Last year we had had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ San Francisco based chocolate producer Guittard at pre Christmas event in Shoreditch (we’ve written about it here).
They are one of the few remaining family run chocolate producers in the US, and have a long history: in the mid 1800s, Etienne Guittard ventured from Tournus, France to the Barbary Coast in hopes of striking it rich during the California Gold Rush.
He brought delicious chocolate from his uncle’s factory to trade for mining supplies but soon discovered that wealthy miners were willing to pay a premium for his treat.
Armed with the knowledge that there was another kind of “gold”, he sailed back to France to finesse his craft and in 1868 returned to San Francisco and opened Guittard Chocolate on Sansome Street. The company is today run by the same family, out of Sacramento in sunny California.
Chocolate for professionals
Guittard chocolate is mainly aimed at professional bakers, chocolatiers and chefs and a lot of their offering is indeed for baking (wafers, drops etc).
No surprise that for their 150th year celebration party they had invited some of the biggest names in the industry to produce savoury and sweet canapes to showcase the variety of the Guittard chocolate.
Hosted at Tom Dixon’s Coal Office in the new sparkling Kings’ Cross Granary Square, the party was a delicious evening with some fantastic food and a chance to catch up with friends too.
Organised by the lovely peeps of Nudge PR, the display buffet had finger food prepared by the likes of the Good Egg and chocolatier Paul A Young.
We tried almost everything! Gunpowder chefs created a Naga Chilli Beef Puff using Guittard’s 65% E’Toile Du Nord, which was pretty interesting.
Peter Gordon ( The Providores) had made a Gazpacho Baked Pork Belly Crouton with Green Mango and Hazelnuts using Guittard’s 62% Eureka Works 150 Year Blend. This was my companion’s favourite item of the night.
My favourite savoury bite was actually Smoke & Salt’s Venison Mince Pies, circa 1400s using Guittard’s 91% Nocturne. I thought the dark chocolate pastry base was perfect with the rich meaty filling.
The Good Egg had made some beautiful looking Chocolate Rugelach with Pistachio and Rose Glaze using Guittard’s 64% E’Toile Du Nord and 31% Crème Français; Chantelle Nicholson of Tredwells an interesting Chocolate Mousse with Baked Clementine using Guittard’s 65% Madagascar Criollo.D
Luke Hastings of Deloitte’s in-house restaurant created three recipes; we tried the White Chocolate, Cranberry and Thyme ‘Hot Toddy’ Shells with Guittard’s 31% Crème Français and Dark Chocolate and Spruce Gel Shells using Guittard’s 64% E’Toile Du Nord.
As much as we love Popham’s Bakery, we thought their Bittersweet Croissant Sticks using 72% Coucher du Soleil, 62% Eureka Works 150 Year Blend and 31% Crème Français was a little too heavy but surely looked beautiful!
Finally, Paul A Young had created a Sourdough, Buttermilk and Sea Salt chocolate using Guittard’s 62% Eureka Works 150 Year Blend which was truly superb.Pastabites attended as a guest of Nudge PR; opinions are my own.