The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

All Blog Posts (619)

The Ten Best Pastry Chefs in America...and me!

All I can say is...WOW! Last night I was lucky enough to attend a party at ICE--the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, honoring the 10 best pastry chefs in America. It was an amazing experience for a chocolatier and dessert freak like me. We were first allowed to roam through the building where these talented and amazing chefs were setting up and would answer our questions and just basically allow us to gawk at their creations. Then there was the ceremony where each of the 10 were… Continue

Added by Maria Valente on June 9, 2009 at 10:20am — 1 Comment

Chocolateria menu

Here is the menu for our new Artisan du chocolat chocolateria at 81 Westbourne Grove in London, Notting Hill. We were lucky that one of our long term customer, Nick Strangeway, is also one of the best cocktail makers in the world and he really helped us to make some fresh cocktails that are fabulous and have one compoment of chocolate (pulp or infusion or creamy cold drink) The ice cream is made with our Costa Rica conched cocoa mass. The salted caramel tart is simple but very very good. So far… Continue

Added by Artisan on June 8, 2009 at 1:06pm — No Comments

Photos from artisan du chocolat shop Notting hill







We managed a successful press opening and everyone love the shop, the products and the new chocolate cocktails. Summer coctails are cocoa pulp Bellini, Cupuacu Margarita, chocolate martini and the fab white chocolate and matcha New Orleans gin Fizz. It took us a year to get the design and the chocolateria menu right but it was well worth it. On the first day the shop was already full. Very… Continue

Added by Artisan on June 8, 2009 at 4:08am — 3 Comments

Trying out the new door

Frank brought the new door over today so we could see it in place and choose between several inserts. He does amazing work!

We chose this pattern but in a light azure blue. This is California, after all.

While he packed up, I took a picture of the interior paint. One wall is a rich (what else?) chocolate brown.…

Continue

Added by Eve on June 4, 2009 at 5:19pm — No Comments

Chocolate Training Shopping Spree

After ruminating over and over on what to do next - I have not done much, so any step I take will be a step forward - I decided to take more classes; although I am taking a class at the moment, the nature of it being online does not keep me motivated enough. I need to be there, working the chocolate, networking with other people, in a more conducive atmosphere. The whole online thing is actually a little boring! I am from another era, albeit computer savvy!



Anyway, so today I visited… Continue

Added by Andre Costa on June 2, 2009 at 11:24pm — 2 Comments

MAKE MINE MARBLE

Imagine your very own chocolate workshop - shelf space for all your molds, spatulas, pots, pans and junk; room for all your machines which nobody loves but you; boxes and boxes of your fine couvertures from around the world. What is the one thing you need to make your vision complete?



You need a marble slab! I am the proud owner of a new marble slab which now lives in my state-of-the-art-on-a-twizzlestick-budget chocolate studio formerly… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on June 1, 2009 at 8:30pm — 2 Comments

Artisan du chocolat Notting hill shop (london)

We are finally opening our shop in notting hill (81 Westbourne grove to be precise) on Friday June 5th.

Come and try our theobroma cacao and theobroma grandiflorum pulp juices as well as our chocolate summer cocktails based on chocolate or cacao pulp including cacao pulp bellini, cupuacu and tonka Margarita, chocolate martini and matcha and white chocolate New Orleans gin fizz.



Sit under our 4m wide panoramic plantation light whilst listening to sounds of the rainforest and… Continue

Added by Artisan on June 1, 2009 at 10:05am — No Comments

Chocolate and Chalk

Tom and I packed our chocolate in our old station wagon and drove up to Berkeley this weekend to be vendors, along with Malena and Clive of The Xocolate Bar (such wonderful chocolate art!!), the folks from Divine Chocolate, and Ethan Ash of The Tea Room, at the North Berkeley Chocolate and Chalk Festival. There were apparently some exciting chocolate events going on somewhere, and, I imagine, lots of chocolate in chalk, but we missed almost all that… Continue

Added by Eve on May 31, 2009 at 10:09pm — No Comments

What I've Done So Far

Eve asked me whether I've taken any training so far. I have. One! And there is another one going on now.

The first class I took was a one week, 25 hour introduction to chocolate making at ICE (the Institute of Culinary Education) in New York City, where I live.



One aspect I enjoyed about that class is the fact that due to internal reasons, the institute had 3 different chefs training us over the 5 day period. That gave us all a good perspective on their personal approach to… Continue

Added by Andre Costa on May 31, 2009 at 11:29am — No Comments

What the Mailman Brought

This is a picture of Karin Sander's "Siegfried" from the German book, Kunst in Scholade (Chocolate Art). Today's mail brought a fine new copy for the store in addition to a few more treasures:

The hot chocolate cup is my favorite. It's Austrian, made by Higgins and Seiter, translucent china with delicate roses and gold trim, and a wonderfully eccentric spiraling handle.



I also like the… Continue

Added by Eve on May 29, 2009 at 7:30pm — 1 Comment

The Beginning of my Journey

First of all, thanks Eve for giving me the kick in the behind I needed to start blogging about my own journey! I needed it. Seeing the photos of what's to become your store made me realize how much I want to go through the same process. I want it! And that's a huge statement if you only knew me!



So, before I start, let me give you all a short background on myself.

I am Brazilian, but I've lived in New York City since 2001. I just turned 41 this past May and, so far, I've never… Continue

Added by Andre Costa on May 29, 2009 at 11:54am — 1 Comment

Before

Here's the shop as it looks today. Its last incarnation was as part of a furniture store that took up much of the block. I've done drawings for what the front will look like - a new glass door and a radically different paint job - but it won't be done for another few weeks.





To get our plans okayed by the health department we're adding an ADA-compliant bathroom, a three bay sink and a mop sink, replacing the old carpet with linoleum… Continue

Added by Eve on May 28, 2009 at 5:02pm — 6 Comments

Trip to Visit Cocoa Farming Villages in Ghana and Ivory Coast

Join me on my 7th annual trip to help cocoa farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast. These two countries produce more than 55% of the world's cocoa. Their farmers are extremely poor, and their poverty makes possible the mainstream chocolate that some of us enjoy.



We will land in Accra, purchase cocoa storage bags, travel to Ebekawopa, Ghana, donate a dryness meter and 100 cocoa storage bags, measure the effectiveness of the solar cocoa drier we built last year, then travel to Ivory Coast,… Continue

Added by Tom Neuhaus on May 27, 2009 at 11:14pm — 4 Comments

yesterday's finds


Look - yesterday's haul led me here!

Added by Eve on May 27, 2009 at 4:00pm — No Comments

the new shop: crisis as opportunity

The day the health department showed up at our little chocolate factory to ask if it was really true that we were storing chocolate off-site was right in the middle of the period our employees were making each other cry.



For the last four years, Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates has been situated on the second floor of my sister-in-law Joanne Currie's bustling restaurant and bakery, Splash Cafe,… Continue

Added by Eve on May 27, 2009 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

The Biarritz chocolate train

How do I explain this one? A sixth sense for cacao? An exquisitely attuned nose that enables me to detect almond paste from over 400 miles away? Faith that any place in France is going to have to-die-for bonbons?



When I booked my trip to Biarritz, I knew rugby, pelote and thalassotherapy spa treatments were big. But I had no idea that the region had a storied chocolate history. I swear.



It was only on the TGV from Paris, furiously… Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on May 25, 2009 at 5:24pm — 2 Comments

My Very First Blog...be gentle with me!

So , I have finally been dragged kicking and screaming into this brave new digital world where everything is all a Twitter and Facebook has replaced Facetime, but here I am ready to Blog..So what do I blog about? Well, Chocolate of course! I am a chocolatier for lack of a better title. It's a pretty good title I think, and I am in very good company. I haven't always been a chocolatier and that is something I can blog about at a later date. , but I am one now. What that means is I get to create… Continue

Added by Maria Valente on May 22, 2009 at 3:15pm — No Comments

A local legend

Denise Acabo. The name doesn’t mean much to 99.9% of the world’s population, but those who do know it are fanatical about the woman, her Parisian chocolate parlor and her devotion to France’s best chocolatiers and candy makers.







With a daily uniform of long blonde braids, a tartan plaid skirt, and the sexy-schoolmarmish blend of bifocals and Chanel No 5 that… Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on May 14, 2009 at 4:57pm — 10 Comments

Taza Lecture

I will be attending a lecture by the founders of Taza Chocolates tomorrow, May 13. Please let me know if you have any questions you would like me to ask. Taza is a 2-year old start up outside of Boston doing stone-ground bean-to-bar.

Added by Walter Plante on May 12, 2009 at 8:06pm — No Comments

Ben & Jerry's Contest to Win a Trip to Visit Cacao Farmers

Thought the Chocolate Life people would want to know about this Ben and Jerry's contest with one prize being a trip to the Dominican Republic to visit cacao farmers! It ends May 26, 2009.

Added by Susie on May 5, 2009 at 10:20am — 2 Comments

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