On the eve before Caputo’s 8th Annual Chocolate Festival, which featured the Icelandic Omnom Chocolate, they held their first private media dinner with Kjartan Gíslason, chef, Chocolate Maker and Co-Founder of Omnom Chocolate with a theme of a traditional Icelandic dinner. Also present from Omnom Chocolate were, Thorlakur Thor, Export Manager and Hanna Eiríksdóttir, Marketing Manager. While the meal was presented in an elegant fashion, it managed to also be casual and family style. Traditions, especially family and food traditions, are important to Caputo’s Matt Caputo and Yelena Caputo with this meal captured these sentiments.
Omnom Chocolate Samples at Caputo’s Private Dinner Event
In my opinion, one of the greatest pleasures in life is enjoying a meal by a talented chef. No ingredient omissions, no substitutions, just letting them be creative and appreciating the experience that followed. So this was certainly my kind of night. Did I mention a lot of Icelandic butter was used in creation of the meal? Oh, yeah! And for you chocoholics out there who know this is a chocolate blog…spoiler alert…the dinner ended with chocolate of course!
Caputo’s Market Omnom Chocolate Private Dinner
Full disclosure: I attended this meal due to a private media invite from the Caputo’s, and I thank them for that. What a treat!
My Spot at Caputo’s Media Dinner
I was also glad to get to hang out with fellow chocoholic and interviewer Brian Ruggles of the Chocolate Fascination podcast whos sense of humor and easy conversation added to the event!
Victoria Cooksey with Brian Ruggles of Chocolate Fascination Podcast
Now let’s get this dinner started! While the attendees mingled, an appetizer of dried cod, burned butter and pickled dulse (a type of seaweed) on bread was served along with the cocktail Black Death. (Death tastes surprisingly like blueberries). Black Death was made using Brennivin Aquavit and 64 Reykjavik Distillery Blueberry.
Once seated, the first course was “Smurdbraud” cured salmon, dill and capers served on Icelandic rye bread that is baked using geothermal activity. (I could spend an evening just eating the bread with butter. So good!). The wines for this meal were picked out by Adrianna Pachelli, Caputo’s Director of Education, with Broc Cellars Chenin Blanc Petillant natural, an unfiltered sparkling wine.
Next up was the ultimate in elevated comfort food “Barleyotto”. Think risotto but made with Icelandic barley instead of rice, along with cheese, sea truffle and foraged mushrooms. I definitely had to have a second helping of this!
Speaking of family/food traditions, the main course was of an Icelandic Christmas Dinner theme, with smoked lamb, mushy peas, pickled beets, the tiniest potatoes I’ve ever seen in milk sauce and leaf bread served with Idlewild The Bird red wine.
Traditional Icelandic Christmas Dinner
No meal would ever be complete without dessert (especially when a craft chocolate maker is involved). Pancakes with SKYR cream (an Icelandic cultured dairy product), drunken blueberries in Brennivin, Omnom 70% Tanzania gelato and a cocoa nib crumble. If you’ve never had gelato made with bean-to-bar chocolate you must try some!!!
Pancake with Omnom Tanzania Gelato
Dessert was served with Waterpocket Snow Angel poured over an enormous ice cube. Snow Angel is made in Utah and is distilled with caraway, anise, fennel, coriander, peppermint and rose petal which has an overall sweetness to it that makes for smooth sipping.
When a chocolate maker is around why stop there? To cap off the meal was a cheese course picked out by Matt Caputo paired with Omnom Chocolate which included Captuo’s Barely Legal with Omnom’s 70% Tanzania and Caputo’s Grotte Tartufo with Omnom’s Milk of Madagascar.
Caputo’s Cheese Paired with Omnom Chocolate
The evening concluded with Caputo’s gifting the attendees a Caputo’s Market sweatshirt (which I am wearing as I type this on a cold day on Marrowstone Island, WA) and Omnom Chocolate’s Winter Collection of three holiday inclusion bars.
Omnom Chocolate Winter Collection
Bar 1: Dark Nibs & Raspberry with Madagascar cacao.
Nose of raspberry.
Tastes of raspberry, red fruit and nutty.
Omnom Chocolate’s Winter Collection
Bar 2: Milk & Cookies with Madagascar cacao and Icelandic milk and 2 big cookies on the back.
Nose of cinnamon and oats.
Tastes of oats, sea salt, butter, light brown sugar and cinnamon with light ginger and orange zest coming through in the finish.
Bar 3: Spiced White Caramel bar with Icelandic milk.
Nose of cream, caramel and faint orange.
Tastes of cream, cinnamon, salt and caramel.
Thorlakur Thor, Hanna Eiríksdóttir, Kjartan Gíslason and Victoria Cooksey
Victoria Cooksey and Matt Caputo