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Round Table Discussion


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#1 ExtraMSG

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 08:56 PM

This will begin at 10am, Monday, May 22nd.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#2 John DePaula

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:00 AM

John DePaula of DePaula Confections signing on...
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You cannot legislate compassion into your fellow man (or woman, as the case may be), but we should at least attempt to create a society in which each individual has the opportunity to realize his or her potential. If we meet our citizens' needs for Health Care and Education, everything else will take care of itself. --Me

#3 ExtraMSG

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:01 AM

I can see that most of you are here. I'm not sure if Cheryl (Pix) will be able to make the round table discussion since she's on vacation and has to find a computer. If she can't, hopefully she'll be able to answer some questions the rest of the week, however.

I started the pizza Q&A with this same question and I'd like to know your answer to it as well:

Have you all tasted each other's chocolates? And if so, how do you think yours differs from the others and what do you find especially good or interesting about your fellow chocolatiers' products?

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#4 alma

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:01 AM

Hi everyone.

#5 susanmatthews

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:02 AM

I'm giving this a go to see if I'm doing this properly. Response, anyone?

Susan

#6 sahagún

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:03 AM

signing on.

#7 alma

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:06 AM

I have tasted both Sahagun's and Pix' chocolates. Yum. I love the intensity and purity in Elizabeth's chocolates and the clarity of her approach is cool to me. She is not offering 1000 things, but each thing she offers is precise and lovely. I love the way Cheryl's chocolates are adventurous and I love her desserts. They are beautiful and fun and I always feel very fancy when I eat them.
I haven't had John or Susan's chocolates, yet.

#8 John DePaula

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:08 AM

I have not done extensive tastings as I would have liked… running a business is ridiculously, well… busy!

However I have tried Sarah's (Alma Chocolate) Habanero Caramel chocolate and I loved it. Give me sweet and spicy any day.

Early on, I tried Elizabeth's caramel (superb) and many of the palets which I thought were excellent examples of the French style with subtle spice and wonderful rich chocolate.
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You cannot legislate compassion into your fellow man (or woman, as the case may be), but we should at least attempt to create a society in which each individual has the opportunity to realize his or her potential. If we meet our citizens' needs for Health Care and Education, everything else will take care of itself. --Me

#9 susanmatthews

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:10 AM

I can see that most of you are here. I'm not sure if Cheryl (Pix) will be able to make the round table discussion since she's on vacation and has to find a computer. If she can't, hopefully she'll be able to answer some questions the rest of the week, however.

I started the pizza Q&A with this same question and I'd like to know your answer to it as well:

Have you all tasted each other's chocolates? And if so, how do you think yours differs from the others and what do you find especially good or interesting about your fellow chocolatiers' products?


You'll find that most of my responses will show how new I am to this world of chocolate. In this case, I must admit to only tasting Pix and admiring Alma and Sahagun. Pix -- FABULOUS. Melted in my mouth perfectly. Flavor strong but not overpowering. Alma -- GORGEOUS. Almost too beautiful to eat (bet you've heard that before). I'll probably drop by Farmer's Market on Saturday for a taste test. Sahagun -- only admired from a distance in passing and am anxious to do the taste test soon. All Hot Chefs plan to choose a day when we can make a chocolate field trip -- in the interest of research and extreme pleasure.

#10 sahagún

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:12 AM

I have tried to try hot chefs stuff but their booth is so crowded with people, I give up.

I appreciate what Alma is doiing with the beautiful imagery in chocolate, it's sacriligious and holy simultaneously, that makes it mind-boggling and so a bit ecstatic which is a perfect reflection of the nature of chocolate (not to mention some religious experience).

#11 John DePaula

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:16 AM

I think that my chocolates would be classified as Nouvelle American (closer to Belgian than French in style) i.e. slightly sweeter and the spice is more forward. Sometimes I have difficulty tasting the difference between, say, Rose or Lavender bonbon from the French school. I appreciate the French style but just prefer a more forceful flavor.
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You cannot legislate compassion into your fellow man (or woman, as the case may be), but we should at least attempt to create a society in which each individual has the opportunity to realize his or her potential. If we meet our citizens' needs for Health Care and Education, everything else will take care of itself. --Me

#12 ExtraMSG

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:17 AM

So what do you all find to be your own strengths in the world of chocolate? Where would you like to improve and is there anything you'd like to ask your peers? Any chocolate hurdles you've been trying to jump? (Mmmmmm...chocolate hurdles....)

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#13 John DePaula

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:17 AM

Ok… so I'd like to ask why you stopped making the Palets, Elizabeth?
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You cannot legislate compassion into your fellow man (or woman, as the case may be), but we should at least attempt to create a society in which each individual has the opportunity to realize his or her potential. If we meet our citizens' needs for Health Care and Education, everything else will take care of itself. --Me

#14 alma

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:21 AM

I noticed that so far none of us answered the part of the question about what makes our chocolates different. SInce I haven't tried everyone's I can't really say. What i like about cooking in general and artisan chocolate is that the rsults are so personal. I kindof think that something energetic gets passed on into cooking and that gets expressed in the food. So, I like to think that my chocolates are different in the way any handmade chocolates are different. They reflect my tastes, my palate, my aesthetic. I am curious and restless by nature and I think my chocolates are like that.

#15 susanmatthews

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:24 AM

My strength right now I believe is having a strong group of creative people from whom to mine ideas and who can put in a lot of time in formulation and experimentation. The problem is knowing when to limit our activities and work on perfecting the product.

A question I have for everyone else is how you feel about adding preservatives. Do you it? If so, any recommendations? If not, what is your average shelf life for, say, a molded truffle?

#16 alma

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:25 AM

Are you making your chocolate from scratch or sourcing you chocolate from somewhere? If you are sourcing, where from?


Do you mean taking the bean and turning it into "chocolate"? I don't do that, though I'd love to do it. A whole other layer of machinery and technical expertise. I get my couverture from several sources. I try to use fair trade certified or if the chocolate is from somewhere without an official certification I try to find out how it is made...

#17 John DePaula

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:25 AM

I think that one of my strengths at DePaula Confections is that I am using really good ingredients: local and organic whenever possible, all natural, no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Plus an eye for detail and lots of patience. I want the chocolates to be beautiful and taste great, too.

Another strength is that I try to have some flavors that people won't (easily) find elsewhere like Pandan, Bananas Foster, or Butterfly of Taiwan Tea.

And of course, excellent Belgian couverture for a rich deep chocolate flavor.
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You cannot legislate compassion into your fellow man (or woman, as the case may be), but we should at least attempt to create a society in which each individual has the opportunity to realize his or her potential. If we meet our citizens' needs for Health Care and Education, everything else will take care of itself. --Me

#18 alma

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:28 AM

My strength right now I believe is having a strong group of creative people from whom to mine ideas and who can put in a lot of time in formulation and experimentation. The problem is knowing when to limit our activities and work on perfecting the product.

A question I have for everyone else is how you feel about adding preservatives. Do you it? If so, any recommendations? If not, what is your average shelf life for, say, a molded truffle?


No preservatives. And for me the shelf life varies. For a molded ganache center, I think it is good for a couple of weeks, but I wouldn't sell it for that long. Caramels and toffees longer, but then they are not so fresh and I think fresh is a huge part of the taste experience.

#19 ExtraMSG

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:30 AM

Just so that people know, I deleted LTBM posts because technically only the chocolatiers and a moderator are to ask questions. But I didn't have time to get the permissions set correctly this morning. Sorry for the mixup. (I don't want to have to play favorites and delete some peoples and not others.) I'll leave the responses, of course.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#20 susanmatthews

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:32 AM

I agree with the freshness factor. The difference between a day-old truffle and a week-old truffle is definitely detectable in a side-by-side. Makes it tricky setting a production schedule. Right now PFM no longer has room for us on Saturday mornings .. just on an as-available basis. Since we can't ramp up production within a couple of days, we can't work this way. Pretty frustrating.