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Kerry Beal

Report:eG Chocolate and Confectionery Conference

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While we haven't actually started yet - I figured I get a little teaser going for all you folks that are 'green'.

I headed down to Niagara on the Lake this morning to drop off yet another load of stuff for the conference. Poor Peter - the patisserie instructor at the college - he wants to keep all my stuff safe so he's putting it in his office. He had no idea just how much stuff I was bringing. I don't think you could swing a cat in his office now.

Tomorrow morning I pack my clothes, my computer and a whole bunch of stuff from the freezer and fridge and head down there to stay for the weekend. I have two slabs of ganache to take to Tomric so we will have something to play with on the Selmi. I've also taken some chocolate animal crackers - can't wait to see what they look like enrobed. I wonder if we can dab little eyes on them when they come out of their chocolate shower.

I've got a little bottle of ice wine that I've had for about 12 years, and a bottle of banyuls for the wine and chocolate tasting - as well as a few squares of the Becolade single origin Papua New Guinea chocolate (actually more like a bunch of shards - as I dropped the mold on the counter as I was unmolding and broke them all).

I had the pleasure of having lunch with John DePaula today - we checked out the restaurant "August" that I mentioned on the planning thread. A very satisfactory lunch, and it was such a treat to get together with John again.

I picked up some white cocoa butter colour from Peter as I had run out half way through my preparations - so tonight after getting home from work, I've mixed it up with the immersion blender and consigned it to it's little specimen bottles. I'm sure as people start posting pictures on this thread you are going to get to see my extensive use of these special bottles. Try not to be too horrified!

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Thanks for setting up this thread Kerry - very keen to see what comes out of your weekend gathering!! It should be great fun.

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Your are the BEST!!!!! Have an amazing time!!

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My heart is broken :sad: that I cannot come. Like Lior and others, I wish you all a wonderful time!! :biggrin:

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Take lots of pictures and VIDEO!! That way we (the cyber part of the conference!) can pretend we're there!

Have fun!!!

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Take lots of pictures and VIDEO!!  That way we (the cyber part of the conference!) can pretend we're there! 

Have fun!!!

Re video - still waiting to hear from the IT people at the college. Apparently you can podcast from the rooms, but there are only 3 or 4 IT folks for all the college campuses (campi?) and they aren't inclined to call you back. They are the only ones who know how this is done.

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Take lots of pictures and VIDEO!!  That way we (the cyber part of the conference!) can pretend we're there! 

Have fun!!!

Re video - still waiting to hear from the IT people at the college. Apparently you can podcast from the rooms, but there are only 3 or 4 IT folks for all the college campuses (campi?) and they aren't inclined to call you back. They are the only ones who know how this is done.

I think a fair number of modern digital cameras (including mine) can capture video. Then it's just a question of posting it online somewhere and linking from here.

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Forgot to mention - I've seen the prime rib that we are having - it is one gorgeous piece of meat (actually 2 gorgeous pieces) - beautifully marbled with a great fat cap. I've got to start buying my meat from this place. Apparently all the restaurants around should be buying from him but don't, because they want 'terms' and he expects to be paid when he delivers the meat.

There are also 3 fat capons, nice and yellow.

I think this is going to be quite the tasty meal!

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Take lots of pictures and VIDEO!!  That way we (the cyber part of the conference!) can pretend we're there! 

Have fun!!!

Re video - still waiting to hear from the IT people at the college. Apparently you can podcast from the rooms, but there are only 3 or 4 IT folks for all the college campuses (campi?) and they aren't inclined to call you back. They are the only ones who know how this is done.

I think a fair number of modern digital cameras (including mine) can capture video. Then it's just a question of posting it online somewhere and linking from here.

It should be easy enough to post it on YouTube. Video of the conference would be great for all of us that can't be there and are definitely green with envy!

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Last night we had dinner at a restaurant in NOTL called Giardino. John DePaula, Lebowits and his delightful wife Betsy,David J and myself.

We got chatting with the the owner and that proved very satisfactory. We put ourselves in his hands. He put together an antipasti collection for us, then brought us a communal plate of gnocchi with double smoked bacon and spinach that was most excellent - the butter saucing the gnocchi soaked up with the provided crispy crusted bread was just the right touch.

For dessert he made an excellent zabaglione in tuille cups. The wines were a couple of local Niagara bottles which complimented the food wonderfully.

The owner might just show up for the conference on Sunday. He trained under a Swiss chef in Toronto and has done a fair bit of sugar and chocolate work.

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Our day at Tomric was very rewarding. Brian Donaghy was wonderful - the man is an entertainer, and very knowledgeable. He showed us the polishing of panned almonds first, then moved on to enrobing with the Selmi, then some molding.

We all took advantage of the discount that Tomric provided for us by loading up with molds and such. A couple of high end items were purchased as well!

I've left the camera in the car - so don't have any pictures to post quite yet, but I shall as soon as I'm able. I didn't get too many pictures taken before I got enlisted to help, but I'm sure various group members will post as well.

I brought a couple of slabs of ganache for us to enrobe at Tomric - the first was Greweling's Dark and Stormy and the other was my latest creation known around my house as "the gentlemen retire to the library" aka port and cigar. A port wine Pate de Fruit with a cigar infused ganache made from the Belcolade Papua New Guinea single origin chocolate which already has wonderful tobacco and earth like flavours.

Our wine and chocolate tasting was a great social gathering - a wonderful opportunity to sample what folks have been making - and they have been making some pretty amazing chocolates. We had a couple of the japanese drinking vinegars along as well to try - tomato and lime, lichee and pomegranate. The leftover wines and vinegars will make their way to class tomorrow to be incorporated as required.

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OoooohhhhH!! I want to know what you end up doing with the vinegars! It might give me some ideas of what I can do with them aside from drink them. . .

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Wow, sounds like an amazing time at Tomric. Can this be a yearly affair? I'm sure I could make the time work next year!

I have never heard of Japanese drinking vinegars. Sounds...??? I can't really imagine!

Love the info Kerry. Keep it coming...

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Too tired to post - got a couple of paragraphs in and realized it wasn't going anywhere.

We did have an amazing dinner - the ultimate chef's table experience. Details to follow in the next day or so.

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So we started the morning with Brian Donaghy demonstrating airbrushing and colouring techniques. I'm going to leave the description of what was learned to those who were able to watch, as I was running around like the proverbial chicken trying to get things ready for people to do some hands on stuff. If we'd been able to set up the night before it probably would have run more smoothly (at least I would have been less stressed), but everything got done.

We have a couple of 'official' photographers - John, husband of AnnaN, and John DePaula. These photos were taking by Anna's hubby.

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Here is Brian spraying the 'demo' spray booth - clear big garbage bags taped to the exhaust hood, split boxes covering the stove. Of course the fan couldn't be turned if folks wanted to hear. But there was not a lot of spray escaping into the room.

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The gang watching Brian in rapt attention. Note the nice TV monitors above him. Unfortunately IT said you can't video from that room. Apparently after this summer's rebuild it will be possible.

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Beacheschef, Brian and Lebovitz doing a little finger painting.

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David J showing Marmish, chocoera and Melissa H how to use one of the badger airbrushes.

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The spray booths that MelissaH was kind enough to set up using speed racks, cardboard boxes and garbage bags were not exhausted, so we were wearing filter masks to spray with the Fuji.

Watching are pagosselin, Beth Wilson and one sister, and Ruth from the college.

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David J was kind enough to pin down the silk screen for me while I demo'd how to print with it. The little feet are pretty slippery on parchment. Mkayahara in back ground snapping away.

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Eleven year old Kyle doing his own thing under the supervision of chef's Peter and Benny. This was his second time measuring stuff out, after I caught him measuring all the ingredients for nougat into one bowl - adding the peanut butter before you boil the sugar syrup just ain't gonna work. He worked quite independently all day - you could certainly see the effects of all the chocolate and sugar on him!

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Reading and looking and examining with rapt attention!! How lovely the little one can participate!! Great fun to see faces and all! :biggrin:

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Thank you so much for sharing all this. It just makes me sooooo green.

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Ditto on the thanks for sharing. I wish that I could have been there. Maybe if there is a repeat performance some day!

Did anyone pick up any tricks that you could share with us? It's kind of hard to tell from the pictures what is going on.


Edited by cmflick (log)

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How generous of you to post all the photos also. Kerry, you are nothing short of amazing. In addition to being such a caring and knowledgeable person, you must also be indefatigable.

Next year, if there is a next year and I hope that there is :wub: , I will be a willing gofer and worker to set it up and I WILL be there.


Edited by Darienne (log)

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It seems that Kerry can do at least twice the amount in half the time than most of us-and happily!! She is a gem!

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Awesome, I'm extremely jealous. The owner is away for 2 weeks which moves me from "in charge of the kitchen" to plain ol' "in charge" so there was no chance of me making it... but I want it to be known that I'm jealous. :biggrin:

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yeah, we are the green group! :wink:

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I had a great couple of days with everyone, finally getting a chance to put names to faces. Probably the most important thing that I learned is just how much I have to learn! (And I so wish I could have stayed for today's session.)

Here's a photo of what came home with me. I used every airbrush in the room!

gallery_23869_3399_393.jpg

So, when's the next conference? :biggrin:

MelissaH

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Those look fun! What did you fill them with?I know so what you feel about how much there is to learn!! I hope there will be another conference and I hope I can attend!!

Thanks for posting!

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What did you fill them with?

Some of them have a raspberry butter ganache spiked with a touch of black pepper essential oil, and the rest have a flowing caramel. What you can't see from the picture is that the caramels have milk chocolate capping them, and the raspberries are capped with dark chocolate, so I can tell them apart. You also can't see that I obviously need to work on my capping technique: six of the nine were leaky. So that's one thing I'll be practicing.

I'd also like to figure out how to add a black pepper flavor to a butter ganache without using essential oil. It wouldn't be a problem to infuse cream with black peppercorns, which then get strained out. But this particular recipe (one of Greweling's, minus the pepper) doesn't use any cream, just butter.

MelissaH

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