Patric Chocolate Takes on the New Web

When Patric Chocolate first started we had a website, and shortly thereafter a blog. At the time, it felt like I was “hip” and “with it,” but times soon changed.

Now Facebook, Twitter, and sites such as Flickr allow companies a way to tell their stories with passion and to build a connected community and fan-base. So, with the excellent advice of a couple of good friends, Patric Chocolate has taken the leap into the New Web:

The Patric Chocolate Facebook Page
— If you are on Facebook, please spread the word and become a fan. We have a review system as well so that you can tell everyone what you think about our chocolate and other fine chocolate products. I’ll be posting new chocolate-related videos and photo albums from cacao sourcing trips, and giveways will be available for Fans.

The Patric Chocolate Twitter feed
— Follow my daily chocolate-making process, learn about special events, and interact!

Thank you for your support; during these tough economic times, it really does mean a lot!

Very best,

Alan
Patric Chocolate

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up on our mailing list on the top-right of the page. I send out a monthly newsletter with product specials, new products, events, and educational chocolate information. If you change your mind later, it is easy to unsubscribe with one click. No worries

P.P.S. By the way, if you’ve never seen what your mild-mannered chocolate maker looks like, there is a story in the Kansas City Star, just out today, that has quite a few good photos.

Blogging and the Three Chocolatiers

No, I promise that I haven’t forgotten the blog. In fact, quite the contrary, as I have been working on it more than ever. Unfortunately, however, the two topics on which I have been working have required so much research that the blog has seemed to be stuck in its tracks. On the other hand, once the topics are finished, they will each be taking up multiple blog posts, and will keep the Patric Chocolate blog moving at a good clip.

In the mean time, I hope that all of you in the fine chocolate belt of the US–Missouri of course–will join me this Tuesday for an event called the “Three Chocolatiers.” Though most of you know that I am not a chocolatier, but rather a bean-to-bar chocolate maker, I didn’t dare destroy such a clever title, so for one night only, an honorary chocolatier I’ll be.

I’ll be doing a demo on chocolate making from the bean, with plenty of things to taste, including chocolate, nibs, and roughly ground, pre-conched chocolate. Additionally, after my demo, a true chocolatier/confectioner genius Christopher Elbow and then author Elaine Gonzalez will also be doing demonstrations. It should be a great time!

Here is information about the price and the location–it is a fundraiser by the way, done in conjunction with Les Dames D’Escoffier:
http://www.kcrestaurantguide.com/chocolatierform.pdf

Best,

Alan

Slow Food St. Louis: Chocolate and Beer; What More Could You Ask For?


(Above: Speaking to STL Slow Food at the Schlafly Tap Room)

Due to Valentine’s craziness I am a week behind on reporting about the event, but it was so much fun that I’m going to belatedly share anyway.

The chocolate talk and tasting seminar was held at the Schlafly Tap Room in conjunction with the St. Louis convivium of Slow Food, and upon arriving, we–my wife and I–got a warm welcome from the Tap Room’s head brewer Stephen Hale. Stephen showed us around the brewery as we got to talking about the combination of beer and chocolate and the difficulties involved in creating a chocolate-flavored beer, including issues such as iron content of chocolate–it’s high–which could dissolve into the beer, oxidize, and create a hazy appearance–an unwelcome occurrence in most beers. After talking beer, we got set up for talking chocolate.

Following a brief Slow Food meeting things really got moving as a long and interesting discussion commenced, with participants asking countless perceptive and intriguing questions from the role that terroir plays in cacao flavor, even including natural yeast strains that could impact fermentation, to the various processes employed in small-scale or “micro” chocolate manufacture. After the discussion, we continued with the education by tasting the two currently available Patric Chocolate offerings as we talked about what tastes and aromas set them apart despite their shared origin–Madagascar. As usual, it was a true joy to see the expressions on people’s faces as they searched for and identified various flavor notes and, often, realized that they had never tasted them in chocolate before.

If you would like to read more about the night and the reactions of some of the attendees, it has also been written about on the St. Louis Slow Food site, and a blog called the Cupcake Project.

Also, since–due to a recent article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch–many of you who are reading this blog are located in and around St. Louis, let me urge you to seek out Slow Food St. Louis if you are a lover of fine food. If you would classify yourself as gourmet, gourmand, or foodie, and you want to meet and talk with like-minded people who are making a difference in St. Louis food–and beverage–culture, then please contact them! It really will be worth your time.

(above: Trying to pluck a cacao pod off a photo of a tree
through sheer force of will–it didn’t work)

I’d like to thank all STL Slow Food members, Sara Hale for organizing things, Rebecca Marsh for her input, and the aforementioned Stephen and Sara Hale for their incredible hospitality!

Patric Chocolate’s Saturday in KC:


Yesterday I spent a beautiful, chocolate-filled day in Kansas City. I had the fortune to be invited by Jasper Mirabile for his Valentine’s Day radio show Live! from Jasper’s Kitchen on 710 AM. We talked a bit about micro-batch fine chocolate, the processes employed here at Patric Chocolate, and what makes them different from those of mass-market chocolate. It was really a great time, and after the show I was lucky enough to have a group of about 75 fine chocolate loving Kansas City residents give me their undivided attention back at Mirabile’s KC restaurant–called Jasper’s–for a fine chocolate talk and tasting seminar that expanded upon many of the themes from the radio show.

Though I was expected to talk for about 45 minutes, I, due to my notorious wordiness when it comes to chocolate, was unable to keep it to under about an hour and a half. To my delight, however, everyone was not only patient but filled with a multitude of incredibly perceptive questions that really helped to drive the point home about the differences between fine chocolate and what one may find in the supermarket aisles.

And the chocolate tasting that came at the end of the talk truly seemed to be an eye opening experience for many people, which made me happy to no end. We all sampled Patric Chocolate’s micro-batch 70% and 67% Madagascar bars and two supermarket bars. It was a joy to watch everyone’s faces as they tasted flavors in the Madagascar bars that they had never experienced before, but also as they realized how little flavor of the cacao is actually present in common chocolate. One attendee, upon tasting the difference between the four bars, proclaimed that one of the common market brands didn’t even taste like chocolate! Imagine that: chocolate that doesn’t even taste like chocolate; Quelle horreur, the French would say!

Anyway, I had such a great time and got to meet so many warm and enthusiastic chocolate lovers that I would gladly return to KC–and Jasper’s whose Italian cuisine is good enough to make a grown man cry–anytime!
(above: One section of the KC chocolate talk crowd)

Comments from attendees of the Patric Chocolate, Jasper’s-hosted chocolate seminar are welcome!

Kansas City, MO Chocolate Tasting Workshop:

This coming Saturday, December 1st, at Magazines and Coffee on 1722 Main Street in Kansas City, MO, our very own Alan McClure, chocolate maker of Patric Chocolate, will be conducting a chocolate tasting of the first bar in Patric Chocolate’s line of fine dark chocolate bars, the 70% Single Origin Madagascar bar, starting at 2 pm.

As one of only 5 or 6 micro-producers of chocolate in the US, Alan will be give a brief talk on quality in fine chocolate and the aspects of fine chocolate production that are most conducive to such quality. Alan will also field questions from attendees about any chocolate-related issues.

This event is standing room only, free to the public, and no reservations are being accepted. Once again, the event information is:

What: Chocolate Tasting Workshop led by chocolate maker Alan McClure of Patric Chocolate
Where: Magazines and Coffee on 1722 Main Street, in Kansas City, MO
When: Saturday, December 1st, at 2 pm

See you there!

Upcoming Events Featuring Patric Chocolate

Well, it’s November already, and there are a few chocolate events over the next month that Patric Chocolate has either organized, or at which we will be present:

First there is the New York Chocolate Show from the 9th-11th of November. Though we won’t have a table this year, chocolate maker Alan McClure will be there wandering the floor with samples of the Patric Chocolate 70% Madagascar dark chocolate bar, hoping to meet some blog readers, friends, colleagues, and other chocolate lovers. With so much chocolate under one roof it should be a very good time, and we hope to see you there.

Next, almost right after the NY show, Patric Chocolate will be holding another chocolate tasting workshop at World Harvest in Columbia, MO. For those of you who were there last time, the content of the talk will be slightly different, so it will be worth attending again, and for those who missed the last tasting in September, we had a great time, so we hope that you can make it. The chocolate tasting workshop will be held on Saturday, the 17th of November, at 1 pm at World Harvest Foods off of Nifong behind Gerbes.

Finally, we are taking a day trip to Kansas City for another chocolate tasting workshop. This one will be special in that we are working hard to debut one of our new bars during this tasting. You might just be able to have a taste if you can make it. It will be held at Magazines and Coffee at 1722 Main St. in KCMO on Saturday, December 1st, at 2 pm.

To be kept abreast of Patric Chocolate events in Missouri, if you haven’t already signed up for the Missouri Residents mailing list, then please do so now to be contacted when events are held in Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City, and elsewhere in Missouri. Just be sure to select “Chocolate Updates” AND “Missouri Resident” when you sign up on the list.

If you have already signed up on the Patric Chocolate mailing list, then just re-enter your e-mail below, and follow the simple instructions to change your subscription options to include “Missouri Resident.”

What could be better than an e-mail list that tells you when complimentary samples of Patric Chocolate will be available near you?

Please let me know when Patric Chocolate is holding Missouri-based talks and tastings:

For those of you who couldn’t make the last Patric Chocolate “Talk and Tasting,” at World Harvest Foods on Sept. 1st, you can learn more about the content by viewing two previous blog posts, here, and here. (Links open in new windows)

Missouri-Based Chocolate Events: Hosted by Patric Chocolate

For all of you who live in Missouri, or in a bordering state such as Illinois or Kansas, and are interested in future chocolate discussion and tasting events sponsored by Patric Chocolate, such as the one held here in Columbia, MO on the 1st of September (more below), then please sign up on the mailing list to be contacted when various events are held in Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City, and elsewhere in Missouri. Just be sure to select “Chocolate Updates” AND “Missouri Resident” when you sign up on the list.

If you have already signed up on the Patric Chocolate mailing list, then just re-enter your e-mail below, and follow the simple instructions to change your subscription options to include “Missouri Resident.”

What could be better than an e-mail list that tells you when complimentary samples of Patric Chocolate will be available near you?

Please let me know when Patric Chocolate is holding Missouri-based talks and tastings:

For those of you who couldn’t make the last Patric Chocolate “Talk and Tasting,” at World Harvest Foods on Sept. 1st, you can learn more about the content by viewing two previous blog posts, here, and here. (Links open in new windows)