Wednesday, February 8, 2012

You are a chocolate nerd when...

I believe I have fully come to terms with what a chocolate nerd I am.

I don't just love chocolate because it tastes good, or because it's full of polyphenols, or because it has a terribly interesting history.

I don't just love chocolate because the chemical and physical properties of it are completely fascinating.

I don't just love chocolate because it's a food, because it can be savory or sweet, because it can be a drink, a meal, a dessert.

I don't just love chocolate because it's a food that endures, that spans ages and cultures, that has as much nuance as wine when we don't mix the beans from one farm to the next... where we can really taste the terroir and how the hands of the people working with the product at all levels influence the quality or failure of the expression of raw potential of the plant.

I love chocolate most of all because it is a medium.  An artistic medium that can engage all senses, in so many ways.  Only the "food of the gods" could present itself in such beautiful and varied forms, all with their own appeal.

Do you know I watched the complete live stream this year from the World Chocolate Masters (held at the Salon du Chocolat, in Paris.)?  I spent over 24 hours in a span of 3 days, glued to my couch, completely fascinated.  I was thrilled because I got to see (really close-up) the techniques the competitors were using to create their chocolate showpieces, entremets, plated desserts and so on.

Did I ever mention that one of the main things that got me into chocolate in the first place was using it for sculpture in art school?  Yeah.  So I was doubly excited watching the competition, because watching those people working away at this point in my life, I totally "got" how and why they were doing what they were doing.  Understanding most of the techniques for the sculpting, and being versed on the rules of the competition... well it was terribly exciting for me to see how these Masters "played the game" to the best of their abilities.  It was as exciting for me as the Superbowl is for many Americans.  It was my 3 day long Superbowl.

I dream about working with chocolate, not just in the abstract sense either.  Last night in my dreams, I was sculpting a tree using mostly milk chocolate, and was frustrated that I couldn't find the dark I needed to make textural patterns.  NERD.

It made me realize that I'm arriving at a point where my art education and my chocolate education need to start merging more.


And then, if things go well, I'll just need to practice really hard for like, 10 more years before I even think it might be possible to think of setting foot into a competition like that.  Because, whoah, have you SEEN what some of them MADE?

1 comment:

Efrutik said...

Mindblowing creations. Increadible talents!