As a child of two pastry chefs, João Cadete was destined for a career in food. He eats, sleeps and breathes chocolates, and now shares his love and talent with the world.
At his chocolaterie, One.More chocolate, known as One.More, Cadete draws inspiration from his Portuguese heritage. He combines Portuguese techniques with Australian ingredients to create flavours that can't be found anywhere else.
One.More has been 20 years in the making. This Lisbon-born chef's career began at age 14, when he worked as a full-time pâtissier at a local bakery.
"There are six pastry shops within a block from his house," Cadete's wife, Chloe Norris, explains. "It's such a big part of their culture."
By 18, Cadete was running pastry kitchens across Portugal and developing a strong interest in the art of chocolate making. This passion brought him to Barcelona in Spain where he studied at the Chocolate Academy, which led him to become a chocolatier.
Cadete established an impressive reputation for his craft in Europe, so it was no surprise when he was headhunted for a job in Australia at Portuguese pastry store, Sweet Belem Cake Boutique.
"The idea was to come for a few months, but I liked the culture in Australia," he says. "It's easier as a chef to work in a country where the food is better, the ingredients are fresher and the customers have more money to spend on your products."
Five years into the job, Cadete found that he was losing his passion for pastry and wasn't being challenged anymore. He started thinking of ways to apply his experiences as a chocolatier in Portugal and combine these with the outstanding ingredients Australia had on offer.
After months of trialling and messy home experiments, One.More was born. This business was initially an online side hustle for Cadete and Norris, but in November last year, they expanded to a retail store.
Cadete leverages old recipes for his range of truffles, bonbons and fresh fruit hemispheres, but adapts them to the Australian palate.
"A lot of the flavours we use in our range, I was making before in Portugal," he explains. "For example, we have a port wine bonbon but instead of using the port from Portugal, I use fortified port from Mudgee because that's where Chloe [Norris] is from."
"We have a port wine bonbon but instead of using the port from Portugal, I use fortified port from Mudgee."
Their signature bonbon, the "Lisboa", is reminiscent of Cadete's favourite Portuguese desserts.
"It's like a cross between a Portuguese tart, crème Brule and rice pudding, and it tastes like lemon, cinnamon and vanilla," he describes. "My mum would always make rice pudding and you have that taste of cinnamon and lemon, so those are very familiar flavours."
One.More also sells a lemon myrtle bonbon with flavours similar to those of verbena tea, which is popular in Portugal.
"Although very Australia, the flavours felt familiar to him," Norris says. "It tastes like something from his childhood and transports him back to drinking tea with his mum."
It takes three days to make each of One.More's bonbons. On the first day, Cadete paints and moulds the shell. On the second day, he fills and sets the chocolate and on the third day, he seals them. This time allows the flavours to intensify and infuse into the chocolate ganache.
Cadete also makes French-style pralines from scratch, including those flavoured with lemon myrtle and bush honey, and wattleseed and macadamia. He grinds the caramelised nuts into a paste and coats them in premium-grade Cacao Barry chocolate. The best of his finely crafted classics can be found in One.More's Signature Box. The packaging pays homage to Cadete's Portuguese heritage with blue and white colours referencing Azulejo tiles. Cadete adds another touch of his own culture by hiding a chocolate plaque underneath the truffles and pralines.
"Our culture is really about sharing and generosity," Cadete says. "If you go to someone's house, they always have something to offer or to drink…When we make a box of chocolates, we always try to have a full box and give that chocolate plaque in the bottom as a complimentary thing."
Norris adds, "That generosity comes across in the recipes as well. The chocolates are full and bold and really generous in their flavour."
The list of ingredients Cadete wants to experiment with in the future is endless, and he hopes to continue sharing his Portuguese culture with Australia for years to come.
Love the story? Follow the author Melissa Woodley here: Instagram @sporkdiaries.
Photographs supplied by Chloe Norris.
Shop 4/89-97 New Canterbury Rd
Petersham NSW 2049
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