David Crichton is the airline captain turned luxury chocolate maker who was a MasterChef finalist. He is the founder of The Careless Collection, and the creator of a dazzling variety of filled chocolate bars which can take you on remarkable flavour journeys. We spoke with him about his journey into the world of luxury chocolate, and asked him about his motivations and inspirations:
I’m a airline captain by trade; been flying for twenty years. Been cooking just as long. Only sweet food I was interested in was chocolate. Everyone loves it, but I also loved the science of it. Very similar to flying in many ways.
After making a certain dessert based on an idol on MasterChef 2018, people were going crazy for the chocolate dessert I made. Since I was never going to open a restaurant, I decided to make the dessert a shelf-stable luxury chocolate. First sale was May 2019. Just me with a few helpers now and again.
Mission is simply to push a filled chocolate bar as far as I can. I want people to be taken somewhere else when they eat them. They aren’t just sweets. Good ones are good, but still feel many are one dimensional. Hence I’m always using my strange palate and the fact I’m not actually classically trained, to experiment.
I work six months ahead for each collection. So four new flavours based loosely around a theme. Currently trying to get soy sauce into a caramel. Markets wise; I have secured a few supply contracts to take me to the next level of business. After that we will see what doors open.
[On MasterChef] we were tasked with creating a dish for an idol. I chose George Michael, made a mash up of Careless Whisper and Cadbury’s Wispa. I then selected the name carefully so that I wasn’t open to litigation!
A recommended lady locally: Creative Wilderness. I designed the insert, which has led to many sleepless nights. As the bars are trapezium shape, they provided lots of challenges to go in the post. However, when you see the photos from customers at the other end with perfect shiny chocolate bars it makes me very proud.
I actually wanted a flatter, oblong design looking Wispa bar. They don’t exist, so I went for this ‘confectionery’ bar look, which is a big part of nostalgia for the bar.
Beef, wine, cheese, in no particular order. The day you get bored of these, your time is up. Chocolate-wise, I wouldn’t know where to begin, however Amedei and Pump Street are my favourites.
I’m most proud of my beer and biscuit bar, and buttered toast bar. Both needed to be thought about from scratch, with no references to start with. Both are being entered into awards this year .
Our motto is “the bar that keeps on giving”. I love the way chocolate coats your palate, it’s my job to add flavours and textures around the main chocolate without overpowering it.
My bars are made with Pump Street Chocolate. Organic cream and butter and any other ingredients are used for the fillings.
There are lots of processes involved for various parts. “Toasting” cream, infusing butter for 24 hours, blending couverture to get the perfect balance for one of the shells (what I call dark white).