TORONTO — It was every chocolate lover’s dream come true, a meal fit for the gods and prepared by one of the Dominican Republic’s fastest rising culinary stars.
Following a successful rum tasting in Toronto for VIP guests last week, the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic hosted a media brunch at Toronto’s Marché Brookfield Place yesterday to highlight another important export: cacao. As the largest producer and exporter of cacao in the world, the Dominican Republic has over 40,000 cacao producers, with 10% of green coverage dedicated to cacao plantations.
As such, Grupo Rizek, the country’s first organic and gourmet chocolate producer, launched cacao tours in 2008. Since its inception, more than 38,000 tourists have signed up to learn about the history and production of cacao and chocolate in the Dominican Republic.
In addition, Grupo Rizek will be launching the new Kah Kow Experience in Santo Domingo this December. Upon completion, it will boast a small theatre that will show a 35-minute film about cacao production.
The brunch, prepared by ‘food pioneer’ Ines Paez Nin, also known as Chef Tita, included such delicacies as chocolate covered bacon and green salad with chocolate vinaigrette. Her culinary creations will be available to the public at Marché Brookfield Place (181 Bay Street) from Nov. 2-4 as part of the Dominican Food Fest, sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism.
Media was also treated to a chocolate tasting with lead expert Elaine de Windt, during which they learned how to properly sample “real” chocolate using all five senses.