This week’s post may as well be the sequel to last week‘s. At least in the sense that both recipes feature tomatoes and dried chilies prominently, and both of their names end with an appropriately festive ‘ole.’
But mole, if more common than posole, seems the more shrouded in mystery of the two. I mean there’s no real leap of faith involved in enjoying the various flavors of posole getting together, but chocolate in a savory sauce? WEIRD. (It’s not weird, I’m making a point) At some point, all of us – whether you’re a dainty food sophisticate or you have a hobo gutter palate – thought of chocolate as strictly the turf of sweets and, as such, the notion of chocolate serving as the linchpin of a pan-savory extravaganza probably seemed at first…off-putting. Not gum-mixed-with-popcorn off-putting, but still, like I said, weird.2 Comments »
When I arrived at Chocolate Secrets last night to attend the invite-only chocolate tasting put together by Sander Wolf of DallasChocolates.org with master chocolatier Michael Recchiuti, I was expecting a group of snobby chocolatiers discussing chocolate in much the same way as wine snobs go on about the nose, finish, and body of wine. Instead of jargon, everyone was antsy to share their love stories – the unique ways they all came to love chocolate and their fight to make sustainable businesses out of making these confections.
Recchiuti is in town to be a part of Central Market‘s Chocolate Collection. His love story with chocolate involved the last Shah of Iran (Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavī) and Bill Gates. If you are itching to know the six degrees of separation, jump with me.
Little brown bags (nostalgic images of childhood frivolity and happy lunchtime indulgence) arrived at the D offices yesterday from a charmingly peaceful young woman. Katy Priore runs Bark Chocolate, and her philosophy and method of cooking is as enchanting as the chocolate is delicious. “It’s made with love, and that’s the most important ingredient… the fundamental importance of cooking with intention.” She delighted a few of us with samples of seven different chocolate barks, each unique and definitive in its flavor profile. Her chocolate coupling calls to mind the ethereal pairing of Zeus and lightning, Elizabeth Taylor and diamonds, Ryan Gosling and eyesight. Let the listing begin.
This chic is twisted, flip city. That is why we love her. This Valentine’s Day Clapner, of Dude, Sweet Chocolate, is designing 300 limited-edition chocolate hearts. Real hearts. Life size. Solid dark chocolate filled with waffle cone, Cocoa Puffs, and her chocolate crack. They are $45. I’d say hurry.
Katherine Clapner will open the second location of Dude, Sweet Chocolate tomorrow at 8304 Preston Center Plaza Dr. Lots of free samples. Hours: 10AM to 10PM)1 Comment »
The empress of chocolate, Katherine Clapner, extends her Dude, Sweet Chocolate across the lands of North Texas. A shop at 8304 Preston Center Plaza Drive and another at 2925 Crockett St. in Fort Worth will open “the first week in December.” Check your calendar: that is NEXT WEEK. To get you in the mood: Food porn starring Katherine Clapner.
Just in time for the holidays, and maybe only for the holidays, Katherine Clapner just signed a 3-month lease at 8304 Preston Center Plaza Drive for a second location of Dude, Sweet Chocolate. If the chocolate chick likes the shop in the southeast quadrant, Preston Center Plaza, she will stake a longer claim. Meanwhile, she’s eyeballing another location in Fort Worth and has larger production facility up and running on Inwood Road. Preston Center is HOT!
If you missed the third annual Chocolate Festival in Addison Saturday, let’s just say you missed one of the sweetest events to kick off the fall season. The Chocolate Festival showcased some of the world’s finest and purest chocolate, and the thought of it still makes my mouth water.
What made the festival more than just a taste-and-see was definitely the quality of the treats featured. Many of the 30 sponsors united flavors from all over the world to make their confections more than just average chocolate.
Take a choco jump.4 Comments »
This photo that I just saw on Dude, Sweet Chocolate’s Facebook page is killing me. If it weren’t for work, I’d be out the door and running to Dude, Sweet’s store right now just to grab one of these chocolate Cajeta skulls. According to the guy who answered the phone, Katherine Clapner received a special order for these little skulls and made them out of 72% dark chocolate and goat’s milk caramel. There are only 30 of these pretty skulls left at the store, so I would fly there, if I were you. Then proceed to cackle with glee.
This year’s Chocolate Conference & Festival, created and coordinated by Sander “Nibbs” Wolf of dallaschocolate.org, will take place on September 29, 2012, at the Addison Conference Centre. (Random question: Why do they spell it Centre? This is not Ontario.) Today comes word from Mr. Wolf: he’s got his conference schedule finalized. Jump below for full descriptions. Highlights include Chocolatiers’ Roundtable discussion led by Adrienne Newman (Madame Cocoa) and The Chocolate Shop – Old School vs New School — Katherine Clapner (Dude, Sweet Chocolates) & Eric Case (Valrhona Chocolate).
Before you jump, I’d like you to know I just finished a golf ball-sized wad of Clapner’s Stag Party walnut fudge. It is one of the most delightful pieces of chocolate I have ever put in my mouth.
Rock your world. Sign up. Eat more chocolate.
This event isn’t until September 29, but tickets have just gone on sale. You get one or two or a few right here.
We told you what’s in store a couple months ago, but the day long fest at the Addison Conference Centre includes tastings and classes taught by experts. At least 15 different chocolatiers and chocolate makers (think Nib Chocolates, CocoAndré, and Oh Brownie) are scheduled to appear. For more information, go to DallasChocolate.org.
Sander Wolf of DallasChocolate.org has booked the Addison Conference Centre on September 29 for the Third Annual DallasChocolate.org Chocolate Conference & Festival. Wolf says he’s booked over a dozen chocolate makers and chocolatiers to participate in the day-long celebration of chocolate. So far they are:
Tejas Chocolate (Houston), Rogue Chocolatier (Boston), and Dallas chocolatiers Chocolate Secrets, Wiseman House, Dr. Sue’s Chocolate, Oh Brownie, The Dark Chocolate Bakery, Pure Chocolate Desserts by Zach, Toffee Treats, Elegantly Chocolate, Collin College, and Sublime Chocolate.
There are two components to The Chocolate Conference & Festival 2012: sampling chocolate and learning about it from classes taught by experts. The day begins with a Chocolatierʼs Roundtable, a free-flowing discussion with all participating local chocolatiers. Stay tuned. More to come.
Last night, Bolsa Mercado transformed into a delightful backdrop, playing host to founder Atti Worku and her non-profit, Seeds of Africa - an organization that provides a nurturing, educational community for young children and young adults in Adama, Ethiopia. Chef Jeff Harris prepared a four-course menu to approximately 60 Seeds supporters as I, an invited guest, witnessed this NYC-based non-profit introduce itself to Dallas.
Jump for more Desiree Espada photos.
There are two things in life you can’t criticize, or you risk getting pounced: In-N-Out and See’s Candies. When I told this to my mother yesterday, she gently reminded me of the first time I’d ever had See’s Candies. I was six. My parents took my older brother and me to Las Vegas for Christmas Eve and left us in the hotel room for an hour while they donated money to slot machines. When they came back, they discovered us staring out the window with guilty chocolate smudges on our fingers and faces. We’d been watching the night sky – waiting like little children often do – to catch a glimpse of Santa’s sleigh, and we’d demolished a box of See’s between the two of us.
So, I get it. When you open a box of See’s, you open a box of nostalgia, and there’s something kind of sweet about all that. Continue reading "See’s Candies Opens Tomorrow at Stonebriar Mall"6 Comments »
Two weeks ago, I was on a cruise headed for the island of Grenada when I received an email about The Grenada Chocolate Company. Needless to say, the headline–“Grenada Chocolate Company and FairTransport Team Up To Make First Ever Carbon-Neutral Trans-Atlantic Mass Chocolate Delivery”—got my full attention. I rearranged my schedule and made plans to meet with Mott Green, the founder of GCC, a tree-to-bar organic chocolate cooperate. Sadly, the only time we could meet was at high noon on a Sunday. The factory was closed so I met with Green at their retail store which is located on the beautiful Belmont Estate, Grenada’s first and finest agri-tourism organic farm.
Green was busy getting ready to pack four tons of his organic dark chocolate and sail with it from Grenada to New York City. He’d partnered with Netherlands-based shipping company, FairTransport, and the ship, the wind-powered Brigantine Tres Hombres, was set to sail from Grenada with Green and his chocolate today. This voyage, according to Green, is the “first carbon-neutral trans-Atlantic mass chocolate delivery.” Green built his own insulated cool room, powered solely by wind and sun, for the ship’s cargo hold. (Click here to follow the ship’s progress and Green’s blog about the journey)
Jump for the story and pictures. Continue reading "Special Report: The Grenada Chocolate Company Delivers World-Class Chocolate By Sailboat"6 Comments »
This past weekend may have been rainy and overcast, but a beacon of sunshine poured down upon the Bishop Arts District, resting on a quaint little renovated house painted brightly with hues of violet and blue. Within these walls rested Dallas’ first “pop-up” pie shop, brought to us by the wonderful women at Emporium Pies, partners and co-owners, Mary Gauntt and Megan Wilkes. Wanting to test the waters a bit and see what kind of response the Dallas diners would have to a dedicated pie shop, they moved into the space at 314 N. Bishop Ave. over the weekend to provide this city with some of the finest pies it will ever see.
Walking inside, the space is small but cozy, with no more than a few chairs, a sales counter, a couple tiny tables with three stands displaying the day’s pie options. On one rests a French silk chocolate pie with a crunchy pretzel crust, another holds a bourbon pecan pie with shortbread crust, the last displaying a streusel topped banana pie. I ordered a slice of each, which were then all neatly packaged in small wicker baskets with a wooden fork and tied up with string (these are a few of my favorite things). The entire presentation is so insanely cute, it makes fluffy baby bunnies look like swamp trolls. I took a seat on the porch and dug in.
Jump for a whole lotta pie porn…
Alan “Patric” McClure, owner of Patric Chocolate, is the kind of guy who blushes when you tell him, “My editor sent me here because you’re famous.”
We’re standing in the middle of Central Market’s busiest intersection – a place where people and grocery carts collide – and it takes him a couple minutes to recover from my forward introduction. When McClure gathers his thoughts, he launches into his insane foodie-ism and then does something completely unexpected: he starts modeling with his chocolate. Tyra would be proud.
Jump for some funny photos.
Bolsa Mercado is officially a talent hog. It’s great if you happen to be cool (rich?) enough to live in The “fabulous” OC. However, it sucks for those of us who have to walk half a mile through a huge chain grocery store to buy a carton of milk. Or beer.
Deep Ellum Brewery has just released their first (only?) production of “Love Runs Deep” Cherry Chocolate Double Brown Stout (deets below). Think you’ll find it at Tom Thumb? Nope. Bolsa Mercado bought the entire batch. Each 22-ounce bottle is individually numbered and made with red tart and dark sweet cherries and Organic/Fair Trade cocoa nibs. Expect to find all 300 of them on the shelves of Bolsa Mercado during their next Open House on February 11.
If you can’t wait until the 11th to get a food fix from The ‘Cado, head over on February 8. If you are lucky, you may be able to look past talented chef chefs Jeff Harris and Matt Balke and spot the rare, elusive chef Sharon Hage in the kitchen. She will be creating a “Take Home Dinner For Two.” Who knows, by then Bolsa Mercado may have Alan McClure creating Fudgesicles or Grant Achatz doing dishes. Could happen. Pigs fly in Oak Cliff.