Culinary Superstar Presents Chocolate Delights

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The Flower Show wants to help you become a better gardener, as well as a better cook! Join us for the culinary series located in the Grand Concourse. The complete schedule can be found here.

One highlight of the culinary series is Rocco Lugrine, Chef Chocolatier of Antoine Amrani, who makes his return to the Flower Show on Wednesday, March 3 at 3 pm.  One of the region’s top pastry chefs, Lugrine stole the city’s collective sweet tooth as Executive Pastry Chef at Le Bec Fin, and subsequently stole the heart of Philadelphia news-darling Tamala Edwards of 6ABC.  Married in September of 2006, the couple welcomed their first child, Rocco Alexander Edwards Lugrine, in August of 2009.

Below, the confectionary genius shares tips and insights on incorporating fine chocolate into everyday, family living.

1)      Chocolate is not just for Valentine’s Day anymore.

It’s obvious that chocolate-lovers of the world don’t wait for a special occasion to partake.  When asked about how to make the everyday chocolate indulgence special, Lugrine emphasizes quality over quantity. “An eight-piece box is a great anytime gift, perfect for kicking off the weekend or simply to heighten the mood.  It’s like flowers, you don’t always have to get a huge assortment.”

2)      A taste is all it takes.

Lugrine’s 19-month-old son has already made his foray into the chocolate business.   “I put a tiny bit of chocolate on my finger and let him try it,” said Chef Lugrine.  “He looked at me funny, took at taste and made a face, then he bit my finger.  The texture was new to him but he loved it.”

3)      Keep it simple.

According to Lugrine, less is more when it comes to chocolate. The chef lists cacao, sugar, cocoa butter and milk, if milk chocolate is desired, when asked what comprises quality chocolate.  “No more than three or four ingredients tops, he says.  It is important to have the right fluidity, so the chocolate is easy to work with, and a taste profile that is not too sweet.”

4)      Rocco’s sweet treat.

Make your next movie night spicy and decadent with Rocco’s easy recipe for dressed-up popcorn.  “I sprinkle Japanese Seven Spice on my popcorn and toss in some chocolate pieces,” says Lugrine.  Rocco’s popcorn mix is a tasty alternative to overly processed, pre-fab popcorn concoctions like Cracker Jack and Crunch n’ Much.

5)      Natural is best.

Lugrine’s passion for chocolate is rooted in his respect for the ingredient in its purest form.  This is reflected in Antoine Armani Chocolate’s philosophy.  “Everything is 100% natural, says Lugrine.  No chemical enhancements or extracts.  We also keep our ingredients as fresh as possible.”  Lugrine credits investing in high-tech equipment, not chemicals, to preserve freshness during the production and shipping process.  “Color, flavor and texture are the calling cards of great chocolate.  Antoine Amrani Chocolates has all three.”

Learn more of Rocco’s secrets on Wednesday at the Flower Show!

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One Response to “Culinary Superstar Presents Chocolate Delights”

  1. Natural Food: ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine: A Food Lover's Road Map to: Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, Getting Really Healthy Says:

    […] Culinary Superstar Presents Chocolate Delights « The Philadelphia … […]

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