Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

I third (or fourth,) this. Oddly enough, I saw a copy yesterday at the Bookzeller in Naperville for five bucks.

(Welcome, West Burber.)

Well damn! Went to the BookZeller today and somebody had already snapped up that copy of the Time Life Candy book. Ok ....who bought my book???? :wink:

(And thanks for the Welcome, Maggie. I live in Aurora :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not teaching quite as much as I used to, especially here in Chicago (though I did teach a class at Fox & Obel recently). On my schedule right now are the following classes: the RCI/Pulakos Candy School in Erie, PA, a private class at the Les Dames d'Escoffier annual convention in Chicago, the Paginini Cooking School in Chesterland, OH, and the Southern California Gas Company in Downey, CA. I will also be appearing at the Philadelphia Candy Show in Valley Forge PA (where I'll be giving two seminars), and at the Atlantic City Bakery Show. I will also be giving the chocolate presentations again at the CIA's annual March trip to Oaxaca, MX.

I, too, hear from many budding chocolatiers who want to get into the candy business. Unfortunately, many of them are in a hurry to do so and think they can jump right in, feet first. My advice is to take as many classes as you can, read everything about chocolate that you can get your hands on, and never pass up the opportunity to observe someone working with chocolate. Embarking on a chocolate career is a lot like constructing a house: you must first build a strong foundation and then continue building from the ground up. And whatever you do, don't try to build a skyscraper until you've built a bungalow. In other words, don't bite off more than you can chew.

When I started (way back in the Middle Ages), there weren't many chocolate classes so I had to learn on my own, making lots of mistakes, and working without molds and any kind of specialized equipment. In retrospect, the experience was worth it for me because it forced me to improvise. Doing so fueled my creativity and gave me a passionate intimacy with chocolate that is still with me today. Still, if I had had the opportunity to take classes, I would have jumped at the opportunity to do so. If you can't find a class in your area, get yourself a good book--mine, perhaps. Please forgive my lack of humility, but I know that the information in my books are valid; unfortunately not all chocolate books are created equal.

I owe a good deal of my success to people in the chocolate industry who took me under their wings and shared invaluable experience and information with me. They are truly the most generous professionals that I have ever encountered. That's why I strongly recommend attending as many candy trade shows as possible. There you will meet chocolate manufacturers and be able to talk directly with people who are actually in the chocolate business.

And lastly, my best advice is to take every opportunity to experiment with chocolate and practice, practice, practice. Doing so will improve your skills and enhance your stature in the community.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ronnie, you might want to pass this on to your freind: I clicked on the tv this morning and while I was still half asleep I believe I saw a promo for the Long Grove Chocolate Festival (this is in the chicago suburbs), can anyone confirm? I missed it last year and I don't want to miss it again.

Jacque P. demoed there last year and on the trailers I noticed some really well done paintings done in chocolate.....

From my knowledge of your work and Eva's your rather traditional in flavorings and pairings. Just wondering if you enjoy all the contemporary flavor explorations thats driving the boutique chocolate industry now? Have you been to Vosages, in town? Who's work do you like or does anyone in particular excite you? Does any of this disapoint you?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Long Grove Chocolate Fesival continues to draw top local chocolatiers each year. I haven't been able to participate in it for the past two years but hope to do so again sometime. Jacquy Pfeiffer delights the crowds each year with his chocolate magic as well as his charming personality. My former student and sometimes assistant, Pam Vieau, also participates. Pam is a terrific chocolatier and a very fine teacher. She was my choice to replace me when I retired from the Wilton School a couple of years ago. Pam is also teaching at Triton College and will soon start teaching classes at Midwest Imports in Chicago. You can reach her at www.chocolateinspirations.com.

I am a great fan of Bob Piron's chocolates in Evanston, IL. He was classically trained in Belgium and is a marvelous chocolatier. Vosges has certainly charged up the candy world with intriguing flavor combinations, but some of them work better than others. My favorite chocolatier is Jim Graham, formerly of Le Francaise in Wheeling, IL, who used to make all of their exceptional chocolates. I'm not sure what Jim is up to these days but if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of his classes or sample his chocolates be sure to do so. Besides being a gentle soul, he has the most refined palate of anyone I know. Now, he's the one who should write a chocolate book!!! Last I heard, he was teaching at the French Pastry school in Wheeling.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I am a great fan of Bob Piron's chocolates in Evanston, IL.  He was classically trained in Belgium and is a marvelous chocolatier.

I used to live 1 short block from Piron and I really miss it :sad:


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By Mutleyracers
      Hi all. I hope you are well. I am just into baking bread due to lockdown and need help. Ideally I would like modernist bread but the wife is not quite agreeing to that yet. So I would like some where to start for now until she comes around to the idea. After she has tasted all my amazing breads I make. 
      I would like this to be in metric rather than imperial.
      Thank you 
    • By Burmese Days
      Hello everyone,
      This is my first post, so please tell me if I've made any mistakes. I'd like to learn the ropes as soon as possible. 
      I first learned of this cookbook from The Mala Market, easily the best online source of high-quality Chinese ingredients in the west. In the About Us page, Taylor Holiday (the founder of Mala Market) talks about the cookbooks that inspired her.
      This piqued my interest and sent me down a long rabbit hole. I'm attempting to categorically share everything I've found about this book so far.
      Reading it online
      Early in my search, I found an online preview (Adobe Flash required). It shows you the first 29 pages. I've found people reference an online version you can pay for on the Chinese side of the internet. But to my skills, it's been unattainable.
      The Title
      Because this book was never sold in the west, the cover, and thus title, were never translated to English. Because of this, when you search for this book, it'll have several different names. These are just some versions I've found online - typos included.
      Sichuan (China) Cuisine in Both Chinese and English Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (In English & Chinese) China Sichuan Cuisine (in Chinese and English) Chengdu China: Si Chuan Ke Xue Ji Shu Chu Ban She Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (Chinese and English bilingual) 中国川菜:中英文标准对照版 For the sake of convenience, I'll be referring to the cookbook as Sichuan Cuisine from now on.

      There are two versions of Sichuan Cuisine. The first came out in 2010 and the second in 2014. In an interview from Flavor & Fortune, a (now defunct) Chinese cooking
      magazine, the author clarifies the differences.
      That is all of the information I could find on the differences. Nothing besides that offhanded remark. The 2014 edition seems to be harder to source and, when available, more expensive.

      In the last section, I mentioned an interview with the author. That was somewhat incorrect. There are two authors!
      Lu Yi (卢一) President of Sichuan Tourism College, Vice Chairman of Sichuan Nutrition Society, Chairman of Sichuan Food Fermentation Society, Chairman of Sichuan Leisure Sports Management Society Du Li (杜莉) Master of Arts, Professor of Sichuan Institute of Tourism, Director of Sichuan Cultural Development Research Center, Sichuan Humanities and Social Sciences Key Research Base, Sichuan Provincial Department of Education, and member of the International Food Culture Research Association of the World Chinese Culinary Federation Along with the principal authors, two famous chefs checked the English translations.
      Fuchsia Dunlop - of Land of Plenty fame Professor Shirley Cheng - of Hyde Park New York's Culinary Institute of America Fuchsia Dunlop was actually the first (and to my knowledge, only) Western graduate from the school that produced the book.

      Here are screenshots of the table of contents.  It has some recipes I'm a big fan of.
      ISBN 10: 7536469640   ISBN 13: 9787536469648 As far as I can tell, the first and second edition have the same ISBN #'s. I'm no librarian, so if anyone knows more about how ISBN #'s relate to re-releases and editions, feel free to chime in.
      Sichuan Science and Technology Press 四川科学技术出版社  
      Okay... so this book has a lot of covers.
      The common cover A red cover A white cover A white version of the common cover An ornate and shiny cover  There may or may not be a "Box set." At first, I thought this was a difference in book editions, but that doesn't seem to be the case. As far as covers go, I'm at a loss. If anybody has more info, I'm all ears.
      Buying the book
      Alright, so I've hunted down many sites that used to sell it and a few who still have it in stock. Most of them are priced exorbitantly.
      AbeBooks.com ($160 + $15 shipping) Ebay.com - used ($140 + $4 shipping) PurpleCulture.net ($50 + $22 shipping) Amazon.com ($300 + $5 shipping + $19 tax) A few other sites in Chinese  
      I bought a copy off of PurpleCuture.net on April 14th. When I purchased Sichuan Cuisine, it said there was only one copy left. That seems to be a lie to create false urgency for the buyer. My order never updated past processing, but after emailing them, I was given a tracking code. It has since landed in America and is in customs. I'll try to update this thread when (if) it is delivered.
      Closing thoughts
      This book is probably not worth all the effort that I've put into finding it. But what is worth effort, is preserving knowledge. It turns my gut to think that this book will never be accessible to chefs that have a passion for learning real Sichuan food. As we get inundated with awful recipes from Simple and quick blogs, it becomes vital to keep these authentic sources available. As the internet chugs along, more and more recipes like these will be lost. 
      You'd expect the internet to keep information alive, but in many ways, it does the opposite. In societies search for quick and easy recipes, a type of evolutionary pressure is forming. It's a pressure that mutates recipes to simpler and simpler versions of themselves. They warp and change under consumer pressure till they're a bastardized copy of the original that anyone can cook in 15 minutes. The worse part is that these new, worse recipes wear the same name as the original recipe. Before long, it becomes harder to find the original recipe than the new one. 
      In this sense, the internet hides information. 
    • By TexasMBA02
      After batting about .500 with my previous approach to macarons, I came across Pierre Herme's base recipe online.  After two flawless batches of macarons, I've been re-energized to continue to work at mastering them.  Specifically, I want to try more of his recipes.  My conundrum is that he has, as far as I can tell, two macaron cookbooks and I don't know which one I should get.  I can't tell if one is just an updated version of the other or a reissue or what the differences really are.  I was hoping somebody had some insight.  I have searched online and haven't seen both books referenced in the same context or contrasted at all.
      This one appears to be older.

      And this one appears to be the newer of the two.

      Any insight would be helpful.
    • By K8CanCook
      Update!! --- the sale is still going on at Amazon as of Sunday (11/24) at 11:15am EST
      Did anyone note the sale price on Modernist Cuisine today (maybe yesterday)? Amazon and Target dropped the set of tomes to $379!!!
      This price looks like it will change after today...so get it ASAP!!!

    • By Bollo
      I need a book on the application of rotavapor machine. I've searched something on web but i can't find something strictly professional for the kitchen please help me. To improve the research. 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...