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My (Chocolate) Blue Heaven

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Flipping through the newspaper last week, I squealed loudly when I stumbled upon an advertisement for a chocolate-tasting at Blue by Eric Ripert in the Ritz-Carlton.  ‘Chocolate Blue’ was the creation of Le Bernadin executive pastry chef Michael Laiskonis.  For four days, folks in Cayman had the opportunity to experience a three-course tasting (and pairing) menu featuring white, milk and dark chocolate.

There was no way I was going to miss this.

The first course featured caramelized white chocolate and pistachio terrine with lemon confit and raspberry pearls.  It was paired with a 2009 Moscato d’Asti Vietti Piedmonte Italy.  I’m going to be honest.  We weren’t that impressed with the first course.  Rachel and I went into this course a little cranky.  Unable to secure a reservation before 9:30pm, we rolled up about 10 minutes early and were seated right away.  There were four other people in our party and they were late.  We’d have loved to have a had a glass of wine or a peek at the pre-set menu to pass the time, but those options weren’t made available to us.  By the time we got our first course it was almost 10pm.

The dish was good, just not spectacular.  Clark Kent was particularly fond of the pearls… molecular gastronomy flare.  The pairing was nice too, giving the subtle white chocolate a higher ‘wow’ factor.

The show stopping dazzler of the evening was the second course simply titled ‘Egg.’  Milk Chocolate pots de creme, caramel foam, maple syrup and Cayman Sea Salt.  It was a big hit all the way around the table, especially the first bite with that sea salt.  Many sets of eyes rolled back in their heads and groans  of pleasure escaped from mouths during this course.  To our surprise, this dish was coupled with a beer: Trois Pistoles from the Unibroue Brewery in Chambly, Canada.  Rachel, who I assure you is most definitely not a beer fan, was impressed by the pairing.  As was her husband, who ended up having 2 more glasses.

The men at the table seemed to like the dark chocolate dish more than the ladies.  ‘I’m totally down with the third course,’ said Clark Kent.  It was a dark chocolate parfait with lime meringue, avocado puree and coconut sorbet.  I went a little bonkers for the sorbet and Rachel was fond of the ‘floating bits of happiness’ dribbled around the parfait. Super-rich.  Super-delicious. This dish was served with a 23 year old Ron Zazapa rum from Guatemala.

The Ritz is all about going above and beyond and it appears the hotel’s restaurants follow the same philosophy.  Thinking we were all finished, I gasped a little when I came back from grabbing a bit of fresh air to a plate of four lovely little chocolates!  From left to right: banana rum, salted caramel, hazelnut and Jamaican all spice.  The hazelnut brought little tears of joy to my eyes and the rum chocolate got not one, but three exclamations of ‘whoa, banana!’

The ladies at the table were also treated with a little takeaway box with two super yummy fruit macarons.   I sure hope Mr. Laiskonis comes back to Cayman soon 🙂

3 course tasting and pairing menu – $59 CI per person


All prices in CI. $1 CI = $1.20 US.

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40 Comments

  1. I just wanted to be the 40th person to comment.

  2. Talk about major jealousy! It seems I'm not alone either! I would love to attend something like this but alas I don't think it's in the cards where I live. I'll have to experience it through your pictures and phrases like “groans of pleasure.”

  3. This looks like sweet, sweet heaven to me!

  4. OMG I'm so jealous!

  5. Everything looks fabulous as always here now Im starving and have nothing close to anything like this to eat! jealous jealous jealous!!!!!

  6. I'm with CK on the pearls – they look very pretty. I would have been cranky too if I'd been made to wait that long for food, especially chocolate. Great pics and a great night by the sounds of it.

  7. Those pictures are cholholics ultimate dream come true.

  8. OMG I am so jealous. So so so jealous.

  9. Oh my goodness, a chocolate tasting?! I would have gotten chocolate drunk! All of it sounds divine!

  10. It all looks and sounds SO delicious. Can't blame you for not wanting to miss out on it. I especially want to replicate the 'egg' course. It looks gorgeous…

  11. That sounds entirely fantastic. Looking at all the amazing food you eat makes me want to go to the Cayman Islands sooooo bad! The food there is amazing!

  12. I am totally drooling over everything!! Oh it looks so good and worth all the money!:)) Thanks for sharing!

  13. I've been dying to get to Le Bernadin sometime (but of course I need to be in the correct country to do this :P) so thank you for the glimpse into Blue!

  14. WOW! What a great experience… chocolate tasting…hell to the yes! 🙂 I want the “Egg”!

  15. luck you, I am so jealous. sorry about the first course I hate to be rushed, but glad the evening got better!! I would love to try “egg”

    sweetlife

  16. Everything looks delectable! That chocolate is just too good to miss.

  17. Deliciousness – big drools!

  18. With an opportunity like that…I'd be on the fog horn. LOL
    Everything looks fabulously tempting…how great for you to have experienced these treats.

    Oh, and don't forget to let Mr. Laiskonis know that we have a Ritz Carlton here in Montreal too ;o) His visit will be very welcomed indeed 😉

    Glad to be back and look forward to your next culinary adventure.

    Ciao for now,
    Claudai

  19. What a lovely spread for a meal; even if I am not huge for chocolates!:)
    A full chocolate-y meal must have gotten any choc fan screaming all over the place:p
    The idea of the 'Egg' was really unique, and what a great visual presentation:D

  20. OMG, no wonder you were cranky waiting around and no wine! Glad to see it was worth the wait, though. What a real treat reading this to feel part of this tasting – looked fabulous, pairing the dishes with wines. These fruity macarons look scrummy, too 🙂

  21. Yum-yum-yum! I am super jealous.

  22. Boy, how long did it take you guys eat all that after 10 pm? But it sure looks like a good spread! Would have loved some hazelnut chocolate myself! 🙂
    I need to check if he is coming around NC 🙂

  23. Oh, you lucky duck!!! What a fabulous event~

  24. I love to go to tasting events, especially in a beautiful hotel like the Ritz Carlton.
    Wow…that “egg” dessert would be the top of the line for me, and a taste of that amazing rum from Guatamala!
    Thanks for sharing:DDD

  25. This seems like such a fun outing! I've been hesitant to try the whole molecular gastronomy thing… but now, I'm super intrigued!

  26. What a torture looking at these pictures and not being able to reach them…the Egg looks fabulous…would love to come to this event. Have a great week 🙂

  27. What a fun and tasty experience!

  28. I have never been to a chocolate tasting before. What fun!

  29. WoooooW! What a lovely event and cool pairing! Egg looks great and really a show stopper!

  30. It all sounds good to me! I never would think of pairing a beer with dessert. Interesting. I'm kicking myself for reading about this in the morning, because I'm pretty sure I'll spend the rest of the day fantasizing about macarons and assorted other sweets.

  31. Wow! I'm so jealous! hehehehe! Everything looks perfect, even the beer! Are they coming over to M'sia soon???? 🙂

  32. this looks amazing!!

  33. How perfect – a chocolate tasting – they look incredible – and the egg! I'm not sure this is fair – you live in the Caymans and you go to chocolate tastings!!!!
    Mary x

  34. Wow, fantastic! I just read an article in the New Yorker about Eric Ripert. What a treat!

  35. OOOOHHH This is my kind of meal… I am a chocoholic, so this is a dream come true… a full meal based on chocolate??? I couldn't ask for more!!! Lucky girl!

  36. The 4 chocolates are perfectly shaped. Complimentary macaroons – ending the meal on a sweet note!

  37. WOW, that egg is a show stopper.
    You're so lucky to be able to go to a chocolate tasting, I can only dream of ever going to one.
    Thanks for your honest review

  38. oh wow looks amazing the egg is so cool looking

  39. Wow, beautiful chocolate pics. How lucky you are that you got to taste so many yummy chocolate desserts and drinks. I loved your honest review on each kind of dessert you tasted there.

  40. That white chocolate and pistachio terrine looks so pretty, but you had me at Moscato d'Asti. That's my preferred sweet dessert wine!

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