A chocolate package outside the box
November 12, 2011
I love November, and now I have one more reason to add to long list of reasons why.
The month began with a surprise phone call from Dessert Professional Magazine editor Matthew Stevens, informing me that they had chosen Black Dinah Chocolatiers as one of the top ten chocolatiers in North America for 2011.
To receive the frosting on the cake (the cake being, of course, the magical month of November), before it’s even baked is astonishing, if somewhat disconcerting. This is an honor I never in a million years expected. I mean, really, four years ago Steve and I were looking forlornly out our second story office window, onto a winter-worn, snow-patched yard, wondering if anyone would ever know where we were or what we were trying to do way out here. In some ways, it didn’t matter. We were embarking on another adventure together! A very favorite pastime of ours, and one in which we take great, big, fat pleasure. But, in more ways, it did matter. We weren’t just bootstrapping this new venture to make ends meet. There was something to prove here. That our communities, far and wide, could embrace creative industry. And that creative industries could not only survive and thrive; but survive and thrive on a remote, year-round island.
Of course, we’re still trying to prove it. And we are completely and utterly floored sometimes by the support we get–not only from our island community, but from our communities on the mainland and beyond. Like the great stores that carry our products. Like the inns and clubs that open up their kitchens so that I can teach chocolate workshops. Like the Maine businesses and individuals that are willing and eager to work collaboratively with us to make this idea burn brighter. Like the publisher who asked me to write a book. Like the editors at Dessert Professional.
And most recently, an incredible offer from the hosts at the award-winning Camden Harbour Inn and Natalie’s Restaurant who are offering a weekend stay package November 26th & 27th in honor of my book Desserted. Get all the delicious details at the Natilie’s website, or at the Inn’s. But I recommend that you shoot straight to the menu for the special Au Chocolate dinner scheduled for Sunday the 27th. Designed by Natalie’s chef Geoffroy Deconinck (nominated as Best New Chef in the USA by Food & Wine), the menu features a three-course dinner inspired by the essays and recipes in my book, and celebrates chocolate in every bite. There will be a Prosecco reception beginning at 5pm, during which I will give a brief cooking demonstration from one of the recipes in my book. The dinner preparation will then be passed on to Geoffroy’s more expert hands, and I’ll have honor to visit with the evening’s guests!
This dinner will wind up an entire weekend of book events from Kennebunk, up the coast, which I will be highlighting in the coming days. However, seating and space at the Inn is limited, and I wanted to get the word out as soon as possible. I hope you can join, myself, DownEast Books and the Camden Harbour Inn and Natalie’s team at this very special event!