Thursday, December 19, 2013

You Are Invited to Chocolate NYC's One-Year Birthday Bash!

For the past twelve months (which is a lot of months, btw), Chocolate NYC has providing you with recommendations, reviews, and recipes for chocolate in New York City and beyond. We've created city guides to chocolates in countries around the world, we've drunk a zillion hot chocolates, we have blind taste-tested single-origin bars and created Excel grids with the results. And now the time has come: we are holding our first-ever in-person Chocolate NYC event!

Our birthday party and tasting extravaganza will be from 7-9pm on Tuesday, January 14, at the Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased here: There will be extremely limited tickets available at the door, so we strongly encourage buying in advance.

We have been working with some of our favorite chocolatiers and bakers, most of whom have been reviewed in these pages, to put together an all-star tasting menu for you. We'll be tasting bars, bon bons, and baked goods from the following:

Fina & Raw
French Broad
Michel Cluizel
Zoe's Chocolate Co.
Hail Merry
The Chocolate Room
Momofuku Milk Bar
Equal Exchange

That is only a partial list. There will be even more chocolates than that. But they will all be excellent, because we know what tastes good. That's our job.

BOTTOM LINE: We would love to see you at the Bell House on January 14. Come out. Bring your friends. Eat a lot of amazing things, have a beer, and celebrate our two favorite things: Chocolate and NYC!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Grand Hyatt New York chocolates

Last week Grand Hyatt New York launched their own artisanal chocolate line, and we were lucky enough to get invited to the launch party! Their executive pastry chef Gonzalo Jimenez is the chocolatier, and he's making all the chocolates by hand, in small batches, using his one tempering machine.

Here's the chef himself:

Let's get a close-up on that sculpture next to him. What is that thing?

Oh, of course, it's a sculpture made entirely of chocolate. This is actually Gonzalo Jimenez's thing, and he has even competed in chocolate sculpture competitions. We asked him if it was stressful to carry those things around. He emphatically said yes. We asked if he'd ever dropped one. He even more emphatically said yes. This is one reason why I am not a chocolate sculptor.

This was a lovely event and we got to meet many like-minded chocolate fans. The Hyatt kindly also had a table that served non-chocolate foods, like in case someone somehow got tired of eating the amazing chocolates. Here is what that area of the room looked like:

Please compare that view with this hubbub of action near the chocolate table:

Okay, enough with the people-watching. Let's look at the rest of the collection.

There was delicious bark and bars in dark, milk, and white chocolate, all of which are made out of Valrhona. But the star of the line is clearly the bon bons.

The bon bons come in five flavors: passion fruit, citrus, nutella and truffle, coffee, and dulce de leche. I probably ate two of each one. My favorite to eat was the nutella and truffle; I loved how the filling came oozing out. I don't know which flavor is the most pleasing to the eye, though.

For now the bars and bon bons are sold only at the Grand Hyatt New York's Market, since this is just a one-man operation. Incidentally, in looking up the link for the Market, I learned that it's open 24 hours a day.

BOTTOM LINE: When delicious, handcrafted bon bons are available 24 hours a day, you have no excuse not to eat them.