A new take on High Tea
While in Vancouver this past month, I had the opportunity to visit Vancouver's most innovative chocolatiers, Dominique and Cindy Duby of Wild Sweets. In the early 80's, shortly after they met, Cindy and Dominique moved to Europe to study and work as chocolatiers. Cindy and Dominique were ahead of their time and began to experiment with molecular gastronomy in the late 90's and have a creative relationship with the food sciences program at UBC.
At their new location Wild Sweets, in the Steveston area of Richmond, chocolate lovers can take part in a chocolate experience that is both educational as well as fun and tasty. The experience was called Cocoa Bean to Afternoon Tea, a thirteen course tasting menu made the afternoon reminiscent of a proper High Tea but with the components separated out and you get to build each delicious morsel that was a reinterpretation of the original bite.
The interesting twist is that each component has some form of chocolate incorporated into either the bread, biscuit, scone, consume etc. as well as the tasty treat, a cocoa bean chocolate tea is served endlessly.
This is the menu presented;
Cucumber: Cocoa nibs bread | Goat cheese gelée | Pickled cucumber | Puffed peas crunch | Mint oil
Biscuit: Tuscany ham, Jarlsberg cheese, cocoa nibs & Kalamata dried figs | Mustard oil | Crème fraîche
‘Coco-Air’: Dark chocolate & hazelnut praliné 'Air' | Foamed Chantilly cream | Puffed rice crunch
Egg Salad: Cocoa nibs bread | Sous Vide egg shavings | Crispy shallots | Salsa Verde | Chives oil
Tomato: Cocoa nibs bread | Grape tomato confit | Pesto pulled Mozzarella | Crispy back bacon
Interlude: Citrus chocolate consommé | Lemon Vodka | Semi-candied Kalamata olives | Olive Madeleine
Scone: Chocolate & dried cherry scone | Red fruit confit | Crème fraîche Chantilly | Kirsch mist | Lemon zest oil
Tarte: Almond streusel cookie | Créme brûlèe | Baked apple shavings | French Brandy mist | Apple chips & walnut crunch
Cheese & Fruit: Biscuit sablé | Pear panna cotta | Pear vanilla bean confit | Crunchy cheese chip
Merveilleux: Crispy meringue | Dark chocolate thin | White chocolate Chantilly | Caramel bananas | Almond banana crunch
Cream Puff: Textured pâte à choux | Crispy praliné | Orange caramel compote | Milk chocolate Chantilly | Orange zest oil
Hot Truffle: Disappearing ‘truffe du jour’ in vintage origin dark chocolate.
Chocolates: Seasonal 'Whipped Cream' & fruit caramel chocolates.
Have a look at the photo album to see the actual treat.
Wild Sweets also offers a Bean to Bar event and rumour has it a wine and chocolate pairing is being developed. Interactive events like these are great team building events, club events, pre party outing or just a great time with your best friend. Although this company is in Vancouver, many other cities hold fun interactive food and wine courses you can take advantage of.