I had the great fortune of attending a press event hosted by Scharffen Berger promoting the movie Julie & Julia. Scharffen Berger makes a cameo in the movie… but you’ll have to watch to see it 😉
The event was held at FCI in the auditorium. Pretty cool.
Baskets of goodies greeted us.
All that chocolate!
I just wanted to open my bag and stuff it all in there for later, but I didn’t want to get kicked out.
Not before the main event, anyway…
Ahhh, delicious, delicious chocolate.
Waiting for each attendee at their seats was this set-up. A cup of water, a bunch of chocolate to take home – squee!!! – and a blind tasting of 4 chocolates. We marked our answers on the cards, and whoever got the closest won tickets to the red carpet premiere of Julie & Julia!!!
… yeah, to find out how I did, Blondie outed me. Well, I’ve admitted many times, chocolate isn’t exactly my favorite thing in the world – I’m very much a savory snack kind of girl! Whatever, it was a lot of fun being led through the tasting and trying to taste the nuances of chocolate. I’m not that great at it. But I do know what I like…
Free chocolate! Haha just kidding. I believe my favorite was #3 on the tasting. Not the sweetest and not the most bitter either.
They wanted to feed us an array of items that were made with chocolate, both savory and sweet, so here we go.
FAUX gras… which was good, it had the right taste to it – slightly more liver-y than foie gras, but creamy and I was able to appreciate it.
Steak with a bit of chocolate… I thought this was alright but perfectly cooked!
Before I get to dessert, I am bursting to tell you!
Do you know who that is???
Do you see that adorable smile/half smirk as he corrects someone on something???
JACQUES PEPIN!!! who was demonstrating how to make certain things while we ate and oh my god this just about made my day five times over and over and over again. And again. The man is a genius and super humble.
He has so many stories to share, and doesn’t mind sharing them, but doesn’t tell them like he’s bragging or just trying to impress you. The man is charm personified. I was seriously half-in love by the time he was done.
This shot was taken while he was talking about meeting Julia Child for the first time. He was laughing over something she’d done or said; it was so affectionate and genuine, I almost cried.
The plate of desserts served to us… well, let’s just say, the ease with which he demonstrated these items made me sincerely feel that I, a non-baker, could make them. A little piece of chocolate top left with strawberry, orange rind, pistachio and pine nut, yummy but basically a piece of chocolate.
A soft cake that oh my god. I don’t even like chocolate molten cakes all that much but something about this one sent me into gasps of ecstasy. Seriously. Oh my god. It was lightly soft, and just… it was like he’d added just enough flour to bind it as a cake, but it was mostly chocolate, and none too sweet at that. Amazing. (Apricot drizzle)
close-up of the little piece of chocolate – orange rind, strawberry, pistachio visible
Raspberry crumble thing that he demonstrated and again, I sincerely felt I could make this. In fact, I’m going to try. I don’t see why not!
The last two items are “rochers” or rocks. Cornflakes and almonds. Guess what? I DID try to make these. I kind of failed. But still, he made it look so damn easy that I went out and tried to make it within a few days. I’m not that girl. I like to sit and ruminate on things I’ll make later until I have a good grasp of how things will go. But whatever. I made chocolate covered rice krispies. I’ll let you know what the boyfriend thinks when he finally eats some. (I also made chocolate covered bananas, which he liked and ate immediately.)
Mr. Pepin and John Scharffenberger talking about chocolate.
I did snag a photo of myself with Mr. Pepin, who was incredibly gracious and lovely and awesome, but I’m not going to post that one. Teehee.
In any case, it was an awesome event (and we even received cookbooks signed by Mr. Scharffenberger and goodie bags filled with lots of Scharffen Berger goodies – for both eating and baking! I’ll post about it once I’ve used it!), and I cannot even begin to express how much incredible it was to listen to Mr. Pepin talk and watch him create these amazing desserts in person. It was simply… mind blowing, and I want to thank Scharffen Berger for inviting me to the event. I’m definitely going to see Julie & Julia (this Sunday, actualy), even if I hadn’t attended such a lovely event, and I think you should, too.