For as long as I can remember, I have been a food addict and particularly an addict that opts for fine cuisines that require an absurd amount of skill to accomplish. Over the years, I have been positively conquered by my food-mad induced life, which has left a permanent gastronomic compass point for all major decisions in my life. Specifically, those decisions depict where I choose to live, to where I choose to holiday; my one major requirement being that the food within a five-block proximity to me has to be exceptional, or at least situated within close enough proximity, to a place that I am able to discover and explore new palettes without being deprived. During these years, I have surrendered for reasons that don't really make sense to me, but I welcome this turning over as a new chapter in my life. A chapter that is filled with experiencing the creation of art in food, and my what a great and creative life it is.
I worked on this project with by far one of the most talented dessert chefs in the world, during this past September's New York Fashion Week. The goal was to create, brand and design a menu that complimented the design aesthetic for two particular fashion designers that we're showing at New York Fashion Week. This menu was to be provided to Amex Centurion Card holders that got to attend these fashion shows. Lo and behold, the chocolates far surpassed my expectations and receiving them in the mail was one of those ineffable moments that was surreal.
While living in Paris, one of the things that I adored was the fact that they take their desserts, and particularly their chocolates, very seriously. I would prance around St. Germain and pop in and out of chocolate shops and pick out the most beautifully crafted pieces. I would then bring a few treats home for some post-dinner rituals, which included topping off a bottle of wine, listening to particularly well-crafted tunes and enjoying the complexity and purity of cocoa. The French take their bon bon's very seriously, as they should, but I feel as if my marbled rainbow bon bon's far surpassed anything that I could have purchased in France.
I decided to be generous and I shared my chocolates with a quaint group of close friends at a dinner party that I recently hosted. An outsider peeking through a telescope would automatically think that my dinner soiree resembled a Mad Hatter's tea party, with a bunch of grown-up adults in their rather eclectic pant suits and netted hair pieces, eating rainbow bon bon's and sipping on highly crafted and curated teas. I created a playlist that included a vibrant mix of music that was a little old-fashioned, a little sparkly and a little odd; themes to create and extend the mood of my Mad Hatter mix. You can find this playlist on Spotify here. Or, alternatively, simply reference the tunes below for a per song preview.
- Crazy in Love by Kadebostany
- Get a Move On by Mr. Scruff
- Live of Eve by Babel + Lapsley
- Love is The Drug by Bryan Ferry
- Fever by The McCoys
- Look Out by The James Hunter Six
- I'm Gonna Catch Me A Rat by Fabienne DelSol
- One Time by Marian Hill
- Psychic City (Remix) by YACHT
- Ich Dich Liebe by Pink Martini
- Crazy In Love by Emeli Sande
- Right Thing by Rosie Lowe
- Little Drop of Poison by Tom Waits
There are three different chocolates: peanut butter & jelly, salted caramel and olive oil & rosemary. As I am avid tea lover, blender and creator, I provided my guests with three different teas for three very different chocolates. The first was a blend created to be paired back to the peanut butter & jelly chocolate, featuring a milk oolong with cedar and vanilla; Peanut & Jelly reminds me of my childhood and what better than a smooth milk oolong to continue that journey back in time. The second blend was created for the salted caramel chocolate, featuring an Indian black tea, ginger, cassia, cardamom and chili; The salt and the chili a nice kick to your ride and complement one another quite well. The third was made for the olive oil & rosemary chocolate, including baby rose petals gifted to me by my dear friend Pallavi with organic tulsi, mint, lemongrass, verbena, and sage; the natural spices keep you down to earth.
Welcome to Coco Zaza and The Chocolate Factory; instead of oompa loompa's, we have rabbit holes. Want to go for a trip?