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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Posts posted by gfron1

  1. 28 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

    I'm still puzzled as to why setting the mold on a side doesn't result in one side being thicker than the others. I think for this to work, one would have to have very, very little chocolate left in the mold.


    You and I have gone in circles on the room temp discussion, and this is one benefit/consequence. When all the temps are ideal there's so little chocolate left to move around in the mold that all you get is the slightest lip...nothing more. IMO, if you have so much fluidity still happening either the room or chocolate are too warm, or you didn't rap enough on the dump out.

    • Like 2

  2. 1 hour ago, Merry Berry said:


    I am not sure if I follow you exactly with the lip acting as a guide.  Do you mean it lets you know just how much you can fill the cavity before it hits against the final cap?  I assume that is what you mean, but I want to make sure.  If so, then I will have to try this method.

    Yes, that's exactly it. Ganache does not fill at a perfectly flat level - it slightly domes from the piping bag...ever so slightly depending on the fluidity of the ganache. So that little lip is enough to warn you that you're filled. And no, if your room is proper temp, and chocolate is proper temp, then that 5 seconds is plenty for the shell to set evenly on top and bottom (once on its side).

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  3. @SweetandSnappyJen A lot depends on your room temp, but for me, with my room being right about 20º (yes friends, I've allowed my room to be a bit warmer), I pour, rap 5 seconds, dump, scrape twice, and rest the molds on their side. This is the technique that Melissa Coppel taught. The resting on its side is to create a very slight lip which will help you guide when you pipe in the ganache. If the room is warmer then the timeline of this will have to go longer. And of course this assumes chocolate in temper and at proper working temperature.

  4. Two weeks of service under our belt and we're settling in pretty quickly. Last night was packed in the dining room and Justin and I handled the crowd efficiently. The biggest challenge we're facing right now is for our Bev Mngr to keep up with pairings. In a traditional restaurant with servers this room would be broken up between at least two servers, but for us, Justin and I set and clear, and Chris, our Bev Mngr, handles all things liquid with the support of our Hospitality Lead/Hostess. We're not too far off what we need for service quality, but it just takes one person to talk to Chris as he's preparing drinks at the bar to slow him down enough to clunk up the works. I think much of that is simply learning each others' pacing/timing. Justin and I already have that down having worked together for two plus years, but Chris is a new pacing.  The other thing that is happening is folks lingering. We're mostly fine with that (after all we did set things up for people to watch and engage with us), but I think its a bigger issue of us needing to do something to help guests know that the experience is over and they can leave or move out to the bar. We do all the normal things like deliver the ticket and receipts, clear dishes, verbally thank...but at least half are hanging out as if they're waiting for something else - so we're working on our speech at the end of the night.


    Next up is getting more people to eat at the bar. The press is most excited by the tasting menu, but we crafted a bar menu that can grab equal attention, yet we've only had maybe a half dozen bar diners a night so far.


    • Like 9

  5. We can certainly add folks. And @curls you asked me via PM about dietary restrictions. We can handle anything except vegan and dairy free. Just let us know at least 48 hours in advance and we'll take care of the rest. For moral/ethical diets please keep in mind we are 100% local and organic. All of our meats comes from small family farms and everything is made in house so you don't need to worry about processed foods, etc. 

  6. 2 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

    When you have a moment,  a couple of questions based on previous discussions here.  First, what did you decide to do about music?  From listening to some of Dave Arnold's rants on Cooking Issues, it seems like such a difficult thing to manage both control and rights. 

    I have a well-trained, commercially licensed pandora station that uses Brett Dennen as my starting point. All songs are mid-tempo, mid-pitch, with only about one in 10 being popular enough to be recognized. We've been testing various volumes to try to encourage  noise, but not so much that folks have to yell to hear each other.


    And as for those "golf tees," don't worry yourself too much. Nothing will fall off them. They are simply for serving macaron, bonbon, caramels and such. That area is an add-on for post-dinner.

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  7. Event Dates: May 18-19, 2019

    St. Louis, MO Forest Park Community College Hospitality Building Hotel: Marriott Courtyard St Louis Downtown West, 2340 Market Street at Jefferson  St. Louis  MO  63103 

    Book your group rate for Egullet Chocolate & Confection WorkshopGuests may also call Marriott Reservations @ 866.661.8954 and reference the Egullet Workshop group rate at Courtyard St. Louis Downtown West.

    Airports: St. Louis Lambert (STL) is the major airport; The regional airport across the river is MidAmerica St. Louis (BLV) and is serviced by Allegient Airlines


    Registration Links: Paypal.me link or Venmo link. To ensure your space in the workshop I will need your payment no later than April 12, 2019. 


    Master Class: Friday, May 17 at Kakāō Chocolate in Maplewood. The morning session will focus on confections (Marshmallow, caramel, toffee and pate de fruit). The afternoon session will continue those sessions and add on 3-D molding (they do a brisk 3-D business). The shop is surrounded by great restaurants so we'll step out as a group for lunch with everyone covering their own meal. The full day of Master Class is $50 and will be limited to the first 15 to register. The owner, Brian Pelletier, will set up two or three stations for us to break into small groups and allow for intensive hands-on activity. This class will be great for anyone wanting to see a mid-sized operation that has been very successful. See their website for an idea of their work.


    Official Dinner: Saturday, May 18 at The Chocolate Pig. As soon as I finalize payment details I will add it here.


    *Note that details are subject to change. We have two key chocolatiers in town in the midst of major professional changes and so if either is able to participate we're going to grab them!

  8. Yesterday we got our occupancy permit. Today I'm calling for our health inspection. We are officially set to open on Thursday the 18th. Even though we could open on Sat or Sun of this week I'd rather give my team more practice. Tomorrow night we're doing tasting menu only for friends so all of my new staff can see how Justin (my sous) and I operate, so they can learn how to best support our system.

    • Like 9

  9. I would suggest for consideration that it's not Mexican workers but most cultures outside of the US that place a higher value on the dining experience. In the US we lean toward scarfing down a meal between work or scarfing down a meal while partying hard. My experience in other countries is that meal time is about family and friends, and cooking for f&f is an honor and an opportunity. These are all generalizations that lean toward stereotypes, so take it FWIW. 

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  10. Check out this amazing note I was sent last night:


    My family is in Franklin County. Growing up I foraged, hunted, fished, etc... we hardened. We canned. We lived so much off of the land. My dad,, has been making the best maple syrup you’ll ever taste, about 40 miles from you. He doesn’t sell it because he says selling it cheapens it. I want you to know I am SO EXCITED about what you are doing. Being a super poor kid living off the land I was so embarrassed and felt like an outcast. Seeing you elevate the weeds I ate, making it cool and culinary just means so much to me. If it means so much to me, I cannot imagine what it means to the indigenous people of the region. I can’t wait to eat your food. When I get to Saint Louis next, you’re a destination.



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