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TCHO New American Chocolate

Completing The Circle

Two weeks ago a lucky few of us at TCHO were lucky enough to be guests of NOPA, super restaurant on Divisidero and Hayes here in San Francisco. There are a lot of restaurants that use local ingredients and have jumped on the sustainable foods bandwagon because it is the right thing to do, or because it sells well. At NOPA, this is not adaptation to a trend but what they are really about.

Last month we had the pleasure of having Pastry Chef, Amy Brown, a good part of the kitchen staff, wait staff and wine director and blogger Caleb Taft over to our factory for a tour. It was great to share what we are doing at TCHO, how we bring our relationships with farmers through the chocolate making process to create great products that bring lasting value to our producer partners, our employees, shareholders, investors and to our customers. After visiting NOPA for dinner shortly afterwards, reading their blog and an entire section of their website dedicated to their purveyors, I began to understand what a great connection TCHO and NOPA share.

After visiting their purveyors, learning more about the ingredients they use and the people behind them, in an incredibly gracious and generous commitment, NOPA ‘completes the circle’ by reciprocating and inviting their suppliers to a special lunch featuring their ingredients in thoughtful and creative ways. We shared the table with guests from Sonoma County Poultry – Liberty Farms, a fantastic producer of delectable Sonoma Duck and from Radio Coteau, a unique winery that broadcasts ‘coastal expressions of soil, seasons, people and place’.

Here is the food NOPA created, bringing us all together:

Cara Cara arugala salad with blood orange marmalade
County Line Rose, Anderson Valley, 2009, Champaigne clones
Duck pate with cocoa nibs on toasted bread
Radio Coteau, La Neblina Pinot Noir, Sonoma 2007

Liberty Farms braised duck leg in chocolate infused duck jus
Grist mills polenta, Yolo county (milled a week ago!)
Black beans from rancho Gordo (Eddie’s favorite beans!) with TCHOPro 68% blend, ancho chile, garlic cayenne and cinnamon and choco duck jus
Radio Coteau, La Colina Syrah, 2007

CHOCOLATEY Pot de Creme with cocoa nib cream
FRUITY Chocolate sauce with dried fruit compote from Blosom Bluff
NUTTY Gianduja Ganache on toasted brioches – hamburger bun!
CITRUS semifreddo (frozen mousse) on a fuilatine crust with candied kumquat

What an incredibly creative and delectable combination of ingredients, inspiration and talent.

In keeping with NOPA’s goal of creating a sense of community and shared experiences, we were invited to come early and share in the preparation of this incredible food, but alas, we do have to work as well…. NOPA walks the talk and in doing so creates relationships, lasting experience and value for all.