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Kerry Beal

Chocdoc and Friends Munch Michigan

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While @Alleguede is off representing EZtemper in SFO at the Craft Chocolate Experience (a new show ganged with the Fine Chocolate Industry Association show) I am headed off to Stevensville, Michigan with 3 other eG friends to learn from the master - Luis Amado - in his home studio.

 

I had planned to fly given the unpredictability of the weather this time of year - but given the favourable forecast I decided to drive.

 

Another 4 hours to go (it will be longer as I’m sure I’ll pass thrift stores and American Costco’s) but I stopped for a quick breakfast on the highway layby.

 

A&W serves a regular breakfast instead of only breakfast sandwiches.
 

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Now back in the car with a large Tim Hortons steeped tea with 4 milks!

 

 

 

 

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That's great! Luis earned his Associate's degree from the excellent culinary program at my local community college. Ask him about his experience with Gilles Renusson.

 

Southwest Michigan is wine country. Will you have time to do some sampling? If so, I'd recommend Dablon, Round Barn (also a distillery), and Virtue Cider.

 

You or Luis might have something else planned, but for restaurants, Ms Alex is a fan of Tosi's, a very popular Italian place in Stevensville. I think they have walleye and short ribs as their specials tonight.

 

Luis probably knows about Granor Farm. Its chef, Abra Berens, is a 2020 James Beard Award semifinalist. Unfortunately, they're not open until May.

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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@Kerry Beal Are you on sabbatical, retired, or just insanely busy?

 

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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IMG_0715.thumb.JPG.b9e9ce32a1377a9ac708de3ffdf7764f.JPG

 

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Had to stop and worship. Last time I was here was 2010 with the Heartland Gathering. Got me thinking about Fat Guy and a few others who aren't around any longer (some still alive just not around). I've decided I don't like fennel on my bagel.

 

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Costco has booze here - really honking big bottles of booze.

 

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frozen yogurt with strawberries 

 

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Last thing I did before I left the house this morning was to bake a loaf of Forkish bread - it's a Pain de Campagne with only white flour since I forget too get whole wheat yesterday. Stuffed it, still hot, in a paper bag. Grabbed a serrated knife and a flexible cutting board and hit the road.

 

At Zingerman's I had picked up a couple of nice cheeses, some french butter and some iberico ham. @Gwbyls had picked up some fabulous pastries from Bread and Bar. 

 

Cup of tea, a Maximilian Affair from a bottle in my purse - we were good to go. 

 

Still awaiting the arrival of @YetiChocolates - @jbates has headed off to South Bend to fetch her back.

 

 

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Zingermans!!! I've ordered from them a few times have yet to visit.

 

What is the class size? And how do you find out about these classes? I Google'd Luis Amado, he does some amazing work! I'm sure it will be a great class. Please take lots of pictures and perhaps you can share some of what you learn at the eGullet workshop in May.

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40 minutes ago, curls said:

Zingermans!!! I've ordered from them a few times have yet to visit.

 

What is the class size? And how do you find out about these classes? I Google'd Luis Amado, he does some amazing work! I'm sure it will be a great class. Please take lots of pictures and perhaps you can share some of what you learn at the eGullet workshop in May.

The class size is 3 - he was kind enough to include me as a 4th cause he thinks I'll be low maintenance (he'll be sorry!). 

 

I contacted him back in September after hearing that he does classes in Michigan which I figured was a reasonable drive for me - he's booking so far in advance these days - that March was about it. Wasn't thinking the weather was going to be so nice this time of year.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Breakfast provided by hotel 

 

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This is not European charcuterie!

 

 

In Minneapolis I once asked for some cheese after dinner in a "fine dining" place.

 

They happily served me a stack of Kraft singles.

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Luis Amado...now I am jealous. I hate flying, but he is one person for whom I might work up my tolerance. If I had to choose from all the chocolate artists whose work I have seen, he is the one!  I hope you are able to post photos of your experience with him.

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Yeah Zingerman's!  I've ordered a lot from them.  Thanks for the pictures--I've always wondered what the store looks like.

 

Kerry, I don't know how you do it all.  You have the energy of Scout (my new puppy).  Her batteries never run out!

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Oh man. When we lived in Ohio, our usual route to visit my husband's family in the exurbs of Grand Rapids took us right through AA, and we'd periodically stop at Zingerman's as we drove through. But since we moved, we don't pass through anymore, so it's been, oh, more than 15 years since my last visit. Lucky you!

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MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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I too have ordered from Zingerman's and wished I could visit the store. Thanks for the trip and the pics!


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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2 hours ago, Shelby said:

Yeah Zingerman's!  I've ordered a lot from them.  Thanks for the pictures--I've always wondered what the store looks like.

 

I've never ordered from them or been there, but I took a quick look at their web site and see they have a Spring Sale on right now. 

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2 hours ago, FauxPas said:

 

I've never ordered from them or been there, but I took a quick look at their web site and see they have a Spring Sale on right now. 

 

I placed an order right after the sale opened: chocolate-covered figs, Neuske's applewood-smoked bacon, and several cheeses. I also often order during their olive oil and balsamic vinegar sales. I'll even occasionally buy something that's not on sale. Ms Alex is in Ann Arbor every month or two, and I'll sometimes come along, so we usually save a bit of money by picking up our order in person at the warehouse. And Earthy (formerly Earthy Delights) is on the way to or from, so we also can pick up an order from there, should the spirit move us to order fresh chanterelles or morels, frozen peeled chestnuts, or some other interesting food item.

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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6 hours ago, Smithy said:

I too have ordered from Zingerman's and wished I could visit the store. Thanks for the trip and the pics!

 

I've ordered from Zingerman's!  When I confessed to my boss about the pickled ramps I'd scored for sauce Momofuku, I expected a lecture about my well known obsessiveness.  She confided she's been to Zingerman's.

 

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One of my kids gifted me with  a one year Bacon of the Month membership from Zingerman's a couple of years ago for my birthday.  That was some expensive pig meat but fun to explore.   

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Dinner tonight at Tosi's. Recommended by a number of people.

 

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You can have butter or cheese and oil for your bread.

 

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Arancini

 

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Salad

 

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Veal scaloppine for me

 

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Spinach and brussel sprout salad for @Gwbyls

 

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Spag bol with meat balls for @jbates

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The lunch that Luis’ wife Ana made looks delicious!

 

Did you learn how to make the chocolates that you included in your photo? What does the classroom space look like? What equipment does Luis have?

 

Hope you are all enjoying yourselves and learning lots.

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We are making a whole variety of different designs - most on that plate plus several others.

 

Luis, Ana and the boys have lived in this house for just 4 months. It's a nice split level ranch and the bottom basement is the classroom. It's a nice sized space. Luis prefers 3 students only - but since this particular eG gang has worked together before sharing space we are fitting the four of us in here with no significant problems. I haven't really taken pictures from all angles - shall endeavor to do that today. But shall put a few here so you can get a feel for the layout.

 

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The 'main' space has this large granite table - behind Luis there is another smaller cabinet against the wall - on which sits the heater for the cocoa butters, a microwave - beside that a counter height rolling rack with a granite top. There is another granite topped table behind me, and you can see the other granite topped table holding all the molds in front of the cupboards.

 

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There are 3 cupboards on the end full of supplies of various sorts.

 

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To the left of the cupboards there is this cabinet of drawers that contains a huge variety of supplies for various techniques. Luis is a big fan of surgical supply stores!

 

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The paint booth is built into a cupboard - the compressor is in another room with the water trap and connection for the airbrush on the right wall of the cupboard. There is a downdraft venting system just behind where he is working and a overhead venting system as well. There is a heat gun hanging from the left wall. He is using badger airbrushes and has his compressor set at 40 PSI and is getting great coverage. 

 

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On the left side of the first picture - there is an area with a triple sink, a counter top for the tempering machine, a hot plate (a bigger version of the thing I use to clean molds) on top of which he has placed a granite tile. He uses this to clean molds, to heat things to join two sides etc. Behind his back in this picture is a rack with bowls, offsets etc. Beside that a proofer box he uses to store various things in progress and just behind that wall - is another room with fridge, freezer, some racks - and the noisy compressor. 

 

 

 

 

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