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Interview: Craig Alibone, Norway's Creative Chocolatier

Way, way in the north of Norway -- just within the Artic Circle -- lies the town of Bodø. It is here that British chocolatier Craig Alibone chose to make his home and begin creating some of the most marvelous confections. While it's a long way from his roots in Leicester, England, it is the continuation of a lifelong, passionate interest in food, in particular pastries and chocolate -- and the wonderful ways one can create and fashion them. Recently, we had a chance to catch up with Craig and here's what we learned:

What is your first memory of chocolate?

My grandfather had quite a sweet tooth. I remember him sitting in his armchair with a tin beside him always filled with chocolate and sweets. So my brother and I would enjoy our visits to see him and get our hands on some chocolate.

When did you realize you wanted to devote your life to actually making chocolate?

Before I decided to become a chocolatier, I worked as a fine dining chef. During my time at one restaurant, we had two french pastry chefs who really opened my eyes to the incredible possibilities of chocolate and patisserie. From that time, my mind was made up that my future was in the patisserie industry.

What do you think makes your chocolate distinct from others?

I think each chef has an opportunity to stamp there own creative mark in whichever field they choose to dedicate their career. I’ve spent a lot of time researching different products, different techniques and flavors.  So to give a distinction into why my product is different would be that I feel I’ve developed good knowledge into what makes the perfect chocolate experience: the snap when biting into the chocolate, the aromas, the flavor balance, the texture, etc.  

Craig Alibone Store

Which of your chocolates do you think will surprise people most?

I’m a fan of using flavors in chocolate that people consider different. We, of course, have a nice range of classic flavors such as salted caramel, hazelnut pralinè. But from time to time we like to through a curve ball.

So the aerated bacon is a surprisingly nice piece. The balsamic and mango another.

When you're not making chocolate, what do you enjoy doing?

I’m very much a family man with two young daughters. So when I’m not working, I like to spend time with the family. I’m obviously a big fan of food as well so I spend time cooking and dining out.

Final thoughts?

Be true to your personal goals. Be inspired, but remember to inspire.


Learn more about Craig Alibone here on Grahame's Chocolate Guide:

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