ChocTails from Dean Street – Chocolate Week Event
In a lovely end-of-terrace house still occupied by the owner in Soho, five chocolatiers set up with five paired cocktails to present a co-ordinated event of National Chocolate Week and London Cocktail Week. This event was an amazing display of the chocolatiers art along with some of the best spirits available on the market.
From warm rum punch and Grenada chocolate to the most delicate chocolate mousse and crème brulee with Johnny Walker Blue Label, the pairings were carefully constructed with balance and care.
The first experience most people had was with chocolatier and water ganache pioneer Damian Alsop. With a chocolate sculpture and some wild flavours, the room with Damian Allsop had one of the most interesting chocolates with the ganache on the outside and two different clouds on the inside creating a delicious chocolate paired with gin. The interesting thing is he used a bit of raw chocolate which I dislike and yet I liked this chocolate. Of course, alcohol may have played a part in that since I visited him later to avoid the crowds 😉
The Grenada chocolate company make their own chocolate in Grenada. Mott is a driven, passionate guy who is creating the world’s most sustainable chocolate and working hard to create a better future for the farmers me works with and the planet. I find the chocolate a bit rough for my palate – it is drying and bitter and I feel like the chocolate is taken to the edge of its roasting tolerance. That said I happen to know more than a few readers love that bitter flavour where the tannins really come out and so I know you guys are going to LOVELOVELOVE this chocolate. It was paired with a hot rum punch.
Paul A Young whose shop is just up the street was featuring a margarita made with the same 100% agave tequila as his truffle had. We also tried some chocolate with parmesan to give that salty kick usually delivered by a salted rim on a margarita and do we were literally eating cheesey chocolate while sippng margaritas. I needed to be careful not to blow out my flip flop. Delicious and available in his store (the chocolate, not the tequila nor the song).
William Curley had the lightest dessert ever with a crème brulee hidden within a chocolate mousse and a delightful fruit – possibly apricot but I forget 🙁 – sauce on the side paired with Johnny Walker Blue Label straight up. I could not believe how light and yet complex this dessert seemed. Talking to William I got the inside scoop on how it was made and wow am I ever lucky to have been able to try that delicious patisserie.
Artisan du Chocolat had their O sea salt caramels which they paired with a Campari & prosecco cocktail, finished off with their cacao pulp. It created quite a fizz! Was not my outstanding experience and given they could not even identify the chocolate origins.
All in all it was a wonderful evening with so many people coming together for both chocolate week and cocktail week and we all got educated about alcohol and chocolate!