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Chocolate Encounters in the Great North West

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Some people approach places like Montana and the Dakotas hoping for an encounter with a grizzly bear, a 20-point buck, heck, even a long-haired mountain goat. I am scouting chocolate makers and chocolatiers.  And snag them I did!  I’d like to introduce you to a few who exhibit the western follow-your-own-path attitude: Burnt Fork Bend Chocolate CompanyLa Châtelaine Chocolat Co. and Chubby Chipmunk Hand-Dipped Chocolates. Continue reading “Chocolate Encounters in the Great North West”

Chocolate Epicenter – Seattle, WA (Part 2)

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It seemed that everyone from everywhere was in Seattle for the Chocolate Makers Unconference and/or the NW Chocolate Festival. I took advantage of the opportunity to chat with two of the pioneers of the American Craft Chocolate Movement, Steve DeVries and John Nanci. I also made sure to visit some of the local Seattle chocolate makers and chocolatiers. Continue reading “Chocolate Epicenter – Seattle, WA (Part 2)”

Chocolate Epicenter — Seattle, WA (Part 1)

When I’m on the west coast, I hesitate to use the word “epicenter” because I lived in LA for 30 years and have felt the ground shift.  But I think it’s safe to say the ground did shift in Seattle but in a good way . Continue reading “Chocolate Epicenter — Seattle, WA (Part 1)”

Cue the fireworks, the confetti, the brass band.

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Red, White & Chocolate is official. We made the news last night, so we must be real.

FoxNews came out to cover my visit at Chubby Chipmunk Hand-Dipped Chocolates in Deadwood, South Dakota
FoxNews came out to cover my visit at Chubby Chipmunk Hand-Dipped Chocolates in Deadwood, South Dakota

Actually, I’ve been on the road since September 23rd traveling from my home in Las Vegas, Nevada to the LA Chocolate Salon and then on to Seattle for the Chocolate Makers Unconference and the NW Chocolate Festival.  Along the way I’ve chatted with chocolate makers, chocolatiers, pioneers in the craft chocolate movement and creative innovators who are transforming the US chocolate experience. Continue reading “Cue the fireworks, the confetti, the brass band.”

Quote for the Week

Don’t hurry it. Take whatever time you need to get the context.  That’s what is most important.

Brad Kintzer,
Chief Chocolate Maker
TCHO

Hors D’Oeuvre for the Road – Snapshot of the LA Chocolate Salon

One of Red, White & Chocolate’s first stops was the Los Angeles Chocolate Salon on September 26th in Pasadena, California. I hoped it would be a sweet morsel to set my palette and get me ready for the road.  My expectations were high. It’s got to be a glitzy, over-the-top consumer event, right? This is LA after all.  Continue reading “Hors D’Oeuvre for the Road – Snapshot of the LA Chocolate Salon”

Quick Note from the road – Cracked Windshield

Two days before the cracked windshield, scoring a primo parking spot right in front of my hosts' home.
Two days before the crack, scoring a primo parking spot right in front of my hosts’ San Francisco home.

I noticed it when I pulled off Highway 5 at the Mt. Shasta vista point. I was looking through the windshield trying to make sense of the bare mountaintop (where’s the snow?) when it popped out at me. My eyes saw it, but my brain tried to excuse it away. Maybe it’s just a wet strand of something stuck to the windshield and the glinting sun is making it look like a crack. No, it is a crack. About three inches long on the driver’s side, a little bit of dread already seeping through.

Continue reading “Quick Note from the road – Cracked Windshield”

Quick Note From the Road

Hello Chocolate Nation!

Although I’m officially kicking off Red, White and Chocolate right after the NW Chocolate Festival in Seattle October 4th, you all know I’m already on the road and meeting so many great chocolate folk.  I’ve finished up interviewing some of the luminaries in Las Vegas and those will be some of my first posts (as soon as I can sit for a few minutes to write it all up).  You’re going to learn from Jean-Marie Auboine (chocolatier to 80% of the Las Vegas Strip hotels), experience the chocolate magic of JinJu Chocolates and hear from the “rebel with a cause” Paul Edward of Chef Rubber. Stay tuned!

Letterpress Chocolate 

But for now, I wanted to share a quick mention of David Menkes of Letterpress Chocolate, a startup bean-to-bar (and sometimes tree-to-bar) maker in southern California.  I had the Continue reading “Quick Note From the Road”

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting.

Buddha

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