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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, February 8

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Event Tue Sep 09 2008

Chicago Luxury Chocolate Salon


Taste TV invited Gapers Block and other local Chicago media to the the beautiful Symphony Center for the first annual Chicago Luxury Chocolate Salon.

Many of the chocolatiers were based in the Chicago-area. These entrepreneurial individuals ranged from professionally trained chefs to a suburban mother of five. Click through to see more photos of the event and to hear about our favorite selections.


Coolest Business Plan
Divine Chocolate is a farmer-owned, fair trade chocolate company from Ghana. Their chocolate bars were the highest quality, unembellished chocolate that I tasted during the event -- especially their 70% dark.


Best Flavor Combination
Randall Raaflaub, a Kendall College graduate, is the chef behind the Chicago-based rr Chocolats company. The line of chocolate curry truffles was intriguing, but in the end a bit overpowering for me (I sampled the Indian Madras Curry). However, his basil chocolates topped with black sesame seeds were the most inventive and delicious offering of the day. These chocolates are sold locally at stores like Binny's, the Goddess and Grocer, and Provenance. I look forward to trying the earl grey and honey-fennel chocolates soon.


Most Beautifully Crafted
Chocolatier Daniel Herskovic creates stunning truffles with his company Mayana Chocolate. Based out of Rogers Park, Mayana currently offers their chocolates to catering customers, but will be setting up their website soon.

Best Caramel
Katherine Anne Confections makes silky caramels using local wildflower honey. They sell their caramels at many locations around the city, and recently inked a distribution deal with Chicago- area Whole Foods stores. Also of note, their citrus truffles are unique, well-balanced, and definitely worth a try.

Best Toffee
I'm a toffee glutton. Sweet Margy: Confection Diva offered some of the most delicious I have tasted. This Winnetka-based company sells both a dark chocolate and a milk chocolate variety through their website.

Honorable Mentions
Damn Good Cookies/Ugly Truffles offered a huge array of truffles and cookies with entertaining names like: Morning After Merlot (merlot ganache covered in bittersweet chocolate and rolled in red velvet cake crumbs), Not in Mint Condition (mint white chocolate ganache covered in white chocolate and dusted with powdered sugar), and Gordito Picante (Mexican chocolate with chili spices covered in milk chocolate and ground corn tortillas). They have a retail location in Andersonville.

Cyndy's Sweet Treats is run out of a certified home kitchen in Crystal Lake, IL. Cyndy makes an enormous variety of chocolates and other confections for any occasion.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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