TORONTO — Chocolate took centre-stage last week at Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality’s (O&B) Liberty Commons. Chefs John Horne and Ryan Lister curated a six-course tasting menu featuring the Cacao Barry line of chocolate.
The Flavour Dinner brought together a hand-selected group of Toronto chefs and media for a culinary journey, which featured unique and innovative ways of incorporating Cacao Barry chocolate into Horne’s modern take on traditional pub food.
The Cacao Barry Chocolate Dinner began with welcome snacks that included Newfoundland tuna with cacao-nib oil, Quebec stag tartar on chocolate sourdough and King Cole Duck profiterole topped with salted-caramel chocolate glaze. The bite-sized treats were paired with Forget the Hero Zero IBU IPA, brewed on site by Big Rock Brewery.
A classic British suet dumpling made with duck confit was next, served with roasted duck, red-currant jelly, squash, cacao-nib oil and chocolate broth made from Cacao Barry’s Saint-Domingue 70-per-cent chocolate. Big Rock’s Mindbender White Stout accompanied the dish.
Next up, chef Horne paired Cacao Barry’s unique Ruby 33-per-cent chocolate with roasted Ontario sweet potato, red-skin peanut butter, chocolate-dipped radish, endive and beans for his creative take on PB&J. The dish was paired with Big Rock’s Raspberry, Blackberry and Lactose Nitro Sour.
Stonecroft Farms pork took pride of place in the next dish. Pork belly poached in chocolate milk was plated up with mulled wild cranberries, purple kale, barley and caramelized chocolate-bread sauce. Big Rock’s Traditional Brown Ale was paired with the dish.
The Cacao and Coffee Penokean Hills brisket rounded out the savory courses. The Applewood-smoked beef was served with beef-fat roasties, Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and hazelnuts in a café au lait sauce. The dish was paired with a house-brewed Big Rock Cacao Nib and Plum Dubbel Cask Ale.
Nostalgia reigned supreme with the S’mores Ice Cream Sandwich. The decadent dessert featured roasted-marshmallow ice cream sandwiched between graham-cracker shortcake and dipped in milk chocolate. Bourbon and Old Fashions were the perfect dessert pairing.
The Cacao Barry Flavour Dinners series invites partner chefs to host a dinner at their respective restaurant for a group of hand-selected chefs. The dinners incorporate Cacao Barry chocolates in innovative dishes for a unique dining experience that inspires the guest chefs.