Hello, my friends! My Thanksgiving break started today, and what better news to wake up to than seeing my name in the Wall Street Journal’s A-Hed article about Thanksgiving capons! Back when I took myself more seriously, I wanted to make it to the Journal for some brilliant economic insights. Making it for cooking capons now seems like even more of an accomplishment, though, right?
This week, I wanted to share with you a fun SF date/outing option involving chocolate and art. I try and create interesting cheesescapes when writing blog posts for you, but I don’t get to do much drawing or painting. My chance to combine food and studio art was at Recchiuti Confections’ Artbar Workshop, where we spent an evening painting chocolate bars!!
I went in not really knowing what to expect, despite being prepped by a friend. When founders Michael and Jacky Recchiuti turned us loose to design our chocolate bars, I thought, “Oh no—what do I do?” Luckily, I had 4 bars to figure it out. My first bar was an ambitious abstract piece that quickly devolved into random dabs as I navigated painting with cocoa butter. My second was a much safer stencil painting. The third was a foray into more blocky graphics with a couple lumpy sheep. By the last bar, I had hit my stride with a wood grain pattern and frenetic, Jackson Pollock-inspired splatters. With my first bar, I learned that I preferred thinking about color over form, and built from there. M. Cheesemonger, on the other hand, started strong with a Celtic bird design, while others around us planned even more intricate bars.
The unveiling of each finished chocolate elicited gasps of amazement from everyone; we would all crowd around each person’s station as the colorful chocolate etchings, swirls, color blocks, flowers, and more, were cut free. As it turns out, nearly anything looks amazing on chocolate, even my humble color splashes.
M. Cheesemonger and I felt so accomplished after the evening, and stuffed, since we had been offered a variety of delicious charcuterie, cheese (including a pretty stunning Camembert-style cheese), homemade focaccia, salads, and chocolate. I felt engaged, challenged, and rewarded by the whole experience, and know how to prepare for next time!
Recchiuti holds this ticketed event only about 4-6 times a year, and fans snap them up pretty quickly. There is the option of doing private events, though, if you are so inclined. I’m seriously keeping that possibility in mind for later.
A couple pro tips for your chocolate painting experience:
Plan your chocolate bars in advance, so you’re not left fumbling around for designs!
If you have a design idea, you can trace it by placing an iPad or phone under the acetate and drawing over top.
Thanks, Recchiuti Confections, for having M. Cheesemonger and me! I haven’t that much fun in a long time! Plus, now I can admire my chocolate art displayed in the dining room until the day I get hungry for it.
Recchiuiti Confections Artbar Workshop
When: Held periodically; updates available via the Recchiuti website
Where: Recchiuti Kitchen, San Francisco (the Dogpatch area)
Cost: Tickets cost approximately $100 per person
M. Cheesemonger and I received free entry to this event. All thoughts are my own.