On Thursday, January 28th, almost one week after the snow and ice storm descended on Charlotte and the surrounding area, several members of the Alliance Francaise of Charlotte participated in a chocolate tasting at The Secret Chocolatier in Ballantyne.
At the start of the evening, our hosts with the AF invited us to enjoy a glass of wine and some cheese. It was an excellent opportunity for AF members to get together and also to meet the newest members of the AF community. While all together for the appetizers, Robin Ciordia, the chef'’s daughter, explained the origin of chocolate, and showed us an open cacao pod with the beans still intact. (Who knew that the pod looked like a small rugby ball?) Then, she talked to us about their store,
The Secret Chocolatier, and introduced us to her father, Chef Bill Dietz. Next, we were divided into two groups to take turns going to the kitchen for our cooking class.We had the good luck to get to prepare the bark with our choice of what Chef called 'inclusions.' His assistant, who is an intern from Johnson & Wales University, helped us measure the chocolate. Then, we mixed our inclusions in the chocolate and spread all of it on parchment paper. Lastly, we let the chocolate solidify in a room next to the kitchen.
We all reunited in the main room of the store where we continued to chat until the chef let us know that we could retrieve our bark. Each of us broke our own chocolate into pieces and placed it in a little bag to take home. What a fun evening! A huge thanks to our hosts at The Secret Chocolatier of Ballantyne as well as to all of the officers of the Alliance Française of Charlotte who organized this event and welcomed us there that evening.
It is highly recommended that you go visit The Secret Chocolatier in Ballantyne where you will have the pleasure of tasting the most exquisite chocolate! If you would like more information about The Secret Chocolatier of Ballantyne, please visit their website at http://www.thesecretchocolatier.com