In an unlikely alliance, a pastry chef and a flutist have combined their skills for an incredible feat of engineering, and a tasty treat, to boot: a playable chocolate flute.
Indian chef Vinesh Johny called his friend Los Angeles-born flutist Parth Chandiramani when inspiration struck him ahead of World Chocolate Day.
“He called me and he said, ‘I’ve been watching some YouTube videos of flute players, do you think we could make a flute out of chocolate entirely?'” Parth explained to The Epoch Times. “I knew at first thought that we could definitely get some kind of sound out of a chocolate pipe because the design allows that.”
However, the 29-year-old flutist found that the main challenge lay in making a flute that was fully tuned.
Parth, who was raised in Bengaluru, a state in southern India, has played the flute since the age of 6. Preferring to play a flute made of bamboo, he had never crafted his own instrument before Vinesh—the co-founder of Lavonne, a Bengaluru-based patisserie—posed the challenge.
As their experiment began, the duo had to keep many factors in mind, including the diameter of the flute, and the temperature in which it was made and played, “because chocolate is going to melt instantly,” Parth said.
Over a week in an air-conditioned kitchen, the flutist and his friend tried to work on the flute, which was made of couverture dark chocolate. They tried to make sure that the holes were spaced out precisely. Many prototypes failed, with some of them breaking instantly, but they continued with their efforts.
“We slowly learned and got the hang of it,” Parth said. “Finally, with the ninth or the tenth flute, we achieved exactly what we wanted.”
Yet, every time Parth laid his hands on the finished flute, it started to melt, and thus they had to get a video done quickly.
A.R. Rahman, a renowned Indian film composer, record producer, singer, and songwriter, also happens to be Parth’s favorite composer.
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“At the end of the video, it broke,” Parth lamented, adding, “I think if it was a normal flute and it broke, I’d be really sad.”
“I was really on top of the world as soon as it broke because I could bite into it immediately,” he considered. “It felt like we achieved something because we actually made a fully tuned chocolate flute; I played a melody out of it and then it broke, so it just seemed like it completed that circle.”
The pair shared their creation with the world on July 7, World Chocolate Day, with a video posted to Instagram, writing: “I didn’t just get to play it, I got to eat it too!”
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Public response was “really kind and sweet,” said Parth. Perhaps the best accolade of all came from the musical idol A.R. Rahman himself, who shared the melodies played on the chocolate flute on his Instagram stories.
“Vinesh randomly brought it up while we were making the flute, ‘What if A.R. Rahman shares this video?'” Parth recalled, “and I said, ‘Man, it’d be amazing.’
“It actually happened! That was a big win for us.”
Parth, who says that it was his mother’s dream for him to learn the flute during his childhood, soon developed a deep love for the pacifying instrument. Continuing to play the instrument through his school and college, the flute, Parth says, brought a sense of calm to him.
After college, Parth joined the Raghu Dixit Project for five years, a Bengaluru-based band that toured the world.
After leaving, he formed his own 20-piece outfit, Bryden-Parth, with a close friend, Bryden Lewis. Playing Bollywood covers, the project has lasted six years and counting.
Bryden-Parth will release an original music album in 2022.