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Last Sunday, May 17th, the brilliant minds of The Cocktail Guru team hosted a “deliciously decadent afternoon”of chocolates and cocktails. It’s pretty difficult to find a much better pairing than this.

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Taking over the URBO Loft in Times Square, guests gathered to indulge in many amazing desserts. Valrhona Chocolate was chocolate partner for event, which many chefs incorporated in their treats. The host and special guest of the afternoon was Johnny Iuzzini, James Beard Award winning pastry chef and Top Chef Just Desserts head judge.

The Cocktail Guru was created in 2005 by Jonathan Pogash, who has become one of the most highly regarded beverage consultants. The Cocktail Guru team creates and executes beverage programs for bars, restaurants, and special events, and they even develop bespoke cocktails, give mixology lessons, and consults with beverage brands on marketing and branding. No surprise that it was a great turnout of delicious cocktails!

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Our first tasting was of the mini hot fudge pies from Jam Jar by Abby Lavin, which was paired with Van Gogh Vodka’s Dutch Chocolate flavor. Executive Pastry Chef Zac Young from David Burke Kitchen served up a table overflowing with coffee and cognac truffle balls. The chocolate shell was made with Valrhona chocolate and filled with espresso ganache and Pierre Ferrand reserve cognac gelee for a delicious liquid filling.

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We loved the beautifully plated dessert from Pastry Chef Samantha Chen of Bitter/Sweet Collective: Tomr’s & Chocolate cream bar with Valrhona Dulcey and Ilanka chocolate, barley, and orange peel.

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Yet another favorite was Sugar Couture‘s tamarind tres leches cake soaked with Don Q Rum and with Valrhona dulcey cream, blackberry coulis, and almond crumbs. We circled back for many bites of the chocolate hazelnut pie from Butter and Scotch. The bites of pie were made with Valrhona ilanka chocolate, Frangelico, nutella, and toasted hazelnuts, all over a butter crust.

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Other great participants included: The Black Ant/Ofrenda, The Cecil /Minton’s, Elisa’s Love Bites, Print at the Ink 48 Hotel, Roni-Sue’s Chocolates, Stanton Street Kitchen, Ai Fiori, and URBO.

While guests indulged, we enjoyed music by the 13-piece Stan Rubin Orchestra and sipped on cocktails. Beverage partners for the afternoon include: Cognac Pierre Ferrand, Solerno Liqueur, Molinari Sambuca Extra, Van Gogh Vodka, The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley, Wild Hibiscus, Hudson Whiskey, Wild Hibiscus Co., Don Q Rum, Cherry Heering/Xante, Four Roses Bourbon, Cutty Sark/Highland Park Scotch Whisky, Merlet Liqueurs, Gotham Artisanal, Frangelico, Champagne Collet, and Martini Prosecco.


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