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 aejo 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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