Chocolate Celebration Features 8 Dishes by Houston Chefs + Drink Pairings
Last year, Houston Food Finder and chocolate company Callebaut showcased eight independently owned dessert shops across the city. On February 11, the businesses are once again joining forces, this time to showcase outstanding Houston culinary and beverage talent. “Sweet for the Sweet: A Fine Chocolate & Drink Pairing Event” is on February 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Public Services Wine & Whisky, located in the historic Cotton Exchange building at 202 Travis in downtown Houston. Tickets are $65 (plus tax and online ticketing fee) and available at Eventbrite. The event is perfect for a pre-Valentine’s warm-up, for those who want to celebrate early or people who plan on skipping Valentine’s Day in Houston altogether.
Callebaut, as well as Cacao Barry (both are part of Barry Callebaut Group) are providing the participating chefs their choices of chocolates for their unique creations, including dark, milk, white and Callebaut’s newest offering, the pink-hued Ruby couverture.
Some chefs are creating decadent desserts, while others are showing how chocolate is a valued ingredient in savory dishes. The variety ensures that the overall spread satisfies everyone’s taste buds. The featured eight chefs and dishes are:
- Vanarin Kuch, pastry chef-owner, Koffeteria (Top Chef: Just Desserts competitor, formerly of Tiny Boxwoods), Pain Au Chocolat Bonbons
- Karen Man, baker, (formerly of Oxheart), Cocoa Crackers & Cheese
- Martin Weaver, chef, Grinder’s Coffee Bar (formerly of Brennan’s of Houston), Chicken Poblano Mole Bites
- Almendra Callirgos, pastry chef, Brellas, a forthcoming new restaurant in Hughes Manor space, White Chocolate Tart with Passion Fruit & Caramel
- Sarah Johnson, ice cream maker and owner of Fat Cat Creamery, Strawberry Ice Cream with Callebaut Ruby Chocolate
- Samantha Mendoza, Killen’s Steakhouse, Killen’s TMX & more! (Featured in worldwide publication “So Good, the Magazine of Haute Patisserie“), Ghana Crème Chocolate Shortbread with hazelnut praline and salted caramel
- Allison Thiessen, pastry chef, 1751 Sea & Bar in The Heights, Foie Gras Bourbon Cherry Cordials with gold and dark chocolate, Coconut Cake balls with Ruby coverture, and Bonito Shortbread dipped in milk chocolate
- Johnny Wesley, pastry chef and owner of forthcoming HTX Nitro Creamery (most recently of Poitín Bar & Kitchen), Sweet & Savory Duo: Foie gras Lollipops with cherry, marcona almonds, and caramelized white chocolate / Mexican Judo, a Mexican chocolate ice cream finished with a hint of chile pepper
Public Services Wine & Whisky owner Justin Vann, a Court of Masters Advanced Sommelier and a certified cicerone, is expertly pairing each dish with a wine, beer or spirit. Vann guides not only the wine programs at Public Services Wine & Whisky, but also Squable, Theodore Rex and Penny Quarter — just to name a few.
For more information and tickets, visit the Eventbrite page.
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.