Last night I went to a fundraising event to support Aleisha Gore’s
movie project called Chocolate Is Not Better Than Sex
. I met Aleisha through a networking group, she was looking for people to donate to her silent auction to help raise funds, so I donated a bottle of NeriumAD
. As I reached the entrance to the Vaucluse Lounge on Sunset Blvd, I was abruptly confronted by a man holding a tray of chocolates. “Would you like to try a chocolate” he says pointing, “This one is peppermint and this one is sugar free, dairy free with coffee in the center”. Mouth agape, I looked at him, then the chocolates, back to him and back to the chocolates. I squinted at him as I reached for a chocolate somehow knowing that this man was dangerous. “I’m going to be licking this thing all night” I said. He laughed.
I walked into the Lounge holding this rich creamy truffle in between my fingers. Live music playing, a few people scattered here and there, it was still early. My eyes mainly fixed on this chocolate I almost walked past the woman selling tickets at the door. I gave her my name, she checked me off the list and gave me my ticket for the swag bags. I took a seat at the bar, ordered a sprite and took my first nibble of the chocolate truffle. My goodness it was good, I think I took nearly ten minutes to eat this little thing just because I had to savor it. For all I knew, there could have been a limited supply.
At some point the chocolatier found his way over to me with a fresh supply of chocolates, he offered me another again pointing out the two types of chocolates, and I told him the coffee one was really good. He suggested I try the peppermint. “I hate mint chocolates” I stated. He says, “Oh you’ll like my chocolate, I pretty much got it perfected, it’s just the right amount of mint”. Again I squinted at him. “Fine, I’ll try it and we shall see.” I said defiantly. I took one of each and took a small bite of the peppermint, I rolled it around on my tongue and let it melt in my mouth. “wow you’re right! it’s not overly minty at all. It’s actually pretty good!” With a smirk and a twinkle in his eye he says “See”. This man is dangerous.
Towards the end of the night the chocolatier once again found me sitting inside near the back patio. He sat down next to me and I said, “So tell me about your chocolate cake”. Of course I had to ask him about chocolate cake! This man OBVIOUSLY knows his way around some chocolate, and I love me some cake! He responds ” Ummm OK what do you want to know?” I tell him how much I love chocolate cake and I’m on this personal quest to find the best chocolate cakes around. He laughs and says “We’ll I don’t actually eat cake because I’m allergic to wheat.” I’m sure you could imagine my reaction! He goes on to say that when he does make it, he uses a variety of chocolates all of which sounded amazing. He mentioned that he has always wanted to try making the cake with bourbon filled truffles. My mouth popped open with the thought of all this amazing ooey gooey chocolaty-ness with a slap of bourbon on my tongue. I offered to be his taste tester and he laughed and said of course!I asked him how he got into the business of making chocolates and he says, “well I make other things than just desserts” He went on to say how he kind of just fell into this. He was going to school to become a massage therapist and realized it wasn’t for him. He had made some special chocolate treats for a relative and it kind of just blossomed from there. He started watching a lot of cooking shows and reading up on the different ways to temper chocolates, and how to fillet a fish “professionally” I was really in awe of this man. He found something that he loved doing and he dove head first into it. He made it a point to learn everything there was to know so he could be great at it.
He talked about his first experience filleting a whole salmon and inviting a group of friends over for dinner. He asked them to pay $5 a plate just so he could make some of his money back on that $80 salmon. He said they all loved it and each tipped him $20. He showed me pictures of the different recipe’s he’s concocted and told me about the homemade bread he makes just so he could specifically make cinnamon french toast. I nearly died. I wanted to cry honestly (that’s how much I love french toast). This man was just so inspiring to me and I realized that no matter what it is you want to do, If you completely invest yourself into it and I mean COMPLETELY, It WILL reward you.
We exchanged business cards as he had to get back to “work” sharing more of his delicious chocolates. I again reiterated my desire to be his taste tester, we laughed, shook hands and said goodnight.
Jared Richardson – Elite Cooking