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Richard Kaplan

His chocolate is hot

Richard Kaplan Pastry Chef: Acute Events & Catering Owner: Brown Paper Chocolates

Richard Kaplan's Brown Paper Chocolates were recently nominated for the Gallo Gold Medal, a national award for artisanal food producers. Who better to ask for chocolate bunny advice?

Congrats on the nomination, Richard. So are you a pastry chef? A chocolatier, a candy guy or what, exactly?

I have been an executive chef for most of my career, and I handle the pastry chef duties for my catering company, Acute Events & Catering. But since I started Brown Paper Chocolates, I would have to answer: all of the above.

What is it that a chocolatier does, exactly?

I buy premium chocolate couverture from wholesale suppliers and make it into our signature candy line.

What's your advice on shopping for chocolate Easter bunnies?

Shop at a quality candy/confection store and try to purchase a product manufactured on site. If that isn't possible, purchase a good brand from your favorite spot.

Why do the ears taste best?

Because they're usually the first bite taken.

What are your products?

Our product is a two-inch-square block of high-quality chocolate in unusual flavor combinations (like pistachio, orange peel and Cointreau, and ancho chile and aƱejo tequila). The chocolate has a delicate consistency, and it comes wrapped in cool brown paper boxes.

What's so good about them?

The taste and texture are unforgettable.

How much do they cost?

From $5.99 to $8.99 a box.

Where can you get them?

From our Web site, www.brownpaper chocolates.com, and at Spec's and at Central Market, among others. There's a list of retailers on our Web site.

Now that you've been nominated for a national award, will you remember all the little people?

I have always lived by the motto, "Never forget where you came from." To this day, I still personally stock the shelves for our first retail customer.

 
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