November 19, 2013

Luxury: My Own Chocolatier and a Luscious Giveaway

In my other life, I’ve written a few cookbooks, along with many food articles. In my travels, I’ve met a lot of people involved in the culinary world. One of my favorites is Chef William Poole, a chocolatier, an inspired and gifted man. We met in Denver at his first shop, Wen Chocolates. He’s such a good friend that he created a chocolate based on CRAVINGS, which is now being given away here.

The solid chocolate tile crafted by Chef William Poole for the release of CRAVINGS.
The solid chocolate tile crafted by Chef William Poole for the release of CRAVINGS.

Make no mistake, chocolate can be culinary LUXURY defined. (One of the world’s most expensive chocolates, Chocopologie by Knipschildt, is price at $2,600 per pound, the last time I checked.)   I interviewed Will, which you will find further down in the post. But for now, indulge me, would you? The idea of a my own private chocolatier has been firmly planted in my brain and I wonder…just how luxurious would it be…

If you woke up in the morning with fresh chocolate on your pillow?

How about walking into your apartment after a long day and smelling the divine aroma of your sweetie’s chocolate experiment?  And then you get to help taste? (Who needs dinner when you have good chocolate, right?)

How about casually mentioning how much you love orange and chocolate together and finding he created a candy just like that—and named it after you?

How about bathing in a pool of warm chocolate, prepared by your man?

Or of course..licking it from your man’s body in heated moments?

We ARE talking fantasy here, right? Because I can’t think about some of it without thinking. “not on my sheets or in my bath tub.” Grin.

For many people, fine chocolate represents the best in culinary luxury. We all know about it’s healthy benefits and reported aphrodisiac effects. But I’ve often wonder, beyond the process of making chocolate, (you can find that out anywhere, just Google it), what goes into creating these unusually delicious blends of chocolate. I ask Chef William Poole about his inspiration.

Liz:  I wonder what inspires you when creating your chocolate? How much do you get from books or music? Other chocolate or food?

Cravings (eBook)Will: When I was reading CRAVINGS, I was immediately drawn into the elements of the characters cultures, in addition to the surroundings of where the book takes the reader. Sanj, the lead, is Indian, and I’ve always loved the regional spices and numerous curry blends of the country. To me, coupling spice blends of that country with papaya and vanilla, two characteristic and fragrant notes of Ecuador and St. Lucia were an instant and balanced flavor combination.

Inspiration is a sensory of mine that is on constant overdrive, it’s hard to shut down….. or off. I’m very visual, tactile and often seen as “quite mad” in the sense that I’m drawn to color, texture, flavor, pattern, or memory. All of these I feel can be put into chocolate, perhaps to elicit emotion from the consumer.  Music and books are great mediums to become inspired by. In addition to reading constantly, I keep a series of notebooks on my night stand and with me most of the time, to take note of a moment, conversation, dream, or flavor profile.
A story I can relate is when I started my first company, WEN Chocolates in Denver. My first truffle was a dark chocolate based confection, infused with violets and black tea. It was literally the flavor of purple to me and to the guests of my shop. The flavor wouldn’t open immediately, but in about 15 seconds, it hit. With that one truffle, I knew I could make or do more. I capped off at 30 different types of truffles and confections at the store, but I have notebooks filled with another 30, or more flavor profiles, I’m eager to try out.
When tasting a single origin or blended chocolate, there are numerous things that happen on my palate, sometimes, it’s “this is incredible”, or “how would ___________ improve such and such chocolate, or compliment or contradict it”. The same goes for savory cooking, I react to just about everything I eat to see or sense how it would go with something else, or with a particular type of chocolate.

Liz: What or who are some of your influences?

There are probably too many people and things to name, it’s a great question! As far as “who”, my Grandfather, Grandmother and Mother were big influences. My Mom always tells a story that when I was very young, I would demand a chair so I could watch what was being rolled out on the table during the holidays, all the cookies, candies and pies, there was always so much! My Mom tells me that I used to ask for a piece of dough, that I’d work until it was lifeless, and still ask to have it baked off. To this day, pie-dough cookies are one of my favorite things.

Liz: I also like how you said you could see this book as a movie. Here are the actors you picked out for each part on a Pinterest board called Chef Will Casts for Cravings.   Fun stuff!

The new shop is called Fortvna, correct? Is it actually open? Is there a way for people to reach you?

Chocolatier FORTVNA  is due to open in mid-2014. We are currently renovating a turn of the century storefront and building that will house the shop. If someone is interested in getting in touch with me, or has direct questions, please find me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/william.poole.35 or twitter https://twitter.com/cowboychef or via email at w.edward.poole@gmail.com  At this time, I still answer my own mail, do a majority of my own PR, and still hand write notes to correspond. Call me old fashioned, but I like it that way.

Thanks so much Will for stopping by Lady Smut today.

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  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    I’d never thought of the bath o chocolate before, but the idea sounds scrumptious! Also the idea of coming home to smell fresh chocolate….yow!

    Now how big is that bar of chocolate?

    Reply to Madeline Iva
    • Post authorLizEverly

      It’s about 12 inches high! Solid chocolate!

      Reply to LizEverly
  • Post authorElizabeth Shore

    I admit I’m not HUGE chocolate person so I’ll be skipping that bath. I’m with you on the orange and chocolate combo, however. Sooo delicious. Coffee and chocolate is yummy, too. Hmmm, there may be a mocha in my near future.

    Chef Will is so inspiring! His passion for what he does came through loud and clear in this interview. Fun way to start the day, Liz!

    Reply to Elizabeth Shore
    • Post authorLizEverly

      He’s a fun guy and very inspired. Definitely a man who is working with his passion.

      Reply to LizEverly
  • Post authorLizEverly

    Reblogged this on Liz Everly and commented:

    My Own Chocolatier, Plus a Luscious Giveaway

    Reply to LizEverly
  • Post authorHeather Brown

    Thanks for sharing. One of my favorite combination with chocolate is orange. Especially around the holiday time.

    Reply to Heather Brown
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      You said it! I went through a See’s chocolates holiday catalogue today and almost swooned. 🙂

      Reply to Madeline Iva
      • Post authorLizEverly

        Oh, See’s! Swoon!

        Reply to LizEverly
    • Post authorLizEverly

      I love that combo, too. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply to LizEverly

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