When shelter-in-place went into effect in March, we saw members of our chef and confectioner community immediately spring into action. Despite their own restaurants or bakeries being closed to the public, they found ways to help those around them. Whether it was by creating video content at home to inspire their followers in a newfound need to stress bake or by supporting and feeding frontline workers, kitchens around the country came to life in a new way.
We were so inspired by how the food and beverage industry adapted to this unprecedented challenge that we wanted to support our network the best way we know how: with chocolate. We launched TCHO-In-Place, a program that provided over 100 chefs and confectioners all over the country with a 25# case of chocolate shipped to them directly. Our hope was to ease some of the financial burdens that chefs might have been experiencing, help support the causes that they felt passionate about, and amplify their efforts and voices as best we could, without them having to sacrifice the quality of their ingredients. Whether they were at home creating content or supporting and feeding frontline workers, this program was meant to bring a little comfort to anyone who needed it via the ultimate ingredient. Our ask was simply for our recipients to use the product in a way that felt meaningful to them, and they more than delivered.
If it’s chocolate that we need to keep us working together right now, it’s the right place for TCHO chocolate to be.
Here’s how some chefs and confectioners used TCHO already (if you feel the urge to snack on a bar while you read, we feel you and we may or may not have done the same…).
Rosie’s Confections: Burlington, Vermont
After one of their co-founders lost a battle with cancer last winter, Rosie’s Confections became involved with their local Relay for Life chapter in Burlington, Vermont. In support of #PaintTheTownPurple, a two-week event organized by Relay for Life, they painted their chocolates purple!
Rosie’s Confections used our Mosaic 62% dark chocolate couverture as the shell for a blackberry marvel, with crispy almond and a gooey blackberry caramel filling.
Pomella: Oakland, California
Chef Mica Talmor is a valued community member in Oakland, California, where her restaurant, Pomella, serves modern Israeli cuisine. Pomella opened its doors during shelter-in-place, and Chef Mica and her team quickly stepped up to the plate to support the local community. Throughout the last few months, they have offered special pick-up times for nearby hospital workers, to ensure they could safely and quickly enjoy a meal.
In light of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice movement, Chef Mica wanted to bring a comforting treat to her local community. So, she made “Milky,” a chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream that is typically a treat for kids in Israel. In this spirit, they made a chocolate pot de creme using Mosaic 62%, but instead of giving it to children, they added them for free to each order for nearby hospital workers.
In Mica’s words, “We make food. We try to bring comfort and joy. We carefully craft a hug and put it in a box for you. It might not be enough, but it is who we are and how we try to make things a little better. So we're picking ourselves up and cooking up a whole lot of loving to cheer you (and ourselves) up.”
As the Executive Pastry Chef for Union Square Events, the catering division of Union Square Hospitality Group, Erin Kanagy-Loux typically crafts desserts for special events throughout New York City. With shelter-in-place in effect, she has been baking and cooking at home with her family.
We loved seeing the chocolate babka she made, and her chocolate cake had us wishing we could reach through our screens to grab a piece.
Reverence Restaurant: New York City, NY
Chef Russell Jackson of Reverence in Harlem, NY has been working hard creating weekly bento box meals for his community. For his bento boxes, Russell crafts unique menus each week created as a four-course meal that you can pick up from his restaurant. The bento boxes have included delicious Miso Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies with our Mosaic 62% couverture.
Wineberry Edibles: Leesburg, Virginia
Tasha Barber of Wineberry Edibles in Virginia wanted to put the skills she has learned in the kitchen to use as part of the Bakers Against Racism campaign. She felt that funding the organizations that have emerged as leaders in the movement was a powerful method of affecting change.
To raise money for Black Lives Matter DC and the NAACP Loudon, Tasha used Mosaic 62% in chocolate truffles, as well as a gorgeous chocolate cake. She also hosted a raffle to help raise money, directly impacting Black lives in her local community.
Big thanks to Tasha for bringing awareness to these organizations through her baking! If you’re in the Leesburg, Virginia area, find her at the farmer’s market.
Búho Bakery: Nevada City, CA
Chef David Rodriguez of Búho Bakery in Nevada City, CA had to pivot his business by offering pre-order pickup and delivery orders. He offered free delivery to those in need and used social media to communicate his daily menu. He started to receive requests from his community about what they wanted him to make and he delivered. The biggest lesson that he learned was to be ready and willing to think outside of the box and to pay close attention to where the demand is.
David advised us that he remained open-minded, listened to his customers, and did his best to meet people more than halfway. He emphasized that showing a little bit of empathy goes a long way, especially when the world is going through challenging times.”
Keep your eyes on #TCHOinPlace on Instagram in the coming weeks to see what else our recipients did with the chocolate we delivered.
We believe chocolate can bring us together, and truly, together we will get through this.
Interested in participating in our TCHO-in-Place program? Fill out the application by August 31, 2020, and we will contact you if you have been selected, we will respond to you by September 2, 2020 to let you know the next steps!
Please reach out to our sales team if you have any questions about the 62% Mosaic couverture at email@example.com