Chef Gino Gonzalez reinvents a chocolate classic with Choco Lava

These days, Chef Gino Gonzalez, the executive chef of premiere cuisine destinations Café Ysabel and Buenisimo, keeps himself busy by constantly adding more innovative creations to his world-class culinary fare. With a passion for good food and a mission to excite the Filipino palate, Chef Gino draws inspiration from his childhood, his gastronomic exploits abroad, and his vast culinary experience to reinvent old favorites. This time, he turns to his drive for exploration and discovery to conjure new flavors that will fire-up the appetite of chocolate-lovers.

With a thirst for finding new ingredients to infuse his trademark dishes with, Chef Gino pushes the limits of creativity and taste while constantly offering new variations on all-time classics, from sumptuous savory entrees, aromatic breakfast treats, to luscious desserts. This time, Chef Gino adds to his list of discoveries Choco Lava, Universal Robina Corporation’s (URC) 3-in-1 powdered chocolate drink that has zero gram trans fat and only 80 calories per 20 gram serving. “As a chef, I’ve always had a zest for discovering new flavors. I constantly try different kinds of ingredients to produce interesting and workable combinations,” he stressed. “I always like to think out of the box. And fortunately, I was able to find the perfect ingredient in Choco Lava to give some of my creations that great chocolate taste.”

His fondness for exploring new things that led him to discover Choco Lava is also one of the values he inspires in his students at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies, where he’s currently the culinary arts program director and head instructor. “When my students can already follow instructions to a tee and when their classics are deeply embedded in them, I teach them to be adventurous and not be afraid to explore new things so they can grow as young chefs.” Having a soft spot for the dark dessert, Chef Gino created an easy-to-make chocolate recipe using Choco Lava: his own version of the Chocolate panna cotta. Considering that a chef’s work truly reflects who he is as a culinarian, his Choco Lava dessert certainly mirrors his fondness for chocolate. “I really love chocolate. I love playing around with it to make different kinds of chocolate concoctions,” he shared. “With the millions of chocolate lovers out there, I’m sure that everyone will take to this recipe very well. Plus, it’s very workable and easy to make, with all the ingredients readily accessible and very minimal equipment needed.”

With the convenience and premium taste of Choco lava, Chef Gino’s Chocolate Panna Cotta offers foodies a quick and simple way to create homespun chocolate satisfaction. This light and creamy dessert teases the taste buds with luscious chocolate flavor, a soft soothing texture, and just a hint of sweetness to end a dinner date on a sweet note. A fresh take on the chilled delight we all love, Chef Gino’s Chocolate Panna Cotta can easily be presented in an elegant way. And since it’s a very versatile dessert, Chef Gino’s Panna Cotta can be garnished with all sorts of ingredients to top it off in style – whipped cream, caramel, chocolate shavings, or even chocolate sauce.


1 tbsp. unflavoured gelatine
½ cup milk
2 ¼ cups cream
½ tsp. vanilla extract

1. Soften gelatin in milk for five minutes. Place the cream and sugar in a saucepan and let boil. Simmer and put gelatine mixture. Turn off heat. Add vanilla extract.
2. Transfer in a mold or pyrex pan. Chill for four hours or overnight.

With Choco Lava giving this delectable dessert the rich chocolate taste and irresistible aroma of premium cocoa, chocolate-lovers can truly share in the enticing flavors of a reinvented classic. What’s more, Choco Lava offers the convenience of a 3-in-1 mix, so you’ll enjoy a hassle-free and simple preparation without having to add sugar or milk separately.

Happy with his new chocolate concoction that features the healthy goodness of Choco Lava, Chef Gino yearns to share his love for chocolate to the world. He even sums up his luscious new creation in a single word – tempting.