S’mores in the USA

In Jackie's new book Our Great Big Backyard about childhood adventures in America's national parks (writers Laura Bush & Jenna Bush Hager), s'mores figure as one of the great rewards of camping and getting into the wilderness.  No argument from me, or from one of the nation's top chocolatiers, Michael Recchiuti of Recchiuti Confections in San ...

I Left My Chocolate in San Francisco

No I didn't. I never leave my chocolate anywhere. But someday I will leave my chocolate in San Francisco so I can go back and get it. You probably already know that that this is the ultimate food town because of the local farmers who populate thriving markets like the famous one at the waterfront ...

Fudge Brownies & Dancer-size Desserts

USC Kaufman class of '19-December 2015 Performance-Groundwork Cornet Chocolate Shop-Brussels, Belgium Desmond Richardson's master class ... While writing grants and brochure copy for the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, I meet a lot of dancers. Most staffers have trained in studios as the athlete/artists that all dancers are. They are disciplined and they don't ...

Sachertorte mit globalism in Vienna

I know, I know...Vienna has always been a cosmopolitan city.  But we approached it as a dessert capital - a singular exemplar; a province of old-world excellence. If other discoveries awaited us in this city, we didn't care. While Vienna delivered on its culinary promise, we could not ignore how it asserted itself as a ...

Winter Maple in Eastern Canada and New England

One thing to remember when you visit Canada or New England: March is a winter month.  March is not spring.  March is nothing even close to spring.  It is ice-locked and raw blue-white.  Still deep and silent inside the trees are the seeds and sap of hope.  Eventually, they will bubble up.  The harvest begins ...

All Wrapped Up in Quebec

Toy soldiers, trains, presents, chocolate, bows - all fine stuff of childhood.  Mass-marketers understand this and often sell us charmingly quaint packaging with nothing but chalk-like chocolate inside.  In Quebec, roadsigns led me up a steep hill to a mini-chocolate factory guarded by this guy: I feared the worst. Chunky sentry like these are cherished by ...

Chocolate Bliss Imperfection

This is one of my favorite photos from my first cookbook Chocolate Bliss.  I arrived at photographer @jennifermartine's San Francisco studio after a hectic food convention with only a few chocolates left, and here they are - dinged and bruised - yet they convey forgiven beauty of the dark and imperfect.  Can we talk about the ...