By Jasmin Justo
On January 27th, Cacao Barry and Kerekes hosted the “Top Ten Chocolatiers of North America” at the Institute of Culinary in New York City. The top ten chefs from all of North America all met in one place to receive awards for their extraordinary talent in being able to combine the delicious taste of chocolate with various different flavors, creativity, contributions to the industry and dedication to creating high quality confections. Selected from across North America, the Top Ten Chocolatiers are:
Michael Antonorsi, Chuao Chocolatier, San Diego, CA
Anette Righi DeFendi, Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates, Kohler, WI
Elaine Hsieh and Catherine Sweeney, EHChocolatier, Boston, MA
Oliver Kita, Oliver Kita Chocolates, Rhinebeck, NY
Slawomir Korczak, Polska European Bakery and Chocolat, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Daniel Sklaar, Fine & Raw, Brooklyn, NY
Santosh Tiptur, Co Co Sala, Washington, D.C.
Christophe Toury, Voila Chocolat, New York, NY
Adam Turoni, Chocolat by Adam Turoni, Savannah, GA
Susanna Yoon, Stick with Me, New York, NY
For chocolate lovers everywhere who are always on the look out for new flavors and desserts, the chocolate creations of these ten chefs are indeed superb. Out of the many samples, here are few that were popular amongst the chocolate aficionados.
Co Co Sala’s chocolate mango called “Mango Lassi” was the most popular choice along with the chocolate early grey. Santosh Tipur, the executive chef of Co Co Sala, deemed the chocolate mango as his favorite. The dark chocolate layer is thin and soft to the bite and the mango puree inside is not too sweet. Simple delicious mango. Co Co Sala’s resturant and chocolate boutiques are located in Washington D.C but the desserts and wide variety of chocolate is ready to order on their website: http://www.cocosala.com/”www.cocosala.com
The next popular chocolate was the pop rock candy spicy “Firecracker Truffle” from Chuao Chocolatier. A recent creation of Michael Antonorsi, this unusual combo leaves your mouth fizzling and crackling. After a cup of water, I tasted the “Rosemary Salt Caramel”. The taste of the herb in a chewy soft texture is soothing after the spicy chocolate and indeed a healthy treat. Living up to its slogan “Unusal, Unexpected, Delicious” Chuao Chocolatier has more unique combinations including uncured bacon with maple sweetness, sea salt and milk chocolate. Visit: http://chuaochocolatier.com/
Polska European Bakery and Chocolat hosted a wide array of beautiful decorated chocolates. Some chocolates looked like tiny planets and others like mini galaxies. Others appeared like green leaves. The guests were all in awe of his beautiful artistry and the pure dark chocolate flavor with an after taste of early grey and lemon is truly stunning. Located in Mexico, he uses the local cacoa as well as fresh ingredients to create his chocolates and pastries can be viewed on the bakery’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/polskabakery
Oliver Kita Chocolates were indeed impressive. Fusing tropical flavors together with a thick dark chocolate shell it is an amazing handcrafted treat. Chef Kita’s favorite and the crowd’s is the passion fruit chocolate. After biting the soft dark chocolate, the passion fruit gauche is fruity and leaves a delicious aftertaste. He also offered an experimental gauche of chocolate with seaweed. Located in Rhineback New York, New York chocolate lovers can visit his boutique or order from www.oliverkita.com
Another amazing chocolatier who received an award is Adam Turoni. At the event, he presented samples of his caramelized white chocolate infused with vanilla extract and Dusee Cognac. The taste of flavor is sweet and buttery, simply melting in your there’s really no need to chew. It would be the perfect complement for a cup of tea. The chef himself uses traditional techniques and hand crafts his chocolates and also gives each creation an elegant touch. His boutique is located in Atlanta, Georgia and his chocolates can be purchased on his website www.chocolatat.com
The Art of Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates introduced a new mix take on the traditional confectionary turtle. Herb Kohler, the founder, believed that the turtle should be more than just chocolate and has introduced his signature terrapins, garden ganache, and rare facets. For the event, samples of the pecan terrapin with peanut butter and caramel along with the valentine day special raspberry heart shaped facets were given. Many of the guests enjoyed how filling the terrapins were as well as fruity aftertaste from the raspberry facet. A wide variety of these terrapins can be purchased at the boutique website: www.kohlerchocolates.com
EHChocolatier is an independently owned artisan chocolate and confection company from Massachusets. Founded by Elaine Hseih and Catharine Sweeney, they both are dedicate to hand craft each piece using fresh natural ingredients. Each chocolate has a balanced flavor, texture, and simple beauty. A popular favorite was the white chocolate with bits of spice. www.ehchocolatier.com
Last but not least, Fresh&Raw gave samples of their hazlenut chocolate butter spread and coconut dulche de leche chocolate spread. Using cacoa beans from the Ivory Coast and agave syrup, a natural sweet nectar from the agave plant, Fresh&Raw also uses fresh natural ingredients to prepare their spreads and chocolates. For those who love chocolate and nutty flavors, Fresh&Raw has various combinations with fruits and coconuts. Located in Williamsburg, New Yorkers can visit their shop or website: http://fineandraw.com
This event was delicious full of pure chocolate aroma full of aficionados and beautiful artistry. It’s no wonder that they received awards, not only for their craft but also for their contributions in evolving chocolate desserts to its natural and healthy wonder.