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Opposites Attract When You’re Cooking with Chocolate

Unusual pairings are the order of the day when you’re cooking with chocolate.

That wisdom is well known to gourmet chocolate house Cacao Barry asked Chefs Morgan Bellis (ICONINK, Constantine) and Ben Heaton (Kōst, Estia) to push much-deserving chocolate into the spotlight to an audience of 25 fellow chefs.

First up, a Wagyu steak tartare with roasted eggplant on a purple corn tostada. The dish got a depth of charge from a spicy yuzukoshō crema paired with a slightly sweet crema of extra brute cocoa. Buttery black cod in a truffle Dashi broth with Yuzu, sesame and 65% Dark Chocolate made up a fatty, nutty crumble that played perfectly with the light, earthy Dashi flavours. Later, a tender lobster tail emerged from the kitchen, finished in a delicate, silky, light-as-air velouté of 34% white chocolate.

Dessert did not disappoint. Pastry Chef Brendan Platts (Soma, Cava) showed off a towering mille-feuille with preserved Yuzu and Earl Grey ice cream and a pistachio-dusted meringue. The usual dessert wine pairings were skipped in favor of a punchy, rich Amarone.

Every dish was balanced, energized, and didn’t feel experimental in any sense, making the case that perhaps chocolate isn’t just for indulging your sweet tooth.

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