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September 30, 2010

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It's simply a sweet job

CHOCOLATE comes in many shapes and sizes with a dizzying array of flavors.

The Belgium Pavilion's chocolatier has merged the art with the World Expo theme, presenting a large chocolate Haibao, complete with gold trim.

Chocolatier Ilse Wilmots made the Haibao to present as a gift to the Expo and Shanghai.

Wilmots is something of a rarity in Belgium, a country known for producing some of the world's best chocolate, as she is one of few female chocolate makers there.

Wilmots, 40, has worked for Godiva, a famous Belgian chocolate company, for 19 years. She is Godiva's first female chief chocolate maker.

To many, Wilmots has a great job because she can use her imagination to create different kinds of chocolates and gets to taste them before anyone else.

"I'll taste about 10 to 15 different chocolate samples every day before serving them to customers to make sure they are delicious," Wilmots said. "Certainly, that's the best part of my job."

Life to her is a sweet, gooey journey where she is always looking for unique and delicious flavors to blend with chocolate.

The chocolate Haibao tastes of tropical fruit, which Wilmots said was because she wanted to offer a bite of "passion."

She is still working on her chocolate dream.

"My dream is to find the 'tastes' that represent my three children and make chocolates named after them," Wilmots said.

To achieve her dream, she is seeking the right combinations of ingredients.

Wilmots said she fell in love with chocolate making at the age of 12. She later went on to study chocolate making for four years.

She has made chocolate mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival and plans a "big chocolate surprise" for National Day tomorrow.


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