When you were a kid did you ever wonder what it would be like to eat chocolate for breakfast? Well if you sign up for the Wild Soul Breakfast Club's Chocolate Breakfast then all your Wonka-like dreams will come true! Last Saturday we joined a wonderful group of people in Berkeley for an amazing brunch all based around chocolate dishes created by Chef and Chocolatier Jay Holecek and his partner, Master Chocolatier, Brian Wallace from Endorfin Chocolates in Oakland.
Wild Soul is a unique adventure into the history and culture of food with a focus on locally grown ingredients prepared by talented local chefs. It was so interesting to learn about the history of chocolate though the courses of our meal, starting with its original form of a bitter drink that the Aztec's prepared called xocolātl or "bitter water". As you can see in the picture above the proper way to prepare the drink was to create a good froth using a traditional molinillo, or whisk, to aerate the drink and make it frothier. After taking a sip I can understand why the Spaniards started to add sugar and spices because it was indeed very bitter!
The next course followed the evolution of chocolate as it moved through the Hispanic culture and into a sauce called mole. Each recipe is created differently and passed down through the generations, and is slightly different each time it is made. Recipes are held closely between families and are a personal triumph each time it is made. Chef Holecek's sauce was absolutely wonderful with the perfect balance between spices and chocolate! Finally came the dessert! Chocolate mousse topped with plums soaked in port wine. Amazing and at one point I looked around and I think every single cup was empty so I'm glad I waited and at least got a few pictures of mine before I finished it off also!
Just when we thought we had enough chocolate for the day, bottles of chocolate pieces were passed around so we could try a variety of Brian's Endorfin bars and to learn from the Master himself how to taste chocolate the right way. Apparently you don't wolf it down like I originally thought, but let it melt in your mouth so you can let the flavors release slowly. My favorite was the Absynthe, but the Coconut and the Turkish Coffee weren't far behind!
It was funny to hear the volume of the group go down significantly as each course was served, and then go back up when the chocolate started to kick in and hit our systems! If you are interested in a culinary adventure then Wild Soul is definitely one you should try out! It's a great way to experience the wonderful food grown in California and a fun way to meet new people and make new friends! We can't wait to try it out again.