5 Fun Facts About the Trump Hotel Chocolate Lab

by Karen Kwan

“Wow, check out all this chocolate!” I said to a friend. I was at an event at the Trump Hotel in Toronto and one table was covered with an array of sweets.

“Oh, they have their own chocolate lab here, ” replied the host.

Hello. A custom chocolate lab right in the hotel? Needless to say I returned ASAP to find out more about the lab (which, of course, included sampling much of the wares—I was very thorough with my research). Here are five fun things I discovered about the lab and its pastry chef David Chow.

1. A dinner in Europe inspired the chocolate lab


Thank the husband-and-wife team of Val and Inna Levitan (he’s the president and CEO of Talon International Development Inc. and she’s the CEO and managing partner of the Talon Luxury Collection at the Trump International Hotel & Tower, Toronto—i.e., they own and manage Stock Restaurant Bar & Lounge, Suits Lobby Lounge and Quartz Crystal Spa in the hotel). After a dinner one night in Europe, the waiter presented them with a tray of chocolates and brandies to choose from. They so loved the concept that they decided they wanted to recreate that same abundance of chocolate in the Trump Hotel in Toronto. Now, after a meal at the hotel, a cart loaded with chocolate is rolled out so you can make a selection.

2. Chocolate is a natural choice for an engineer-turned-chef

Pastry chef David Chow, who, along with a staff of four, makes the chocolate in the 10th-floor lab, is actually an engineer by trade. Yes, an engineer. But he made a switch in career when the market took a downturn around 2002 and now he’s a Cordon Bleu-trained chef. His focus on desserts is actually not that surprising for an engineer, though, given the precise and regimented nature of baking and chocolates.

3. Most of us like common ingredients in our chocolate

“Most people tend to have conservative tastes, ” says Chow, naming peanuts, nougats, coffees and raspberry flavours amongst the most popular. He does experiment with more exotic flavours such as lavender and yuzu (“And I’m currently on an orange-blossom water kick, ” he says), but for himself, he’s most likely to eat a plain dark chocolate when he indulges.


4. Chocolate is produced daily in the lab

The chocolate only has a shelf life of two weeks, says Chow, so small batches are made daily. For a Saturday, as many as 100 truffles might be produced.

5. Chocoholics may soon need to stay at the Trump Hotel in Toronto

Although you don’t have to be a guest at the Trump to enjoy the lab’s chocolate (you can order their chocolate online), the hotel is considering offering the service of bringing the chocolate cart to your room. Selecting your chocolates while all cozy in the hotel’s bathrobe in your suite? It’s a chocolate lover’s dream come true!