You know how every once in a while you come across a person who is truly gifted, and you think to yourself, “Boy! Am I glad I got to know this person”? Fritz Knipschildt of Chocopologie in South Norwalk is one of those people to me. Ever since I have known him and his gem of a café in our very own Fairfield County, I have, in turn, felt blessed myself.
Everyone knows Fritz as the master chocolatier – the creator of handmade artisan chocolates. His delectable creations have been raved about in Oprah, Gourmet and Chocolatier magazines. Featured on CBS morning, NBC Today and even CNN TV shows. Retailed at esteemed establishments like Dean & Deluca, Balduccis and Whole Foods.
While he has made an unforgettable mark in the world of chocolates, most people are surprised to know that Fritz is also a master savory chef. He takes his knowledge of chocolate and artfully marries it into delicious savory dishes.
Last evening I attended a fabulous event at Chocopologie organized by CT Bites and Café Chocopologie. It was a chocolate infused paired dinner! It was a fabulous five course meal paired perfectly with various wines and beer, with a delightful surprise at every turn.
Our first course was a trio of truffles…but they were not chocolate truffles as one would be quick to assume…Instead, they were goat cheese, chicken liver mousse and smoked trout! Absolutely amazing little bites packed with tremendous amount of flavor!
The second course was a butter poached salmon with pickled red beets and white chocolate vinaigrette. The salmon was prepared so perfectly…it was buttery soft and melted in my mouth. The white chocolate vinaigrette was ever so subtle…a perfect compliment to the salmon.
Third course was my favorite: cocoa braised short ribs with parsnip puree and black truffle sauce. The cocoa did amazing things to the texture and flavor profile of the short ribs. The sauce was deeply rich and creamy with great depth of flavor. The meat was so tender and moist that I did not even need a knife to cut into it. Ummm …. Umami!
By this time I was starting to get worried. I knew I had to save room for the desert course which was bound to be spectacular, and I did not think I could do justice to the fourth course. To my surprise and delight it was salad course paired with artisan wheat beer. It was a perfect serving of micro greens dressed with yuzu juice. What a perfect palate cleanser and exactly what I needed to prepare myself for the dessert course.
Dessert was a chocolate log with a rich, creamy, truffle like consistency. It was drizzled with honey and topped with crispy candied bacon. OMG! This IS heaven!