Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ghanian Chocolate and Scottish Scallops

Gosh, where was I? Those homemade confections were six months ago. Since then, a Tuscany-owned Amedei boutique has opened in New York, a Ghanian chocolate shop has been growing on Brick Lane in London (proudly the only black-owned business on the street, though they're going though the common wobbles of "making" their own chocolate by grinding up a tiny batch of cacao beans in the basement while using a supply from the Callebaut conglomerate for nearly everything that they actually sell in the shop), and the unlikely Missouri-based everyman hero of the craft chocolate industry Shawn Askinosie picked up yet more awards this month during the annual food trade frenzy in San Francisco.

If you expected me to be in the middle of it all this past year, interviewing the ever higher profile chocolate entrepreneurs and whisking up subtly superior chocolate cakes, I did too. But I'm going to tell you two secrets about this blog. First, when things are looking up I do prefer my private life to my public persona. And second, I'm a better cook than a baker.

I'll leave it at that except to suggest that if you too find yourself driving around the English countryside in a vintage convertible with the top down on a sunny winter's day while New York is about to be enveloped by the biggest snow storm of the season, then you might want to stop at the Borough Market when you make it back to London to buy a wedge of manchego cheese with a sliver of membrillo from Brindisa, a kilo of scallops and a side of salmon from Furness Fish and Game (pay for the Scottish fish and seafood and keep the little arcs of roe attached to each scallop--they taste great), and handfuls of fresh herbs and Thai chili peppers from the slightly cheaper (than inside the market) veg stalls along Stoney Street.

That was our view, and this was the menu:
Cheese, salumi, and olives
Scallops in Yellow Curry with Spicy Grapefruit Salad
Canal House Teriyaki Salmon with lentils and brown rice
A Selection of chocolates from the best purveyors in town 


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