Because we don’t eat enough treats at our GP HQ, our events team was super excited to hear Jacques Torres would be opening up a Chocolate Museum just a couple of blocks away on Hudson Street. Naturally, we snagged tickets for a tour within the first week of the exhibit’s opening in the middle of March.
The museum is choco-full of
history surrounding everyone’s favorite sweet, chronicling the entire
bean-to-bar process as it happens worldwide. See buzzwords: roasting,
peeling, grinding, mixing, refining, and conching.
Chocolate was actually first produced as a drink, which became
very popular among the Spanish in the 1500s. The first chocolate shop
opened in Spain in 1580. Cocoa beans were also used as currency – in the
1700s, you could buy a rabbit for 10 beans! The very first known use of
cocoa was down in Ecuador, according to discoveries made in more recent
years. Solid chocolate did not appear until the beginning of the 19th century.
(See, we didn’t just eat goodies at #NYChocoStory…)
Abundant with samples, the museum definitely satisfied our cravings as we milled about. There was an attended hot chocolate station where we were able to select spices, like cinnamon and Mexican pepper, to mix into our freshly-made cups of cocoa. Best of all were the truffles we had the pleasure of watching mastermind Jacques Torres craft himself. He was very personable, and ever the networkers, we chatted him up about hosting private events in his space – an exciting prospect!
For the right out-of-the-box-seeking client, Jacques can lead chocolate-making lessons alongside GP’s catered bites of sweet and/or savory fare. We’re thinking this would be a great match for a corporate crowd who’s seen it all – the interactive nature of a Jacques truffle-making demos would definitely enthrall the masses.
For an intimate crowd of connoisseurs, a chocolate and wine pairing may be in order. Much like wine, chocolates are also distinguished by their region and type of bean, rather than grape. It comes as no surprise that Jacques boasts a wealth of knowledge of his product. He implored us to take time out to read and absorb everything the museum had to offer – and devour we did, in more ways than one!
Here’s hoping our paths soon again cross with Jacques!