As you’ve probably figured out from this month’s cover, we love chocolate. And we love our local chocolatiers. From shoes of chocolate to hand-painted pieces, it’s all beautiful and delicious. Before diving into the world of chocolate, I gave a call to DallasChocolate.org founder Sander Wolf. I asked him about the state of chocolate in Dallas, and he told me that “it’s emerging. We’re not San Francisco or New York, but there’s a lot of people doing a lot of good stuff.” One great thing about chocolatiers in Dallas is that everybody has his/her own specialty. “When they get together, there’s virtually no overlap,” Wolf says. “Even if you gave them all the same ingredients, they would turn out completely different.”
To see the result of their work, check out these gorgeous photos by Manny Rodriguez.
And, if you’d like to find out where you can taste some of this chocolate, jump. I’ve included information from DallasChocolate.org about what our favorite chocolatiers are up to this month.
Katrina Markoff of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, the woman who sells bacon chocolate candy bars for $33 a box and probably makes a darn good living from it, is holding two truffle classes (making bacon truffles?? maybe??) in Central Market for a pre-Chocolate Festival event on February 4. The real Chocolate Festival kicks off on February 8 when Central Market hosts some of the hottest chocolatiers at their Dallas, Fort Worth, and Plano locations to show what these superstars can do with mighty fine cocoa beans.
At least now I know what I want for V Day: bacon freakin’ chocolate candy. Whoever mails me a box, wins.
Jump for dates, times, and locations. Continue reading "Chocolate Festival at Central Market, Feb 8-14"
Local chocolate lover Jeanine Stevens conducts tours of chocolate destinations for other chocolate lovers. Sip wine and sample chocolate aboard her luxury bus as you discover Dallas’ premier chocolatiers, bakeries, cheesemakers and other artisanal specialty shops. The tours last about three hours and stops at places such as CocoAndre Chocolatier, Dude Sweet Chocolate in Oak Cliff, Dark Chocolate Bakery, Chocolate Angel in far north Dallas, Society Bakery on Greenville, and Scardello Artisan Cheese on Oak Lawn.
Dallas by Chocolate five Valentine’s Indulgence tours are sold out, but seats are still available on the Feb. 5, Feb. 12, Feb. 19, and Mar. 17 tours (1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.). Tickets start at $25 per person. In addition to booking weekend and weekday tours for individuals through the her website, Stevens also does private chocolate tours and tastings for groups.
Mark this down: November 19, from 1-3:00PM at Sigel’s in Addison (15003 Inwood Road).
Here’s the deal: Sigel’s Cheesemonger Theresa McGee and Chef Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate have combined their extraordinary talents to organize a cutting edge tasting of Cheese & Chocolate featuring the delicious raw milk cheeses of Brazos Valley Cheese Company. The Chocolate selections are still being finalized to pair with the following award winning Texas cheeses: Roasted Garlic Montasio, Horesradish & Pecan Cheddar, Raw Milk Muenster, Raw Milk Swiss, Raw Milk Gouda.
What’s Missing: Wine. Hmm. How shall we cleanse our palates?4 Comments »
After a year and a half of gathering customer feedback La Madeleine has updated their style. This morning the La Madeleine at Northpark invited the media to come see the first newly designed restaurant and to sample their holiday dessert menu.14 Comments »
In a perfect world, Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate and I would totally be BFFs. We would hang out, like, everyday…stuffing our faces silly with her wonderful chocolate creations while watching Lord of the Rings, spending hours planted in front of the X-Box, playing hackey-sack, and toilet-papering the neighbors’ houses. Then, the end of the day would go something like this:
“Hey Kath, would you whip me up some of your wonderful hot chocolate, pretty please?”
“It’s called drinking chocolate, you numb-skull, and what do I look like, your mom?”
“Well actually, if my mom had a few more tattoos…”
I once had a dream wherein I visited a magical building, and in that building, lovely people danced around throwing handcrafted chocolates, magical brownies, and toffees in my mouth from all directions. I pranced around this magical building for hours, humming Simon and Garfunkel tunes, hugging everyone in sight, and smearing my entire body in chocolate fudge. It was a wonderful dream, but this past Saturday, this dream became a reality (most of it anyways).
This past weekend, at the Addison Conference Center, the brilliant minds behind DallasChocolate.org brought together the most talented group of chocolatiers in Big D. It was truly a festival for all to enjoy. I have not seen a happier group of people gathered in one place since the night I camped out with the Star Wars geeks for the opening of the Phantom Menace. It was like being transported to the mystical Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory, without those disturbing Oopa Loompas narrating your every move.
The men and women showcasing their chocolate talents were no less than extraordinary. Some of the wonderful people included in the showcase included…2 Comments »
Dude Sweet owner Katherine Clapner posted on her shop’s Facebook page this weekend’s featured frozen flavors, and they sound like a crazy, creative, and tasty way to beat the heat. FROZEN YOGURTS: fig/malted milk and banana/baharat. ICE CREAMS: rooibus/white chocolate and ginger beer. SORBETS: blueberry/fennel pollen, kiwi/matcha, miso/togarashi, chocolate/pomegranate molasses, and Mexican papaya/agave.
Melted, molded, enrobed, and hand-rolled—Chocolate stands front and center on August 27 at the Addison Conference Centre during the 2011 Dallas Chocolate Conference. Read on for the full schedule:
The conference is an immersive and rewarding event for chocolate lovers with two main components both included with a single ticket purchase: A Showcase of Chocolate and a Chocolate Academy. The Showcase of Chocolate is an exhibition hall where attendees can sample chocolates from the participating chocolatiers and chocolate makers. The price of a ticket is $15 (plus tax) in advance and $20 (including tax) on the day of the Conference and includes ten samples during any one of the four sampling sessions. Sessions are an hour and a half long and start at 11:00 am. Tickets for children include three samples and are available for $5 (plus tax) in advance and $6 (including tax) on the day of the Conference. Attendance will be capped to ensure that attendees are able to interact with the chocolatiers and chocolate makers.
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The schedule of classes has been finalized and covers the full spectrum of chocolate—from making it to baking with it. Classes include demonstrations (with samples, of course), lectures, interactive sessions, and panel discussions.
The Chocolate Academy will kick-off at 10:00 AM with the Chocolatiersʼ Roundtable—a free-flowing discussion with all participating chocolatiers. Adrienne Newman (Madame Cocoa) will be the Chocolate Academyʼs mistress of ceremonies. While all classes are included with a ticket purchase, space is limited and is on a first come, first seated basis.
The full schedule is as follows:
I hope you saved August 27. That’s the day Dallaschocolate.org is hosting their day-long immersion into the seductive world of chocolate. Jump for all of the details including speakers, times, and prices.
All of the numbers to Noka Chocolate, including the factory on Market Center Drive, are disconnected. I called the epicurean department at Neiman Marcus and the nice gal who answered the phone said, “No we don’t carry Noka. They went out of business a month ago.”4 Comments »
Last night Best Buddies Dallas celebrated their “Life is Sweet” event with sweet treats prepared by some of our favorite chefs in the city and their buddy chef helpers.
The first of these “Life is Sweet” events occured just last fall on a chilly night in November, and with the great success of that evening for Best Buddies, and the beauty of spring in the air, they moved the 2011 event up a few months and held it last night at Victoria Hall inside Andrew Ormsby Catering. Continue reading "Best Buddies Teams Dallas Chefs With New Best Buddy Friends"
If you still don’t buy into the notion that Deep Ellum is alive and well, it’s about time you made a return visit. Or perhaps you’re like me and feel it was never dead in the first place.This week, I paid a visit to one of the newest residents of this quirky, eclectic neighborhood, Zen Baking Company. Zen was opened by two sisters, Chonnie Richey and Czarina Hounsel, and together they are determined to create the perfect cake ball. I’m pleased to report they may have done just that.10 Comments »
Katherine Clapner, the dudette behind Dude, Sweet Chocolate, is throwing a party to celebrate the first anniversary of her shop in Bishop Arts. She’s going all out—apparently she’s dressing up as Selena and her staffers will tote marshmallow guns and attend as The Three Amigos. The fun will take place in conjunction with Cinco de Mayo Wine Walk, on May 5 from 7-9pm. In true Dude form, EZ Eddie at the turntables,100 Anjos Reposado will flow, and pinatas in the likes of people you’ve always wanted to whack upside the head.
This year’s salute to chocolate presented by DallasChocolate.org will take place at the Addison Conference Center on August 27.
Full press release below. Continue reading "DallasChocolate.org Announces Dates for Chocolate Conference 2011"3 Comments »
Last night’s dine around dinner and wine tasting took place on the grounds of Perini Ranch. Chefs and wineries cooked and poured for over three hours. I was a bad reporter. I didn’t take notes or shoot many pictures because I wanted to just experience the evening. However, I ended up with a few videos and pictures that paint a picture of some of my fondest memories. (Earlier reports here and here.)
I was most impressed by chef Marco J. Martinez of Matt’s Rancho Martinez. Marco is the youngest son of the late, great Matt Martinez, Jr. Marco created a “Southern plus prairie plus Texan” dish which consisted of a thick waffle covered with smoked rabbit and jalapeno cole slaw. I’d give second place to Chef Tim Byres of Smoke. He served melt-in-your-mouth ribs with a sassy chimichurri sauce and blue cheese spiked grits. As always, Jacques Pepin floated around the crowd chatting and sampling the food by Texas chefs. He is perhaps the kindest man in the business.
Go below for video and pictures. And make plans to attend next year (April 20-22). It’s an intimate event and the proceeds go to supporting graduate fellowships to students studying vititculture and/or enology at Texas Tech.
On with the show. Watch Jacques Pepin drink red wine. Katherine Clapner spin sugar. Greg Bruni make my favorite new wine!2 Comments »
We sent intern Lisa Collins out to explore decadent dessert destinations in a Chevy. Read her report below.
Saturday was a sweet day for a handful of dessert lovers who were treated to a pre-Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt by Chevy. Couples were given their own General Motors vehicle to use for the day as well as clues to each of the locations.
The sweet hunt started off in Inwood Village at Rise No. 1, the country’s only souffle-specific restaurant.