Calling All Chocolate (and Champagne) Lovers

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At the “Chocolate, Champagne & Pastry Festival,” Daniel Pliska, Executive Chef of The University Club of Missouri led an agenda designed around tips and techniques for executing perfect pairings of chocolate, pastry and champagne.

Few things are more rich, decadent and delicious than chocolate and champagne. Pairing them together is no easy feat, though. Chocolate can seem tart when followed by the complex sweetness of a sparkling wine and unless they are perfectly paired, each can rob the other of what makes them so irresistible in the first place.

At the “Chocolate, Champagne & Pastry Festival,” a culinary event held in early February by the Central Missouri chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), Daniel Pliska, Executive Chef of The University Club of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., led an agenda designed around tips and techniques for executing perfect pairings of chocolate, pastry and champagne.

The festival offered five educational seminars and a multi-course, formal President’s Dinner, prepared by Guest Chef Author Gui Alinat, CEC, that was followed by a Chocolate Fantasy Buffet, prepared by Pliska and his team.

“This year’s event surpassed all expectations,” says Chef Pliska, Host Chef and President of the Central Missouri ACF chapter. “I’ve had chef instructors say they would have paid much more for such an educational culinary event.”

Over 200 people attended the event, including students representing six Missouri culinary schools and three of the state’s ACF chapters. Attendees were also treated to expert training in champagne and chocolate pairings by Bob Campbell from Campbell Fine Wine Selections; “bean to bar” chocolate production by Alan McClure of Patric Chocolate; world-class chocolate pastry techniques from Jerome Landrieu of the Chocolate Academy in Chicago; and Molecular Gastronomy techniques with chocolate and pastry from Andrew Logan of Albert Uster Imports.