Say goodbye to the average chocolate bar: a cafe in Long Island City is making intricate custom chocolates inspired by architecture.
Sugarcube was started by Peter Zaharatos, an architect who wanted to marry the worlds of architecture and food.
“Chocolate reacts very similar to plastic, it captures amazing detail,” Zaharatos said. “Sugarcube is an experiment to use my abilities as an architect and sculptor and combining all of those things to try to discover new structures.”
His initial interest in combining architecture and desserts came from his time working as a sculptor on a ship in Venice. He was a student at the time, and spent his days sculpting and nights learning to cook.
“It was kind of a makeshift crash course in a little bit of everything, and that’s what spurred the idea to do this,” he said. “I consider Sugarcube to be like my ship, same as the ship it does a little bit of everything.”
The chocolates go through a long process before they’re ready to be sold. They begin as an idea in Zaharatos’ sketchbook, which he then translates into a computerized 3-D model. The model is sent to his in-store 3-D printer, and a plastic model of the chocolate bar is made.
Zaharatos then creates a mold for the chocolate using the model and silicon, which he then pours chocolate into and refrigerates. Each chocolate bar undergoes the same hand-made process.
He uses the chocolate bars as abstract representations of his architectural designs, but also creates custom designs for clients interested in a personalized dessert.