Callebaut Beanology Lounge Comes to Miami
By Samantha Dockser
The finest Belgian chocolate came to Miami at the Callebaut Beanology Lounge. Located at the Miami Culinary Institute at Miami Dade College, the event featured a line up of five all-star Miami chefs—Chef Emilio Molina, Chef Nanichi Calero, Chef Malcolm Prude, Chef Matt Slattery, l, and Chef Veronica Manolizi.
Each chef showcased their talents and Callebaut’s chocolate in a truly unique, beautiful, and divine chocolate dish. And in the midst of this chocolate heaven, hors d’oeuvres and drinks were passed around.
Chef Nanichi Calero’s featured chocolate dish was a Belgian Chocolate Date and Bacon Sticky Toffee Pudding. The dish featured Callebaut’s B15 Belgian Dark Chocolate and C823 Belgian Milk Chocolate. Additionally, as the name suggests, it contained date and bacon sticky toffee, banana caramel cream, and cocoa nibs. The toffee pudding bars were perfect for two bites. The savory bacon combined with the sweet chocolate with just a hint of banana made for a terrific blend of flavors.
Chef Veronica Manolizi’s chocolate creation was Belgian Dark Chocolate Cubanitos. It doesn’t get more Miami than chocolate Cuban cigars. And not only were they spot on replicas, they were ridiculously delicious. And they are much healthier for you than second hand smoke. The cigars were crafted with Callebaut’s 70% Dark Chocolate and rolled waffles filled with dulce de leche. They were then dipped in Callebaut’s Belgian Cocoa Powder for the full effect. And they were served with a shot of coffee. I loved dipping my cigar in my coffee, blending the espresso with the dulce de leche. I could have eaten of full box of these Cubanitos.
The ingenuity certainly didn’t stop there. Chef Emilio Molina created a Torched Wagyu Beef with Pickled Veggies and White Chocolate Horseradish. This savory treat combined Callebaut’s Velvet Belgian White Chocolate with torched wagyu beef, pickled ban mi vegetables, and horseradish. These bite-sized delicacies showcased the chocolate in a completely unexpected way. Who says you can’t eat chocolate for dinner?
Continuing on the theme of chocolate meets meat, Chef Matt Slattery created a Maple Pecan Smoked Chocolate Short Rib—one of my two favorite treats of the night. This dish combined Callebaut’s Ecaudo Single Origin Dark Chocolate and 811 Belgian Dark Chocolate. The chocolate combined with maple, pecan, 48 hour Sous Vide Short Ribs, and Funked Mashed Potatoes created a perfect two-course dinner on a spoon. You wouldn’t think that potato and chocolate would go great together, but you’d be wrong. It was ridiculously good.
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The next dish was Chef Malcom Prude’s Belgian Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Macaron. It was a singular taste of heaven. Two Hazelnut Macarons held together a mini scoop of Tahitian Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Callebaut’s Sao Thome Single Origin Dark Chocolate and Belgian 70% Dark Chocolate were then painted on top creating a true work of art. Sea Salt was sprinkled on top for a final flavorful flourish. The salt brought out the dark chocolate. The sweet vanilla went beautifully with the hazelnut. Everything about Chef Prude’s dessert was a win.
Chef Malka Espinel presented a tremendous assortment of bite-sized chocolate creations. They were beautiful and delicious, ranging in flavor from banana crème, to peanut butter, to Speculoos Cookie Butter. It was impossible not to keep reaching down to try them all. She also featured a vegan pudding. There truly was something for everyone.
And in case you missed a single type of Callebaut Chocolate, they had a tasting station at which you could try button sized pieces of chocolate. My personal favorites were the Salted Caramel Crispearls.
As a chocoholic, I was in heaven at Callebaut’s Beanology Lounge. I sure know what I’ll be dreaming about tonight. I’ll give you a hint. It’s chocolate.