The Chocolate Lover's Dinner - A Chef Dana Experience
Valentine's weekend is a time for love, a time for fun and a time for sweets! On Saturday February 11th, celebrity Chef Dana Herbert held a chocolate lovers dinner at the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises. This dinner would feature courses that have a hint of chocolate within each dish. If it's one thing women love, it's chocolate!
When I arrived, guests waited in the lobby until it was time to enter the dining area. Once we had the green light to enter, one thing that stood out was the beautiful voice of a young singer that would be serenading us for the evening. Her name was Grace Otley. I loved the jazzy tone of her voice. She also played the violin and she played it so beautifully. What a lovely way to enter a room.
Once seated, Chef Dana had everyone introduce themselves and name one favorite food. I chose squid for mine. I can eat squid every week, I love it. The first course started to make its way out. We were served pan seared scallops with a white chocolate corn sauce topped with bacon, accompanied by an arugula salad with orange infused dressing. That sauce was amazing. It fascinates me to discover pairings that I wouldn't expect to go with each other. The sauce and scallops were perfect together. This was a dish that I certainly was impressed with. Next, we were served a poached pear salad with cranberries, blue cheese and walnuts. The dressing consisted of balsamic vinegar and cracked dry mustard, chocolate syrup and olive oil. My favorite part of the salad was the blue cheese and cranberries. Blue cheese is also a favorite of mine. Tasting every single ingredient in one bite was like music to my ears. I just wish there was more. The salad went so fast at my table! I was disappointed, but it was alright. I needed room in my stomach for the other courses.
It was time to take a small intermission and enjoy a refreshing citrus sorbet. It was topped with a little orange zest. The guests continued to enjoy the live entertainment that was being provided. Everyone was dancing, singing and having a gold ol' time. Before we knew it, the main course was ready to be served. Chef Dana is a man who loves a good piece of meat. This entree featured steak, potatoes and a side of asparagus. If you're wondering where the chocolate was placed in this dish, it was in the potatoes. White chocolate mascarpone was one of the ingredients in the mashed potatoes. It was creamy, a little thick and it gave it a lightly sweet taste. Very enjoyable.
Of course every party has to come to an end. And what better way than to end it with something sweet and tantalizing! Chef Dana served a scrumptious chocolate creme brûlée topped with a strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and blackberry. We were able to watch him torch to top of the creme brûlée and he did an outstanding job. The texture was just right. Not only did the berries add some prettiness to the dessert but it also tasted extremely good with the chocolate creme brûlée. Thank you Chef Dana for allowing me to apart of another beautiful event. The food was delicious, the room was filled with great company and I loved every moment of watching all the singing that went on. I'll be looking forward to attending more wonderful events in the future.