Currently on sabbatical from Secret Location, pastry chef Kira Desmond sent Eater a 'postcard' from France.
Bonjour from Valrhona's l'École du Grand Chocolat in Tain l'Hermitage, France! I have traveled to the Rhône Valley with seven other pastry chefs from across Canada for a class in pastry and chocolate. We have had the privilege to tour Valrhona's factory and spent the week in the kitchen learning about Valrhona chocolate, the latest technology, and current trends in the industry. Here, I am with my class partner Lewis Birch, Pastry Chef of CinCin in Vancouver, and a few of our creations.
Aside from the wine, butter, and chocolate I loved the whimsical feel of the Rhone Valley. I felt like I was living in a fairy tale. Everything from the old gnarly trees, to the bridge over the river, the grape vines, and the orchards. It all felt so magical and ethereal. French butter is unlike anything else. I couldn't get enough of it. The flavour is unparalleled to anything you can get anywhere else. I made Orange Blossom Ice Cream from the most lovely Orange Blossom Essence that the Chef Christophe Domange had at the school. It was so simple and pure and made from the finest cream and best quality essence. The texture of the ice cream was incredible. I was very happy with how it turned out and paired with the chocolate.
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