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Sebastian Kobelt
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Sebastian Kobelt is a former World Chocolate Master, a German Chocolate Master and has won Pâtissier of the Year and Chocolatier of the Year from the Scottish Food Awards 

Sipping peppermint tea in his Linlithgow shop I savour a champagne truffle and ask Sebastian how he journeyed from his East German homeland to West Lothian and what happened along the way. It transpires it all started with his granddad ….. 

"My grandfather was a baker but he had to get up at 4am. I was a typical teenager and liked a lie in. I loved helping him but decided cakes were a better option as I got an extra hour in bed and didn’t have to start until five"

Sebastian stops to serve me his signature chocolate cake. It is made milk chocolate, salted caramel and bitter orange. In patisserie patter this is known as an ‘entremet’ (French for 'between servings'). They are moussy cakes with different layers of complementary flavours and textures and my preferred ake of choice.  Sebastian was commissioned to make bespoke ones for the Scottish Open this year.  As I scrape my plate and lick my fingers I take him back to East Germany. 

"I wanted to travel when the wall came down and I started on cruise ships as a head of pastry. Eventually I ended up in Scotland working at RBS for Fred the Shred. He liked my mango panna cotta and always ordered it. Then in 2008 I joined Tom Kitchin's team for three years and helped open Castle Terrace in 2010. Eventually I opened my shop here.  

Next up for me is a cranachan truffle made with real raspberries.  It melts with an explosion of pure tasting flavour on the tongue.  Sebastian works with good quality chocolate and no artificial ingredients or preservatives. 

He has just launched his online shop too. Here you a can drool over and buy chocolates, truffles, selection boxes and bars which are all freshly and exquisitely crafted in small batches. 

His best seller is a 16 piece signature selection box and flavours include citrus fruits, salted caramel, raspberry & rose, ginger, black currant & tonka bean, Scottish heather honey & rosemary, sour cherry & green cardamom, miso & chai latte. 

Sebastian’s inspiration clearly comes from many sources.  Events, commissions and briefs from high end clients like Waldorf Astoria and Gleneagles play their part as does his his mastery and understanding of technique and flavour. But it is also obvious that he is inspired by and respects the seasons and nature too. 

His ultimate inspiration though? Well I suspect that was his grandfather, back in the small bakery in East Germany. 

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