“In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.” – Curnonsky
Any food manufacturer will tell you that each day they strive for perfection. Many have tried and failed but for others the painstaking days of food trials and tribulations finally bore fruit.
It was sad to read this week that one such man, Brian Sollitt passed away at the age of 74.
For many of you Sollitt may not be a name that lives in the memory, but he was involved in creating some of the most popular household chocolates of his generation.
During his illustrious career at Rowntree’s in York, spanning 53 years Sollit was involved in creating the Yorkie, Matchmakers, Drifter and the Lion Bar.
But it was another chocolate that would mark his greatest crafting achievement – the After Eight Mint.
Sollitt was the first person to work out how to get the mint filling inside the chocolate without it spilling out the sides.
Since that day, the technique has remained a closely guarded secret and more than a billion boxes of the sweet delights have been snapped up.
Loved by so many, Mr Sollitt was known as a larger than life character who would leave chocolate Santas out for his factory staff to take home, and his love of After Eights saw him amass one of the largest paraphernalia collections in the world.
Alex Hutchison a historian for Nestle who now owns Rowntree’s said: “He spent months – sometime years agonising over the technical details of his creations. He was an incredible man.”
Sollitt leaves behind a legacy that he created through hard graft and determination. An example to any young foodie entrepreneurs that hard work pays off in the end.
So next time you tuck into your after dinner After Eight, remember the name Brian Sollitt.
Which of Sollitt’s creations do you think was the greatest?
After Eight/Yorkie/Lion Bar/ Drifter/ Matchmaker
To keep up to date with the latest Speyside Specialities news check out our