With each season comes another amazing Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine event. A tour of the world and all of its amazing culinary and beverage experiences, these events offer so much to the culinary inclined: a chance to interact with world-class chefs, sommeliers and experts, and an opportunity to try exclusive new flavors and intriguing pairings.
On January 20
, I was able to attend the Tea Tasting & Chocolate Pairing at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, California. The experience was a collaboration between San Diego Tea Master Chas Kroll and the Executive Pastry Chef of Park Hyatt Aviara Franck Riffaud.
As a Certified Tea Master, Kroll knows his leaves. Picking not only his favorites, but some of the most rare and remarkable teas from around the world, Kroll, with his associate Joy Walsh, educated us all on the growing process of the leaves, the correct way to steep and how to use traditional Chinese tasting cups.
The chocolate was prepared with a paint brush to increase the amount of surface area to reach the taste buds and enhance the pairing. When asked how he paired the chocolate to the teas, Chef Riffaud explained, "I listened to [Kroll] give him full explanation of the teas flavors and tell the story behind each tea. Then, as I tasted them, I tried to match them to a chocolate in my head. It was a very fun process."
A fascinating combination, the pairings were as follows:
Barry Lactee(France- 35% cocoa) paired with Imperial Gyokuro (Japan)
Guayaquil (Equador - 56% cocoa) paired with oriental Beauty (Taiwan)
Manjari (Venezuela - 64% cocoa) paired with Superior Earl Grey (Sri Lanka)
Jivara Lactee (40% cocoa) paired wit hPu-erh with Chrysanthemum (Hong Kong)
Valrhona Caramélia (36% cocoa) paired with Hu Kwa Lapsang Souchong (Taiwan)