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Jan 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Kakao Chocolate’

Budget Crunch: 8 delicious deals to try now in STL

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Got $10 and a friend? Then we’ve got eight delicious deals you must try now in St. Louis.




1. Turning your favorite food into an ice cream counterpart is a fun game. Choco Tacos. Ice cream cookies. Boozy floats. But now we have doughnuts. Swing by Vincent Van Doughnut in The Grove and magically turn any of its house-made doughnuts into a ice cream sandwich for around $7.

2. Now through October, sample the new fall lunch and dinner menus at The Presentation Room, the student-run restaurant by L’Ecole Culinaire. For $10, enjoy a three course-meal that includes appetizer, entree and desert, all inspired bites from culinary students and future chefs in the making. Choose from flavors like chicken white-bean cassoulet, black and white pasta with steamed mussels or a juicy bourguignon burger, and don’t forget about the vanilla bean ice cream with port wine glaze.

3. Cantina Laredo in downtown Clayton is featuring half-price combination steak and chicken fajitas on Wednesdays after 5 p.m. While you’re there, enjoy a 3 G’s Please cocktail made by bartender Lucero Ortiz, the recent winner of the 2017 National Tequila Day competition.




4. 4204 Main Street Brewing in Alton recently changed its name to The Perfect 10 Pub and Grill, and it’s everything you could want in a hangout spot – literally, everything on the menu is $10 or less, including daily specials, like its Monday steak and beer night – an 8-ounce sirloin with one side and a 4204 beer.

5. If you’ve got a taste for something light and fruity, check out the wild flavors of Bissinger’s Gummy Pandas. At $4 a package, electrify your taste buds on the cheap with flavors like Strawberry Mango and Blackberry Hibiscus. They’re perfect for late-summer campouts or between sets at LouFest.




6. School is back in session, and hungry college students can get their fix of sweet and savory Italian treats at Piccione Pastry on College Night. Every Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m., college students with an ID get 25 percent off just about everything in the store. That’s a lot of panini and cannoli, kids.

7. Every home cook knows the important of taste testing before you serve the meal. Lend a hand (and your taste buds) to Kakao Chocolate in Maplewood on Taste Test Tuesdays. Watch the chocolate shop’s Facebook page for the daily code word, then utter it at the counter for a free tasty treat. “Classic” for a milk chocolate-sea salt caramel? “How do you like them apples?” for an apple caramel? Yes, please!

8. Can’t make it to the Grafton Apple Festival this weekend? Get a taste of the season with The Daily Bread’s apple pie. Each pie is filled with more than 2½-pounds of apples, and you can snag a slice for a few bucks in Des Peres.

Photos courtesy of Vincent Van Doughnut, Cantina Laredo and Piccione Pastry 

Kevin Korinek is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for making homemade pie.

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The Scoop: Kakao wins third Good Food Award

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017



The annual Good Food Awards were announced Jan. 20, and area chocolatier Kakao Chocolate has earned top honors in the confections category with its Norton Pâtés du Vin, a fruit gel made with Augusta Winery’s Norton.

The Good Food Awards are given each year to producers who “push their industries towards craftsmanship and sustainability while enhancing our agricultural landscape and building strong communities,” according to the nonprofit’s website.

Owner Brian Pelletier said this award, Kakao’s third in four years, is especially meaningful. “That was really important to me, personally, because it told everyone that this isn’t a cake walk, that every year it gets tougher, that we have to keep our game up,” he said.

Pelletier said he was also proud to win with a Missouri Norton. “We do everything we can do locally to support the economy, but also because there’s great stuff around here,” he said. “I’m in California right now for the award in the middle of wine country, and to be able to say there’s a lot of great wine in Missouri is really fun.”

Other Missouri winners include Patric Chocolate of Columbia, Springfield’s Askinosie Chocolate and Kansas City Canning Co.


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Sneak Peek: Larder & Cupboard

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Those who scour grocery stores in vain for mustard-miso paste, elderberry shrubs or tart cherry grenadine, look no further. Larder & Cupboard, a specialty food store focused on small independent producers, officially opens Wednesday, Nov. 12 and will have all this and more on its shelves.

Owner Brian Pelletier, who also owns Kakao Chocolate, set up shop at 7310 Manchester Road in Maplewood, a 2,200-square-foot space that formerly housed an antique furniture store. Herringbone hardwood floors, a marble entry way and a working fireplace add to the shop’s artisanal charm. Upon entering, customers will see cupboards and shelves stacked with everything from small-batch bitters to Cool Cow Cheese to SeedGeeks heirloom seed packets.

As The Scoop first reported in August, general manager Cindy Higgerson is the woman behind the shop’s extensive inventory. Higgerson said her goal was to fill Larder & Cupboard with hard-to-find items from small, high-quality producers who source locally. St. Louis-area producers include Marcoot Jersey Creamery, Woodside Honey, Salume Beddu – and of course, Kakao. However, Higgerson said many products are new to the St. Louis market and have won or been nominated for Good Food Awards and Sofi Awards.

Area restaurants plan to add their wares to store shelves, too. Higgerson said Larder & Cupboard will soon carry fresh pasta and sauces from Pastaria, house-made condiments and sides from Juniper (currently featured in its Gift Horse holiday bags) and cuts of meat from soon-to-open Maplewood neighbor Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions.

Larder & Cupboard will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Here’s what to expect when the doors open this Wednesday:



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-photos by Michelle Volansky

The Scoop: Kakao Chocolate’s Brian Pelletier to open specialty shop in Maplewood

Monday, August 4th, 2014


{Clockwise from top left, Kakao chocolates, Salume Beddu sausage, Baetje Farms goat cheese, Marcoot Jersey Creamery cheese}


With Kakao Chocolate‘s third location is set to open in Clayton in two weeks, its owner Brian Pelletier is already embarking on another new business venture. Pelletier plans to open a specialty food store around Oct. 1 called Larder & Cupboard.

The shop at 7310 Manchester Road in Maplewood will sell condiments, sauces, preserves, grains, desserts, snacks and, of course, Kakao chocolates. Cheese will take center stage – including products from Marcoot Jersey Creamery in Greenville, Illinois, and Baetje Farms in Bloomdale, Missouri. The store will also sell cured meats from Salume Beddu in St. Louis and products that have won awards from the American Cheese Society, World Cheese Awards, Good Food Awards and Sofi Awards. Food will be sourced from small, independent producers.

Pelletier said store manager Cindy Higgerson, known on Twitter as Madam Charcuterie (@Mcharcuterie), is an expert at sourcing hard-to-find items. “She is well known in St. Louis food circles,” he told The Scoop. “She is known by a lot of chefs and home cooks and a lot of people who like to eat good food.”

He said the shop will complete the “foodie puzzle” in Maplewood. “This is the only thing really that’s missing in Maplewood to make it the food destination,” he said. “We’ve got chocolate, we’ve got tea, we’ve got oils and vinegars (Vom Foss), we’ve got spices (Penzeys Spices), we’ve got doughnuts (Strange Donuts) and we’ve got pies (Pie Oh My).”

He also mentioned the new Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions, set to open in Maplewood this fall by Chris Bolyard, former chef de cuisine at Sidney Street Cafe. Bolyard noted in February that people in Maplewood are very supportive of small boutique-type businesses.

-chocolate and charcuterie photos by Greg Rannells; cheese photos courtesy of Marcoot Jersey Creamery and Baetje Farms


Short List: Hot Chocolate

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Since it seems that winter has decidedly arrived, all we want to do now is curl up with a blanket and sip some hot chocolate. But where can we find the best? Sauce’s archives is a great place to start. This short list originally appeared in 2011. If you have any new suggestions, feel free to add them to the comments section!

{Kakao’s Hot Chocolcate}

Since bitter temps demand that hot chocolate be consumed in vast quantities, those of us cuckoo for cocoa couldn’t be happier this time of year. Our top three cups will all satiate your inner child’s sweet needs as well as your adult craving for strong, complex flavors. High-quality chocolate is front and center, so these are worth leaving home for, no matter how low the mercury dips. Keep in mind that while we stuck with dark chocolate varieties, each location offers a range of flavors.

Kakao2301 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314.771.2310 and 7272 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.645.4446

Kakao employs its own mix of cocoa powder, dark chocolate and sugar to treat customers. A small amount of hot milk is poured over two to three spoonfuls of the blend to properly melt the ground chocolate. Then the concoction is stirred into a paste and, after a minute or so, the rest of the milk is added. Light foam tops things off nicely, and it’s served in a to-go cup for easy on-the-run consumption. For those with a DIY inclination, take home a bag of the mix to make whenever the fancy strikes.

Café Cioccolato816 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.345.1200

At this downtown chocolate, wine and art lounge, definitely request one of the house-made marshmallows (oh, how we adore those crispy-on-the-outside, wonderfully gooey-on-the-inside delights), which are sprinkled with cocoa powder and delivered on the bottom of a becoming mug. The hot chocolate is then poured on top, resulting in liquid decadence. It all starts with disks of pure Swiss chocolate, which are melted down and mixed with whole milk to create a sinfully dense drink that’ll keep you coming back for more all winter long.

Baileys’ Chocolate Bar1915 Park Ave., St. Louis, 314.241.8100

The Chocolate Bar’s inclusion on this list may be expected, but it’s also ridiculously well-deserved. The Dark and Rich version served up at Lafayette Square’s sweetest eatery scores as a hearty winter pick-me-up that’s so thick, it could easily be mistaken for a meal. Chocolate disks from Swiss chocolatier Felchin are fused with half-and-half, skim milk, cocoa and sugar – the result coating your mouth with molten joy. A delicate chocolate swizzle stick is served alongside, so give it a quick swirl in the steamy liquid, then savor the melt-in-your-mouth effect.

— photo by Ashley Gieseking

Sauce Celebrity Chef Series gets deliciously decadent with Alice Medrich

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The Queen of Chocolate is gracing us with her presence just in time for Mother’s Day. On May 9, celebrated sweets author Alice Medrich will discuss and sign her new book, Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts, for the next installment of the Sauce Celebrity Chef Series.

Medrich has won more cookbook-of-the-year awards than any other author, including two from the James Beard Foundation. For this event, Kakao Chocolate will be making sweet treats inspired by Medrich’s new book, which simplifies dozens of her classic dessert recipes.

Ticket packages cost just $30 and include admission for two, some of those tasty Kakao confections and 1 copy of Alice’s new cookbook, which she will be discussing and signing at the event. Whether you’ve been looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift or hoping to learn the secrets behind great baking, this is an event any dedicated sweet tooth truly shouldn’t miss.

What: Sauce Celebrity Chef Series with Alice Medrick
When: Wed., May 9 – 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: Left Bank Books, 321 N. 10th St., St. Louis, 314.436.3049, brownpapertickets.com
Cost: Tickets: $30, admission for 2, Kakao Chocolate confections, 1 copy of Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts

List of restaurants featured at this year’s Saucy Soirée revealed

Friday, June 24th, 2011

062411_soireeNo one likes when the weekend comes to an end, but this weekend, we can’t wait until Sunday arrives. That’s because we’ll be over at the Four Seasons for our biggest party of the year: the Saucy Soirée.

Each year, thousands of hungry St. Louisans come out for the event, which honors the winners of our annual Readers’ Choice Poll. Guests get to enjoy food, wine and beer from their favorite hot spots, listen to live music from local bands and toast the night away under the stars on the rooftop terrace of the Four Seasons. And the cherry on top? All Soirée guests get a sneak preview of this year’s Readers’ Choice winners before the July issue comes out next month.

Tickets are still available, but time is running out to be able to enjoy all this great food for just $25 – what a steal – so be sure to order yours today. And now, we’re excited to reveal the list of 37 restaurants, wineries and breweries who will be dishing up what they do best at this year’s Soirée. See you there!

• Acero

• Annie Gunn’s

• Baileys’ Chocolate Bar

• Baileys’ Range

• Brasserie by Niche

• Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar

• Chandler Hill Vineyards

• Chaumette Vineyards

• Chauvin Coffee

• Cielo

• Companion

• Crown Candy Kitchen

• Crown Valley Winery

• Eleven Eleven Mississippi

• Farmhaus

• Ferguson Brewing Co.

• Fritanga

• Harvest

• Hollyberry Catering

• Jilly’s Cupcake Bar and Café

• Kakao Chocolate

• Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood

• Modesto

• Molly’s In Soulard

• Niche

• Pappy’s Smokehouse

• Peel Wood Fired Pizza

• Prime 1000

• Rooster

• Salt

• Salume Beddu

• Schlafly

• Sidney Street Café

• Stone Hill Winery

• Truffles

• Vin De Set

• Wasabi Sushi Bar

Extra Sauce: What to do with all that Buddha’s hand syrup

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

031611_BuddhashandIn this month’s What In the World column, we revealed the wonders of Buddha’s Hand, a yellow fruit that originated in India. And Kakao Chocolate’s Brian Pelletier provided a recipe for candying Buddha’s hand, heating the citrus fruit in a sweet syrup made from sugar and water.

But what can you do with all that leftover Buddha’s hand syrup and candied fruit? Why put them in a cocktail, of course. Click here to see the recipe for a Buddha’s hand cocktail that’s cool, sweet and refreshing.

— Photo by Greg Rannells

The Scoop: Mississippi Mud Coffee signs deal with Dierbergs

Monday, October 25th, 2010

102510_MissMudIf you order a cup of coffee at local indie establishments such as The Mud House, Sacred Grounds Cafe, The Stable, Kakao Chocolate or Ernesto’s Wine Bar, you’ll be served a tasty cup of java (that boasts great crema) brewed from Mississippi Mud Coffee beans. Today, owner Christopher Ruess told Sauce that his small-batch, fire-roasted, fair trade-certified beans will soon be available at all 23 Dierbergs stores.

The deal will bring six different roasts to Dierbergs’ shelves: Sumatra, Espresso, Guatemala Antigua, Italian Roast, Kenya AA, and Mississippi Mud’s newest, Mexican. “It’s like a Brazilian,” described Ruess. “It has a little bit of mocha on it, a dark, round flavor, a bold taste. It’s a good coffee with cream, which softens it up.” All are single origin beans, with the exception of Espresso, which is a blend of Ethopian, Sumatra and Brazil. Thus far, two Dierbergs stores – the location in the West Oak shopping center at Olive Boulevard and Craig Road in Creve Coeur, and the location in the Four Seasons shopping center at Olive Boulevard and Woods Mill Road in Chesterfield – carry the 12-ounce bags of whole beans. The remaining stores will be stocked by mid-November.

A bonus for buyers is that the coffee is in-line priced, which means that each category of coffee beans is sold at the same price. “I in-line priced so that everyone can try my coffee,” explained Ruess, who predicts that the Kenya AA will sell fast since those beans are typically the most expensive. “People are getting a good discount on that,” he added.

“This is a big expansion for us to get into 23 stores,” summed Ruess, who founded the business six years ago. Ruess roasts his beans in a Patty Long Catering Co. building on Sidney Street that, appropriately, overlooks the muddy Mississippi.

Kakao brings brittle bliss

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

052510_kakaoBecause few joys in life can match that of well-made brittle, fans of that confection should squeal with delight at a new offering from Kakao Chocolate, aptly called The Big Squeal.

Brian Pelletier, Kakao’s owner and chief chocolatier, gave us the lowdown on the seductively buttery bacon-pecan brittle. “We just started making it last week,” he said. “It’s just a super combination of sweet and savory and salty. It was inspired by something similar that we had at Niche – and we thought, this really has a lot of potential, is something that we could really do a lot with.”

The South City chocolatier fashions The Big Squeal with Missouri pecans and bacon from Hinkebein Hills Farm in Cape Girardeau, Mo. “Everyone that’s tried it has loved it,” Pelletier noted. “We can’t make enough of it.”

The Big Squeal costs $5 per 2-ounce package. “We’re selling it at the store,” said Pelletier, “and then we’re selling it at the farmers’ markets that we’re at – we’re at Maplewood on Wednesday, and we’re at Tower Grove and Clayton on Saturday mornings. And then starting on June 3, we’ll be at the downtown St. Louis one by the Old Post Office on most afternoons.”

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