A graduate of Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial designs “sweet” shoes.
Andrés de la Cruz makes edible women’s shoes. His specialty are chocolate high-heels generally sold through his online store. But he also makes chocolates and desserts. He first learned to manipulate the raw material when doing his graduate thesis in Gastronomy at the Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial.
His research focused on the different uses and culinary applications of Ecuadorian cocoa. One advantage, says Andrés, is that Ecuadorian cacao has fruity touches; the so-called fine aroma cacao is valued worldwide.
One of the goals of this young chef is to promote the development of innovative designs and flavors and, at the same time, educate the palate: make Ecuadorians enjoy chocolate with high percentages of cacao.
During his final college thesis, Andrés realized that there was no specific chocolatier formation in the country and that there was scarce information on the subject, so he took over investigations.
He has always been self-educated, he says, and always doing experiments, learning from trial and error, until he understood how to shape different chocolate shoes and other forms. Andres’ experience and other students interested in chocolate boosted the university to strengthen studies on chocolatiering.
Juan Pablo Olguin, a professor and coordinator at the Gastronomy school, explains that they will be revising the curriculum. Most schools are focused on bakery and don’t have specialized chocolate courses. However, UTE performed events with chocolatiers from other countries and the students came in contact with this artistry, using local products such as naranjilla and avocado, for example.
Andrés, the chocolate shoemaker, keeps learning and exploring other shapes and flavors: chocolates filled with chicha and colada morada, chocolates with quinoa and lemon verbena, and has even developed machica truffles. His path as a chocolatier continues.
Find Andrés de la Cruz’s different types of shoes at finoscent.wix.com/cacao. His work is made from some of the nation’s major chocolate brands.