All About Fine Chocolate by Cat Black

  • Valrhona launch at The Hotel Café Royal

    October 7, 2014

    Fine chocolate brand Valrhona launched a new chocolate, and I had the chance to go to the party, taste, and investigate.

    Valrhona's Biskelia

    Much of what I do is meeting, tasting and recording the new creations of artisan chocolatiers and small-batch chocolate makers. These chefs are working at the cutting edge of chocolate innovation, in that they play and invent, taking chances on new flavours, experimenting with new cacao origins or processes. But as passion for chocolate only grows, and globally pastry chefs are increasingly savvy about the potential of my favourite ingredient, so the larger fine chocolate...

    Read more »
  • The Best of Italy – A.Giordano

    September 23, 2014

    As the final 2014 heats of The International Chocolate Awards are underway, here is a look at a two time world award winner.


    A. Giordano is one of those specialist traditional food businesses that have died out in such number, as things become centralised, economies of scale win the financial battles, and tastes become bland and homogenised. But A.Giordano is a shining example of survival, rescued from its potential fate by a combination of passion, hard labour and a good dose of luck. [caption id="attachment_2419" align="alignnone" width="506"] The famous gianduiotti in all sizes.[/caption] Established in 1897, and masters in the...

    Read more »
  • Patricia Hodgkinson at I Wanna Cocoa

    September 9, 2014

    A great new talent is unearthed. Very definitely one to watch!

    Temperature testing the couverture.

    One of the greatest joys of writing about food, and judging and consulting on chocolate, is witnessing passion and creativity. I recently came back from Paris, where I spent a day in the inner sanctum of La Maison du Chocolat, one to one with Head Chef Nicolas Cloiseau, tasting recipes, interviewing him, and gaining stunning insight into that globally successful fine chocolate company. Nicolas Cloiseau is a big deal, it was a privilege. (More of...

    Read more »
  • The Chocolate Show London – 2014

    September 2, 2014

    An important date for your diary and chance to indulge. Get mingling with the finest chocolate makers at this not-to-be-missed event.

    Salon du Chocolat chocolate fashion show.

    Do you like chocolate? I know, stupid question, but there is the odd freak out there that doesn’t. Although what they would be doing reading my articles is a little uncertain. So, assuming you do like chocolate, love chocolate, worship chocolate, or even make it your life’s work, you MUST be sure to have the 17th-19th of October blocked out in your diary for The Chocolate Show 2014 at London’s Olympia. [caption id="attachment_2377" align="alignnone" width="506"] Scrumptious...

    Read more »
  • The Best of Italy – TortaPistocchi

    August 26, 2014

    As the summer holidays draw to a close, here is a taste of something wonderful found on travels of mine, that I can happily still get at home.

    Torta Pistocchi

    It is a truism that Italy is all about family, family and food. At the Tuscan workshops and showroom of TortaPistocchi, the burgeoning chocolate empire of Claudio Pistocchi, this could not be more the case. During the late morning visit I paid with Italian chocolate expert Monica Meschini, we met not only Claudio and his sister but also his wife, two year old daughter, parents, cousin and a close friend. This was a normal day...

    Read more »
  • Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume Restaurant

    August 12, 2014

    Humour me for straying from chocolate once again. L'Enclume was an experience too special to keep to myself.

    The Interior of L'Enclume.

    L'Enclume, Simon Rogan's two Michelin starred restaurant in the village of Cartmel, is hardly on the beaten track. It occupies the old blacksmith's (enclume is French for anvil) in the heart of a Cumbrian village carved out of characteristic grey stone, nestled in amongst the hills of the Lake District. But while it may not be a place you are likely to wander past, it is absolutely worth the journey, consider it a pilgrimage. I...

    Read more »
  • Afternoon tea at Cocolicious in Kent.

    July 29, 2014

    As Afternoon Tea Week approaches I thought I would bring you a gem of a tea from my favourite cafe.

    close up tea.jpg

    In the UK afternoon tea has a unique place in our hearts, and the elaborate meal that has developed to fill the unscalable gap between lunch and supper can be a very special thing indeed. Sadly, because of the worldwide fame of our afternoon tea ritual there are a plethora of formulaic, badly executed excuses for it in hotel dining rooms and village tea shops throughout the nation. It isn't that we want innovation, at...

    Read more »
  • Daniel Clifford’s Ultimate Box of Chocolates

    July 15, 2014

    A world class chef, whose chocolate is well worth a pilgrimage.

    Midsummer chocolates box1.jpg

    Just over a year ago I was lucky enough to eat at Midsummer House, Daniel Clifford’s two Michelin starred restaurant on the edge of Midsummer Common in Cambridge. I am currently doing research for a series of articles for Four Magazine, including one on how exciting, informed and adept chefs are getting with chocolate. Looking at the notes of my glorious experience in the hands of one of the UK’s finest chefs it seemed like...

    Read more »

Cat Black

Cat BlackI am a food writer, with special interest in, and huge enthusiasm for, chocolate! This blog is where I get to tell you about all the wonderful tastes, events, and people I come across in the world of chocolate.

Find out more »


Desert Island Chocolate

I ask the great and the good which chocolate they couldn’t possibly live without…

Things I'm loving