Philadelphia, PA - On Sunday, February 11 beginning at 6 p.m., Old City’s landmark Fork restaurant and Executive Chef John Patterson will welcome long-time friend and acclaimed chocolatier Christopher Curtin of Éclat for their second-annual collaboration dinner. For this special meal, Chef Patterson will work closely with Curtin to take diners through the stages of the cacao plant, from leaf to pod to harvest – and of course, to a decadent chocolate dessert.
An ideal Valentine’s Day celebration, the five-course meal is $95 per person, with an optional wine pairing also available, and is expected to sell out quickly. The price also includes a hard-cover copy of January 2018’s Art Culinaire, with a feature on the meal and beautiful full-color photographs. Reservations are required, and only 60 seats are available, with staggered reservations from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m.
The meal will include five courses, each devoted to a moment in the life of the cacao plant:
- “Harvest,” a smoky ceviche with fermented cocoa pulp and grilled corn husk, inspired by a dish Curtin enjoyed in Peru of ceviche gently warmed over an open fire
- “Grain,” quinoa and bulgur wheat with cocoa nib, also inspired by Peru and the country’s “super grains” such as quinoa
- “Pod,” slow-cooked beef with coconut and coriander, inspired by Curtin’s trip to Malaysia and the traditional dish Beef Rendang, typically a slow-braised cut of beef that’s then cooked hot pot-style and served over jasmine rice
- “Leaf,” aged duck with mole and cocoa leaf, a Mexican-inspired dish prepared with fresh cocoa leaf harvested from Éclat Chocolate’s own privately grown Chester County cacao trees
“Forest Floor,” green tea and mushroom caramel with pistachio and chervil, a sweet ending that brings aerated cocoa mousse together with thin shingles of green tea chocolate and porcini mushroom, all balanced by crunchy pistachios and herbal sweetness from the chervil
“For our first collaborative dinner last year, Chris and I explored the life-cycle of the cocoa plant, which brings equal sweet and savory inspiration to the table,” says Chef Patterson, who led Fork to the rarefied ranks of “Four Bells” restaurants in their most recent Inquirer review. “This meal is a similar exploration, and takes its inspiration both from the product itself and also from Chris’s travels around the world to source top-notch cocoa for Éclat Chocolate.”
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