When you come home from a party to a text from your friend that says "I have chocolate all over my hand!!!", you know it was a successful night.
Monday night (when all amazing parties happen don't you know?), said friend and I ventured out to DUMBO for the grand opening celebration of L'Ecole Valrhona--the renowned chocolate company's first Brooklyn and US outpost for pastry and chocolate chefs alike to network and learn new techniques. Alongside their professional pastry classes and think tank, this location will also offer consumer-facing workshops where amateur gourmets can master their favorite pastries in half-day, hands-on workshops comprised of no more than 12 students.
When we arrived at the 26 Bridge Street event space, we were welcomed with Champagne and a buffet of...yes...chocolate.
There were bon bons and caramels and fudge and truffles and ginger praline marshmallows and hazelnut eggs, and I thought, well screw dinner!
But we didn't have to forgo a savory dinner you see because there were all sorts of delicious non dessert stuffs passed around on never-ending trays by super friendly waiters. Given the fact that I only have 2 hands and the food came in waves as big and fast as those at Pipeline in Hawaii, my photos of these wonderful morsels are limited, but included: marinara chicken sliders, BBQ chicken cubes with coleslaw, citrus hamachi crudo (our fave!), seared steak on a potato with truffle, tuna tartare, beet and goat cheese tartlettes, and short rib lettuce cups.
As we were intermittently snarfing dinner and dessert (more to come on that), the founding pastry chefs of L'Ecole Valrhona Brooklyn--Sarah Kosikowski and Derek Poirier--took the stage to say their thank yous among many other legendary pastry chefs.
We then made the rounds and saw some "live art"...
and took an obligatory photo in the Sharingbox photobooth...
But then the rest of the dessert came out. There was an American side with things like key lime pie, brownies, and cupcakes and a French pastry side offering desserts with much fancier and unpronounceable (by me) names. See below for gluttonous photos:
Just when we thought the night was winding down (and you thought this post was over, didn't you?), we turned to hear the beat of several very loud drums coming from outside. Soon the whole party was dancing to the rhythm of a 6-person reggae band, complete with several drums, a tambourine-like instrument, and a saxophone. They even started a conga line, and of course we joined in. Because why wouldn't you join a conga line on a Monday night?
As we left, we were handed L'Ecole Valrhona branded gift bags with all sorts of goodies inside: a cast iron pan, a chocolate cookbook, and of course, an assortment of chocolate bon bons.
So circling back, I too had chocolate on my hand when I got home (...and my forearm and my phone). Considering I also popped a few pre-wrapped caramels into my purse on the way home, I'm likely to be finding remnants of this night and party throughout my life in the coming weeks. Would I trade it for a thing? Nope.
Check out L'Ecole Valrhona here and get your chocolate conga line on!