On August 22nd, Alan McClure of Patric Chocolate and Steve DeVries of DeVries Chocolate will be in Dallas for several chocolate-related soirees. DallasChocolate.org is bringing two of the country’s most respected bean-to-bar chocolate makers here for a weekend of delicious and informative events. Full details after the jump. In addition, pastry chef Rhonda Ruckman (Doughmonkey) will craft desserts featuring Patric and DeVries chocolates. Chocolate makers Alan McClure (Patric Chocolate) and Steve DeVries (DeVries Chocolate) will discuss the challenges and rewards of micro-batch chocolate making, explain what to look for and avoid in fine chocolates, and guide participants through a tasting of their hand-crafted bars. The events include:
• Guided tasting at 2:00 pm in the Milestone Culinary Arts Center’s main auditorium on Saturday, August 22, 2009.
• Exclusive dinner at 5:00 pm in the Milestone Culinary Arts Centerʼs front room on Saturday, August 22, 2009.
• Guest lecture for students of Collin College on Friday, August 21, 2009.
The guided tasting will begin at 2:00 pm in the Milestone Culinary Arts Center’s main auditorium on Saturday, August 22, 2009.
The price for the tasting is $7 per person. Reservations are recommended, due to limited seating. The center is located at 4531 McKinney Avenue (McKinney & Knox) Dallas, TX 75205.
The exclusive dinner on August 22 provides a chance to meet the chocolate makers. Milestoneʼs staff, under the direction of Chef Sharon Van Meter, W.M.C.S., will prepare a small plates menu. In addition, special guest pastry chef Rhonda Ruckman (Doughmonkey) will craft desserts featuring Patric and DeVries chocolates. The dinner will begin at 5:00 pm in the Milestone Culinary Arts Center’s front room and attendance will be capped. The price for the dinner is $50 per person and reservations are required.
On August 21, 2009, McClure and DeVries will also be guests at Collin College’s new culinary school facility in Frisco, TX. Along with Pastry Arts Professor Michele Brown, the chocolate makers will answer students’ questions and explain how to incorporate their chocolate into desserts that showcase its uniqueness.
After a life-long love of food and a year living in France led to a passion for fine chocolate that could no longer be contained, Alan McClure decided to start a bean-to-bar chocolate company in 2006. In between cacao sourcing trips to Central and South America, McClure designed his own chocolate-making facility and built several types of small-batch chocolate equipment. In January 2007, Patric Chocolate opened its doors. Since that time, McClure has released two single-origin dark chocolate bars,with other fine chocolate products on their way. To learn more about Patric Chocolate, visit www.patric-chocolate.com
After buying his first cacao and making a crude chocolate in 1999, Steve DeVries spent five years — the last two full-time –traveling and studying the history and traditions of chocolate. After visiting more than a dozen factories in Europe and the Americas and numerous cocoa plantations in Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Mexico; he started DeVries Chocolate using “100 years behind the times” as a tagline and guiding principle. At DeVries, the chocolate making begins on the plantation with close personal involvement in the fermentation and the slow sun-drying of the cacao to maximize the development of positive flavors and aromas. In the factory, after a long, low-temperature roast, the beans are processed on “classic” granite chocolate machinery, including over three days in the original type of conch invented by Rudolph Lindt in 1879. Finally the chocolate is aged in blocks for at least three months. To learn more about DeVries, visit www.devrieschocolate.com.
Both DeVries and Patric are founding members of the Craft Chocolate Makers of America. The organization strives to educate the public on the virtues of chocolate made by small, independent companies using only traditional methods.
The Adolphus Hotel is sponsoring these events by graciously providing lodging for the chocolate makers. In 1912 fortune, flamboyance, and fame came together to produce the “grande dame of grand hotels.” Beer baron Adolphus Busch, founder of The Adolphus, chose to honor his adopted city of Dallas with twenty-one stories of baroque splendor. Critics have called this Texas landmark “the most beautiful building west of Venice.” Its fine-dining restaurant – The French Room – is the only restaurant in Texas to receive the AAA Five Diamond Award in 2009. DallasChocolate.org is a not-for-profit entity created to excite Dallas about the accessibility and appreciation of fine chocolate.Reservations for both the tasting and dinner can be placed at DallasChocolate.org.