn spends her days creating epic, exquisitely detailed masterpieces using the very best Belgian couverture chocolate. Dream job, right?
With Brighton’s unique architecture as inspiration Evelyn has created some of the city’s most iconic sights such as the Bandstand, Royal Pavilion, carousel and beach huts. Creating one off show-stopping commissions and supplying the Brighton Royal Pavilion with miniature lollipop replicas of the historic building! We wanted to get to know Evelyn, her local business and hear how the city has inspired her work.
Tell us about Chocadyllic and what you guys do?
Chocadyllic is a small chocolate business based in Brighton & Hove. As a chocolate artist I get to create wonderful bespoke sculptures and chocolate products by hand and bring joy to chocolate lovers everywhere for any celebrations, events and all occasions such as weddings, funerals, birthdays, retirement parties, anniversaries, naming parties and more. I also make unique products that make wonderful treats and presents.
What inspired you to turn your amazing skill into a career?
It all began at the end of 2012 when I promised to make a friend a “proper birthday cake” aka a chocolate birthday cake. I got carried away and before I knew it, I was making her a “chocolate explosion cake”! Since then Chocadyllic has developed over the years and now creates bespoke chocolate creations, large and small using the best Belgian couverture chocolate.
What part of the design and creation process do you enjoy the most?
I love working on the detail – piping the fencing for the Bandstand for example.
What is your favourite design or creation for this Easter?
As much as people love my chocolate sculptures and showpieces, I want to make my chocolate art accessible for everyone, so I am now developing a range of products. I recently decided to try my hand at creating chocolate Easter Eggs. I bought a mould and did a few tests with some coloured chocolate “paints”. I made plain ones, speckled ones and cherry blossom ones. Presently they’re flying out the door! My favourite by far are the cherry blossom ones.
What is your biggest accomplishment to date with Chocadyllic?
That’s a hard one to pin down. I did a huge London Skyline piece for the Chocolate Festival in London 2016. It consisted of Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and The Gherkin. It was a huge commission that took about 4 weeks to create! I was delighted to be selected as one of the “UK’s best chocolatiers” (their words, not mine!) for the 2019 TV series “Extreme Chocolate Makers” and was on three episodes E2, E3 and E10. You can still catch them on All4. My favourite piece I made during this time was the Albert Bridge.
I became an official supplier to the Brighton Royal Pavilion last autumn providing the shop with bespoke unique chocolate lollipops inspired by the magnificent building. I have also been filmed making these for the C5 TV show “The Wonderful World of Chocolate”. The release date is still to be confirmed.
I feel very honoured to be recognised in this way and to be included amongst the most amazing chocolatiers in the UK.
As a Brighton based business how does the city inspire your designs?
I love the architecture in Brighton. Everywhere I look I see potential chocolate creations. I often say, “That would look good in chocolate!” I think it should be my epitaph. Ha-ha! You don’t have to look far in this city for inspiration – the Royal Pavilion, the Brighton Bandstand, the pier, the old pier- now that is a piece I would love to make as challenging as it would be! Also, the beach huts, the seafront covered benches, the Regency buildings, the little houses of East Brighton – so much inspiration!
Has the city contributed to your ethos or the way you work?
I love Brighton and the open-minded people who live here. I believe in treating people, animals and the world with kindness and find that most of the people in this city have a similar mindset. I make every effort to use biodegradable packaging. I’ve always appreciated ephemeral art such as the works of Richard Long or Andy Goldsworthy; it seems even more relevant now with the environment concerns. My work is designed and created to be thoroughly enjoyed and to leave no trace except wonderful memories.
How long have you lived or had a business based in Brighton?
I moved to Brighton at the end of 2000. I officially launched Chocadyllic in February 2013.
Where is your favourite spot in the city and why?
I love the seafront especially in the early morning. When I used to work in central Brighton in Finance (yes I know!) I used to cycle from West Hove along the seafront down by the sea and the promenade. It was a beautiful way to get into work especially on a bright sunny morning when the sun was shining on the sea, the masts on the boats were clinking, shops were starting to open up, folk were running or cycling, or walking their dogs.
Has being a Brighton based businesses contributed to your success or creativity in any way?
Absolutely – the architecture and the people and their mindset.
What do you think the city offers as a destination to people and businesses that have never visited?
It’s a wonderful city with so much to offer – the Laines (north and south) with so many independent shops, the seafront, the art, the culture, the Festival, the theatres, the piers, the architecture, the foods, the coffee shops, and of course the people!
What does the future hold for Chocadyllic?
I look forward to when people can celebrate special occasions together – I will then bring joy, happiness and wonderful memories with unique chocolate sculptures for everybody again. In the meantime, I’m developing beautiful and delicious chocolate gifts that people can order to send to their loved ones, near and dear. I’m also very excited about a product idea I’ll be launching soon – a shared chocolate puzzle for these unusual times. Look out on my social media pages and my website for updates.
How could Chocadyllic be used to enhance a corporate event?
I offer workshops where people can create their own chocolate tablet with a personalised message. It is also possible to create a unique piece together as a team incorporating company values, logos, themes and intentions. It’s a lot of fun and there’s always plenty of chocolate!
Check out more of Evelyn’s amazing creations on her Instagram @chocadyllic
On behalf of the YBrighton team, we wish you all a happy, healthy Easter weekend. If you are looking to the future and would like more information on the Chocadyllic workshops or the possibilities Brighton offers as a corporate events destination, please get in touch… even just for a lovely chat!