February 12, 2013: Decision, Projects, and Hot Chocolate!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to offer their sage advice on my recent "dilemma of the day" (February 10, 2013: Let’s all pitch in and help me plan my life!).  I was actually leaning one way but, after reading some very convincing arguments, am now reconsidering. Tomorrow, I'll be meeting with my accountant who…

February 6, 2013: The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival Tour II!

My Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival tour continues with visits to... Bengal Dream: Milk chocolate with sweet spices (chai) served with caramelized honey and orange palmier. Available: February 2 - February 14 at Bel Cafe 801 West Georgia Street @ Howe (at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia) http://www.belcafe.com/ A little sweet but some very nice flavors.  The palmier packed quite a…

January 31, 2013: The Hot Chocolate Festival!

The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is in full swing and Akemi and I have been trying our darndest to sample as many of the 60-some flavors available at the various shops and cafes around town.  So far, we've managed to try about a dozen decadent offerings.  Looks like we're really going to need to pick…

June 5, 2012: Bad dining karma!

I believe the food gods are trying to tell me something.  Lately, my dinner outings have varied from middling to highly disappointing. Several of my formerly dependable favorites have failed me.  Still, I held out hope that some of my old standbys would come through and deliver the positive dining experience I desperately needed.  And…

April 22, 2012: Beta 5! A Top Chef contestant checks in! Switching over from horror to mini-series mode!

Akemi and I paid a follow-up visit to Beta 5, a bold new addition to the Vancouver chocolate scene.  Located in the out-of-the-way industrial area off Main Street (appropriately enough, on Industrial Avenue), the shop/factory offers up a variety of intriguing products, from bars to caramels, marmalade to caramelized Marcona almonds. I picked up a…

April 8, 2012: Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France! Nebula Awards Showcase 2012! Dark Matter #4!

Tucked away on the less-traveled 21st Street, just off the much-traveled Main Street, sits my favorite little truffle stop in Vancouver: Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France.  Owned and operated by former Quebecer Anne-Geneviève Poitras, it offers a delectable selection of hand-crafted chocolates, truffles, confections and beverages.  With its rustic wooden shelves, glass jars, and chalkboard specials,…

January 29, 2012: Tokyo Day #2! Chocolate, Tonkatsu, Le Bourguignon, and a visit to The Master!

With my first full day in Tokyo behind me, I have a lot to cover here on the blog - and a lot to look forward to in the coming days.  The change of pace and location has provided a much-needed, greatly appreciated distraction.  Still, I think of Maximus often and wonder how the other…

August 29, 2010: Chocolate Day!

Well, damn.  I delayed publishing today's entry in the hopes that I could also include pics of my last three truffle creations but, presumably because of the booze content in each, they haven't firmed up sufficiently enough for molding.  So, it looks like it'll have to wait until tomorrow.  Or maybe Tuesday because tomorrow's entry…

July 18, 2010: Chocolate and dogs don’t mix! Except on this blog.

Last night, we sat down to a chocolate tasting.  The selection: The entire Pralus line of dark chocolate bars. We had 14 bars to get through, so we started early and finished late.  Following proper chocolate-tasting etiquette, we: 1. Made sure the chocolates were at room temperature.  The Zero Bars were kept refrigerated for a…

April 18, 2010: The Greatest Chocolate Party Ever!

Every April, I hold something called a Chocolate Party, an annual event in which I gathered some fifty of my closest friends, feed them dinner, then try to kill them with massive amounts of chocolate.  Over the years, this event has grown, from a modest get-together at my home to a gastronomic blow-out at Fuel…

April 27, 2009: Still Recovering, More Party Pics, and Marty G. Checks In

Carl says: "Be still my beating heart." Me, Julia, and Peter (photo courtesy of Lawren Bancroft-Wilson) Will enjoys his chocolate rush (photo courtesy of Lawren Bancroft-Wilson) I’m still recovering from this weekend’s excesses. Yes, while the chocolate party was indeed taxing, spending all of Sunday (Well, seven hours anyway) uploading pics and putting together a…

April 26, 2009: The Best Chocolate Party Ever!

    I know, I know. I said the same thing about last year’s chocolate party - and, at the time, it certainly was The Best Chocolate Party Ever! Until yesterday’s chocolate party of course. This was the second year in a row I hosted the party at my favorite Vancouver restaurant, Fuel. After some…