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Chocolate and booze at 10 a.m. in Beaver Creek

Lauren Glendenning
LGLENDENNING@VAILDAILY.COM
Beaver Creek, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyDonald Wressell, right, pastry chef for Guittard Chocolates in Los Angeles, talks students through rolling handmade chocolate truffles at the Desserts and Drinks seminar Saturday at Rimini as part of the Beaver Creek Wine and Spirits Festival. The class also featured cocktails by mixologist Aidan Demarest, from The Edison in Los Angeles`
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BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – There’s something about chocolate that just about every woman seems to love – it’s rich, creamy, decadent and just delicious.

It’s no wonder that out of about 20 people who signed up for the Beaver Creek Wine and Spirits Festival’s Desserts and Drinks seminar Satur-day, almost all of them were women. The seminar, held at Rimini Gelato in Beaver Creek, offered guests an intimate look into the world of chocolate. Sure they tasted the goods, but most people were there to learn something.

” I like dabbling in ( making choco-l-ate),” said Sandy Apps, an Eagle-Vail resident at the seminar. ” I wanted to come and play – this is the ideal opportunity, a class like this.”

This is the third year for the festival, which is the first stop on the tour of the San Francisco International Wine Competition and San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The trav-eling festival is like a “dog show for wine and spirits,” said Martha Bras-sel, of Beaver Creek Resort. She said the timing of the event is perfect – there are still so many people in town and festivals such as Bravo and the Vail International Dance Festival are all over.

Since the seminar is so closely related to wine and spirits, mixologist Aidan Demarest prepared several cocktails for the group to try in between tastes of dark chocolate, panna cotta and gelato.

The event was perfectly situated in Rimini – a gelato shop in Beaver Creek that features real Italian gelato, not an Americanized version, said owner Michele Huyke. She is so pas-sionate about the authenticity of her shop that she went to Italy to buy a rare espresso machine that she had to bring back herself – the machine’s maker produces two a year and does-n’t export them, she said.

Surrounded by quality sweets, pastry chef Donald Wressell, of Gui-ttard Chocolates in Los Angeles, showed the small class how to make ganache – essentially a cream and chocolate mixture – and the final product, truffles.

Christy Remeta, of Minturn, was thrilled with the lesson – she’s tried to make truffles several times without success. She makes chocolate for fun but hopes it will be a little more fun when she gets it right.

The class’ big message was preci-sion – baking and chocolate and gelato making have very specific methods and ingredients, but those who do it can be as creative as they want to, said John Elkjer, a spokesman for Taylor of the Rockies, which makes gelato machines among other products.

Elkjer told the class he’s made broccoli gelato before, because, well, why not?

” The only thing holding you back is your imagination,” he said.

Community Editor Lauren Glenden-ning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com


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