Okanagan College hosted an especially sweet reception on Monday and became the first post-secondary institution outside of Europe to create its very own chocolate recipes, under the name Okanagan College Artisan Chocolate.
At a tasting event on campus, the College introduced Okanagan Noir, a 69.8 per cent smooth dark chocolate with intense cocoa flavor and a fruity finish. It also unveiled a signature milk chocolate, Kalamalka Karamel—a solid milk chocolate with a high cocoa content (45.1 per cent) with sweet notes of caramel and a smooth honey finish. Both the chocolates were showcased in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes at the launch event.
The exclusive milk and dark chocolate recipes were created by Chef Danny Capadouca and Chef Bernard Casavant in the summer of 2016 when the pair traveled to France to the Or NoirTMII tasting laboratories of Cacao Barry, a chocolate company founded in 1842. Capadouca is the head instructor for the College’s Pastry Arts program and is well known in the industry for his expertise in chocolate and pastry. Casavant is a renowned chef and Okanagan College’s culinary manager.
“It has been incredibly rewarding to see this project come together,” says Capadouca. “Having our own unique recipes will add a huge amount of value to the Pastry Arts program and will benefit our students. The support we’ve received from Cacao Barry and the team there has been unreal. I’m very proud of our products and would put them up against any good quality chocolate in the marketplace.”
Capadouca and Casavant spent nearly a week in France creating the custom blend of cocoa masses that are the heart of the chocolate recipes. The darker Okanagan Noir features a blend of beans from Tanzania, Cuba and Mexico.
“Chefs Capadouca and Casavant did an incredible job on these two recipes,” says Mark Pennington, Regional Sales Manager Western Canada for Cacao Barry. “I was very impressed by their process and of course by the end result. Okanagan College is breaking gastronomic ground in North America as the first institution of its kind to have its very own recipes.
“It’s a very rare achievement—the College is only the second culinary college in the world to have made their own chocolate.”
The chocolate will be used by students in the Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts programs at Okanagan College. Initially, it will also be available for purchase in the College’s cafeteria on Fridays at the Kelowna campus.
“I take a lot of personal pride in the contributions our students and instructors make in our communities and today’s launch of Okanagan College Artisan Chocolate is no exception,” says Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “The students’ expertise and the quality of the food they produce is outstanding. None of that would be possible without exceptional instruction and leadership, which is something our chefs bring to the classroom daily.”