Valentine’s Day Alert: Vancouver Chocolatiers & Chocolate Shops

Hugs and Kisses. Photo credit: Chocolate Arts

Hugs and Kisses. Photo credit: Chocolate Arts

Red alert. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Some of us will spend Thursday, February 14 smooching etc. Some of us will bemoan commercialism. Some of us will make last minute DIY cards and trinkets. And hopefully all of us spend Valentine’s Day with our one true love, who’s always been there when we needed it, sometimes even with a bottle of red wine. That’s right. I’m talking about chocolate.

Walk by the Hershey kisses in the drug store and source yourself some of the locally-made good stuff – chocolate crafted with love using single origin cacao and B.C. flavours. I considered making a list of Vancouver’s top chocolatiers and boutique chocolate shops. But Vancouver has too many winners to do a top five or even a top ten list.

We’ve got old school chocolate makers, like Roger’s Chocolates (on Granville Island) which has been around since 1885.

Others, like Beta 5 Chocolates (413 Industrial Avenue), are cool upstarts putting an edge tried-and-true confectionary.  Beta 5’s polygon-shaped chocolate bars mimic British Columbia’s mountainous landscape. Their small-batch filled chocolates contain ganache enriched with everything from olive oil to cocoa nib-hazelnut praline.

Meanwhile Thierry Chocolaterie (1059 Alberni) is the real fancy-pants deal. The affable  pastry chef/chocolatier is considered among the best dessert chefs in the world by Gordon Ramsay. He learned his trade in his native France and turns out professional, precise and exquisite chocs.

What’s your go-to Vancouver chocolatier or chocolate shop? Help out by commenting below. I’ve shared more of my favourites after the jump. Continue reading:
Valentine’s Day Alert: Vancouver Chocolatiers & Chocolate Shops

Last call for the 2012 Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

This is a call to action for chocolate aficionados. This weekend is the last weekend to sample the over-the-top, amazing array of hot chocolates available at the city’s best cafes and patisseries during the 2012 Hot Chocolate Festival. We’re all excited about the upcoming Tales of the Cocktail; in the meantime, the Hot Chocolate Festival offers rated-family fun you’re sure to remember.

There are 15 participating Vancouver chocolate masters and over 50 hot chocolate flavours (including vegan options) to try. I’m thinking a weekend hot chocolate crawl is in order.

Canada hot chocolate, by Beta 5 + The Juice Truck, is made with 63% dark chocolate “stick” stirred into milk and topped with a smoked sugar marshmallow. CocoaNymph is serving Maple Cinnamon hot chocolate, made with milk chocolate and garnished with a caramelized apple ring. Thomas Haas has a salty-sweet Soft Caramel & Fleur de Sel sipper, that comes with a signature Haas chocolate sparkle cookie.

Many of the participating 2012 Hot Chocolate Festival cafes are also handy for scooping up Valentine’s Day treats for loved ones.  Find the full list of participating cafes and their hot chocolate menus after the jump. Continue reading:
Last call for the 2012 Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival