The 29th IACP Annual Conference in Chicago, IL, began yesterday with a series of tours, food related of course.
Chocolate and Vanilla was the tour I chose. It began at 9:30am at Kendall College where we were received by Chris Koetke, Dean of the College of Culinary Arts. The class was conducted by Elaine Gonzalez, author of "The Art of Chocolate" and Camilla Nielson of Nielson-Massey Vanilla. We tasted vanilla extracts from different beans and we also tasted Chocolate de Gala, a hot chocolate made with chipotle and ancho chili powders.
The tour then continued on to TRU restaurant. We were welcomed by pastry chef and co-owner Gale Gand. We had a delicious lunch of poached Maine Lobster with a vanilla infused lobster jus. For dessert chef Gand served us a lemon chiffon cake, vanilla pot de creme, vanilla-lemon ice cream and citrus salad. We then went on to purchase her latest cookbook, Chocolate and Vanilla, we she kindly autographed for us. Then on to a tour of the restaurant kitchen.
After the excellent lunch we proceeded to take a walking tour of Michigan Ave in seek of the best chocolate Chicago has to offer. We stopped at Vosges au Chocolat where owner Katrina Markoff greeted us and graciously offered us a tasting of her latest creations. We couldn't resist her exotic truffles and hot white chocolate with a lemon thyme infusion.
Our next stop before we went back to our hotel was Sarah's Bakery, where we admired the beautiful diplay of pastries and enjoyed talking to the staff.
As they say, a picture says more than a thousand words, here I leave you with a few pictures of our wonderful day. Enjoy!
by Elena Hernandez
IACP, International Committee Chair