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Chocolate 101: From an Artisanal Chocolatier in a Boutique Chocolate Factory

Please Make Note of Pleasure Palate Attendance Policies and our 3 Strikes Rule  by clicking here  before RSVP-ing to this Event. Cancelling your RSVP within 24 hours or not showing up at the event without contacting the Organizer ahead of time will result in a strike.   3 Strikes and You're Out!

Learn how chocolate is made from the cacao bean to the chocolate bar.  Patricia Tsai, boutique chocolatier, purchases her cacao beans directly from the growers.  She roasts and grinds them, and then mixes them into fabulous flavors.  You will learn all about the process from Patricia herself,  then we will have a private chocolate tasting which will include flavors such as black sesame chocolate with sweet bits of goji berry, Mayan Tradition with cinnamon and chilies, Toasted Brown Rice with brown sugar and cinnamon and more. 

We will also sample from the chocolate drink bar which features 4 styles:  Sipping chocolate-European Style, Hot chocolate, Mexican Style, Iced Hot Chocolate.  Then we sample the chocolate melt-ins:  100% Cacao – for the purist- and the dare devil,  75% Cacao – middle of the road with bitter notes,  65% cacao – baby steps, Mayan tradition – cinnamon and spicey and Coffee and Vanilla –which tastes like drip coffee or a mocha.

The cost of this event is $15 per person and includes everything, the chocolate 101 class and chocolate tasting - with the exception of the 12 oz.  frozen hot chocolate which does not lend itself to small tastes, but is available for individual purchase. ($7.00)

If you want to know more, take a look at what Los Angeles Magazine has to say:

"Lots of women love chocolate, but no one loves it as much as Patricia Tsai, who has turned her passion for the conviviality around the sweet treat into a hands-on business. When Tsai started her company, Chocovivo, in 2005, she was driving through Mexico with a pallet of raw cocoa nibs from a farm in Tabasco, Mexico. "It was crazy, but I knew it was what I wanted to do," she says, remembering the early days.

Tsai sources her cacao beans exclusively from a grower in Comalcalco, a city in Tabasco, Mexico. About a ton of beans arrive each year, just for Chocovivo. Tsai stores them (chilled) until it's time to grind. She roasts them to varying degrees of caramelization, and then hand grinds them with sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, or any number of natural flavors like coffee, toffee, and even dried berries and lavender.

Each bar must go through the grinder a minimum of five times. The first few times, the cacao turns into grit, and then powder. Eventually, aided by the warmth of the machine, cocoa butter seeps out of the beans and homogenizes with the powered cocoa to form liquid chocolate. After it's ground, Tsai then tempers the chocolate, a process by which the crystals in the mixture are aligned—it's what gives properly stored chocolate that appetizing sheen. The results are chocolates with a true snap and velvety texture.

At the new Culver City outpost, Chocovivo will offer the same selection of retail goods that were on offer at the Venice shop (powered hot cocoa mixes, chocolate bars, and chocolate snacks) in addition to hot cocoa—both chocolate water, brewed like coffee as well as thick chocolate shots, Aztec-style. Pain au chocolat, and a small selection of pastries, including a fruit and chocolate toast will also be available daily. Eventually, Tsai plans to offer classes and tastings at the new shop. It's the only place in L.A. to learn how chocolate is made, from bean to bar."

Before you sign up for this, please be certain you can attend.  The owner is opening up shop just for us and is requesting a definitive head-count in advance.

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  • YourieG.

    Thanks so much Cecilia for all your work to make this happen! (Hopefully not your last, say it isn't so ;). I drive by daily but had no clue! What a fun, yummy & 'healthy' event!

    October 15, 2013

  • Pearl

    I so totally enjoyed this event! The tasting was great and the owner I thought did an excellent job explaining how cacao beans turn into chocolate and the different percentages. I really like that she explained the technical side of it. Thanks so much Cecilia for putting this event together! I had an awesome time and very happy with my purchases! I'm going back for sure!

    October 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I never got an email... But I will be at the address on the post. Very much looking forward to this!

    October 12, 2013

  • Daisy

    Let me know if this is better than the Chocolate Salon in Pasadena.

    October 7, 2013

  • Patricia (.

    So sad I can't attend. They are on my list of places to check out. Please keep me informed if you set up a 2nd outing here (and, of course, how the first one turns out!)

    October 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes, please have another one. Very interested, but can't on that date. :o( Have fun.

      October 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I hope to attend this day.

    October 2, 2013

  • Yumi R.

    How come there are people on the waiting list when the RSVP section doesn't say 'closed'?

    October 2, 2013

  • Cecilia

    If the waiting list grows large enough, I will host a second event on another day.

    October 2, 2013

  • Ellen

    how do we pay the $15? Day of or paypal in advance?

    October 2, 2013

    • Cecilia

      If anyone wishes to use PayPal in advance, they may send it to [masked]. Otherwise, I will collect cash only at the door.

      October 2, 2013

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