chocolate

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Spring & Easter Gift Guide 2014

Ironically, it doesn’t feel like spring in New York City but Easter and Passover is coming up. Here’s some gift ideas for this (fast approaching) holiday. Sweets When you think Easter, you tend to think chocolates, especially the Easter bunny. There’s plenty of these delicious sweets coming from many great brands across the U.S. Mariebelle has a beautifully whimsical (and delicious) assortment of Easter chocolates ranging from a large chocolate egg ($35) (like the size of an adult’s head) filled with chocolate eggs and set in a nest with a colorful bird and butterflies. It looked like a girl’s dream..


Chocolate Tasting at Amedei Store (NYC)

Amedei is a cult, Tuscan chocolate brand founded in 1990 with the head chocolatier, Cecilia Tessieri. Probably a few of you might have come across these rare bars in the U.S. and certainly when you trek your way around Italy. These divine chocolates are something that would make you either speechless or have that moment of delight to and simply say, “Mmm…” Every chocolate bar and praline is made in small batches and every aspect of production is carefully watched and managed by Cecilia. I was excited when I heard Amedei opened a small shop selling their divine chocolates for..


Chinese New Year & Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Since Chinese New Year (it’s Year of the Horse) is pretty close to Valentine’s Day this year, I might as well mash them together and give you ideas as to gift giving to your family (if you do celebrate Chinese or Lunar New Year) and loved one (Valentine’s Day). To those who celebrate Chinese New Year: 恭喜發財! Gong xi fa cai! Wines and Spirits Ramey Wines was founded in 1996 by David Ramey and his wife in Healdsburg, California. The winery creates critically acclaimed, award-winning wines ever since, committed to Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Syrah as their primary varietals. Their..


Lunar New Year Chocolates at Godiva NYC Headquarters

Godiva’s Senior Chocolatier Chef David Funaro; my spread of Godiva goodies; Godiva chocolate liqueur with my glass of Simple Chocolate Martini I was invited to Godiva‘s New York City headquarters for the launch of their Lunar New Year chocolates with Godiva’s Senior Chocolatier Chef David Funaro. The spacious, streamlined, modern space are shared office space, an open kitchen and a model Godiva store so they could copy the displays to all of their shops around the globe. Along with tasting their standard but delicious line up of bonbons (as seen above) and their sweet Godiva chocolate martini. We were also..


Gift Guide For The Holidays

The first real snowfall of the season had fallen yesterday in New York City and it’s almost the middle of December. I still can’t believe we’re nearing 2014. Since we’re all busy in some fashion and might be scrambling to buy gifts for our friends, co-workers and loved ones, here’s some food and home gift ideas. Wines, Spirits & Hard Ciders Various wines from Hahn Estates and Estancia Doña Paula Estate is a winery based in the Ugarteche, Luján de Cuyo, and Mendoza regions of Argentina that started in 1990. The 2012 Doña Paula Estate Chardonnay, Valle de Uco ($15)..


Many Delicious Cakes & Pastries at Pomme Palais

Pomme Palais, Chef Michel Richard, Set up for the tasting and the Opera Cake & Snowman Cake Earlier this afternoon, I was invited to Pomme Palais for a holiday cakes and pastries tasting with the humorous (and a bit of a jokester/womanizer) Chef Michel Richard. Cocoa covered grapes tart, Raspberry chocolate eclair, Fresh fig & marzipan tart All of the cakes and pastries were eye candy when you peer into the many display cases. Before we really got acquainted with the cakes, I had the opportunity to try the raspberry chocolate eclair that was balanced and the choux pastry still..


Vioko (Barcelona, Spain) – Upscale Chocolates and Delicious Gelati

During our vacation to Barcelona, we stopped by Vioko since we’ve read the shop has some seriously good gelati (plural for gelato or an Italian version of ice cream) that has more than the basic flavors. Since we were near the beaches of Barcelona and it was a very warm, mid-October afternoon (the high temperature then was near 80°F) this was a great idea. Vioko is owned and run by pastry chef Lucila Baiardi (photographed above), an Argentine expat who studied the fine art of pastry around various kitchens in Europe and eventually settled in Barcelona to open this sleek,..


20th Anniversary of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional Magazine

Last night was the 20th Anniversary of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in the U.S. by Dessert Professional Magazine, hosted at the Institute of Culinary Education in Chelsea. This industry event had many recognizable food writers, editors and chefs that made it fun. In the midst of waiting for the announcement of the winners, Bobby Flay started a hoopla (my photo of him) as he made his presence for his winning pastry chef Clarisa Martino. Top 10 Pastry Chefs of 2013 This year’s awarded chefs are: Andy Chlebana, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, IL Bill Corbett, Absinthe, San Francisco, CA Christophe..


La Maison du Chocolat’s Spring/Summer 2013 Chocolate Collections

La Maison du Chocolat’s Duo de Ganaches: Andalouise & Yuzu La Maison du Chocolat is my longtime favorite, luxury French chocolate brand. If you read this blog long enough, I even went far enough to fly to Paris and have a tour of their impeccable chocolate factory back in 2010. Even though their Creative Director has left and Master Chef Nicolas Cloiseau took over last year, it’s interesting to see how Cloiseau would use his creative muscles and use the founder of La Maison du Chocolat, Robert Linxe, traditions. Keeping with the tradition of their annual, limited edition of Duo..