Expert Interview

Expert Interview Series by our friends at Cilantro: David Levy of Chocolate Tales About Making Fine Chocolate

Chocolate talesDavid Levy, the founder of Chocolate Tales, manages his dream chocolate business. He stays on top of the latest and greatest trends to ensure his events and workshops are incomparable to others. We checked in with David to hear about his chocolate-themed events and learn a few tips about making fine chocolate.How did you come to love all things chocolate?My passion for chocolate started at an early age. After working in the food and hospitality industry for 10+ years and working with chocolate as a hobby, I decided to run chocolate workshops for my VIP clients. After receiving positive feedback, I began to play around with the idea of starting up a business dedicated to interacting and teaching using the chocolate. Because of the overwhelming demand, I kept growing the business. Currently, Chocolate Tales runs 700 – 800 workshops per year.

Talk about the chocolate workshops, home parties, and other events that your company puts on. What kinds of “chocolicious” options do you offer?

Chocolate Tales has over 20 programs for our guests to choose from. We have divided the programs into categories so as not to overwhelm our customers. We provide workshops that last from 45 minutes to half a day. We offer Home Parties, Bachelorette/Bridal, Corporate Team Building, mobile chocolate studios at weddings and special events, as well as child birthday party entertainment and much more.

What kind of responses and feedback do you get from people who attend your chocolate-themed events?

People love our events. We are able to provide a full-service mobile chocolate experience. The guests get a chance to taste, learn, and make fine Belgian chocolate to their hearts’ content. Our focus is on providing a positive, friendly, and professional interaction with all our clients. Our guests get a chance to make chocolates they would only dream of buying at a specialty chocolate store.

Other than a love of chocolate, what other traits and abilities should a skilled chocolatier possess?

Creativity, stamina, precision, and dedication.

What’s the most unusual chocolate-related food, dish, or recipe that you have prepared?

Chocolate Chicken

Could you share a chocolate recipe with us that’s targeted toward grownups instead of kids?

Truffles

Ingredients:

  • 400g bitter chocolate
  • 150g cream 35%
  • 2 Tsp instant coffee
  • 1 oz brandy

Preparation:

  • Place the chocolate in a stainless steel mixing bowl.
  • Heat the cream in a saucepan until it starts to simmer, then add the instant coffee and bring to a boil. Pour the cream onto the chocolate and make sure it is completely covered, then let it sit for a minute.
  • Start mixing the cream until it’s one shiny mass. Now you can add the brandy!
  • Cover the bowl and place in fridge for 6 hours.
  • On parchment paper, prepare an even layer of cocoa powder, take out some of the ganache, and use a spoon to form it into a nut-shaped ball before placing it on the cocoa powder. Roll it around in the cocoa and move it to a clean surface (it helps to use latex gloves to do this).
  • Once you’ve made it all, place it in the fridge for about an hour and then serve. Enjoy!

For people who do not live in Ontario and can’t experience one of your workshops or events, what suggestions do you have for people who want to host a chocolate-making party of their own?

Keep it simple and engaging. It’s always a good idea to make truffles with your guests.

Complete this sentence: “When I’m preparing something chocolatey in the kitchen, I feel naked if I don’t have my…”

“… infra-red thermometer.”

What appliance or gadget should every budding chocolatier have in his or her kitchen?

A melter/tempering machine or Ez-Temper.

Feel free to check out some more great articles @ Cilantro – The Cooks Shop