The Journey: 2018 Valentine’s Dinner in Review

On February 21st, 2018, Dancing Lion Chocolate and Cabonnay collaborated to create a very special chocolate dinner for Valentines. An intimate affair, 17 tables and 34 guests. The menu was a secret, of course, and we made the dishes for the first time the evening of the dinner. We called it

The Journey



All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.

— Philosopher Martin Buber




“The Journey” was the creation of

Dancing Lion Chocolate

Master Chocolatier Richard Tango-Lowy
Assistant Chocolatier Alanna Plumlee
Sous Chef Donna McLintock


Executive Chef Angelina Jacobs
Pastry Chef Casey Sloan

First Destination: Central America

Corazón contento
my heart melts to
white silk garnishes
your heart I am
to be
with you.

Roasted parsnip and Ivoire white chocolate soup garnished with jalapeño-pickled corn, a rosemary orange tuile, and a Jivara milk chocolate “melting” heart.

Second Destination: China

Jade duck on a wooden base
Lacquer duck on a porcelain plate
I shed a mask of the past
and glance to tomorrow.

Chinese lacquer duck and dark chocolate five-spice demiglace served with baby turnips in cumin, honey, and orange, finished with currants and a White Jade mask with tangerine cloud caramel.

Third Destination: Japan

Broiled fish on my plate!
Yuzu ripens in winter
in a far warm place.

Miso, chocolate, and Yuzu-marinated charred fish served with Tsukemono Japanese pickles, pickled bamboo shoots, and a strip of candied Yuzu dipped in I’x Jaguar dark chocolate.

Fourth Destination: Thailand

Curried flavors
Mussels for peanuts!
Chocolate with chiles
even in Chiangmai!

Coconut poached mussels and squid served with cacao nib green curry, and spicy papaya slaw, garnished with peanut and Creos dark milk chocolate crumble.

Fifth Destination: The Middle East

Pleasant words,
Desert flowers.
Who will buy?

Umm Ali Egyptian bread pudding in a pistachio, rose blossom, and cacao nib nougat flower garnished with pomegranate and micro cilantro.

Sixth Destination: North Africa

She ate one date and thought
the Winter had ended. The night
was rich with lamb and cocoa and
we traded sighs on an apricot sky.

Cocoa-dusted lamb with Lion’s Mane mushrooms and dates served with Ecuador cocoa butter-glazed apricots in a Liona dark chocolate cup.

Seventh Destination: France

Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you what you are.
— Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

I eat chocolate.
— Richard Tango-Lowy

Faisselle triple-milk French cheese with carrot and celery micro-greens slipping from a cone of walnut gianduja and served with a shallot and long pepper gumdrop.

Final Destination: France, Jardin Du  Luxembourg

Final Destination: Dessert

There is an octagonal pond at Jardin du Luxembourg
where the water is clear and flowers fill your eyes
with brightness and children drip with ice cream and
that is the essence of Paris.

Chocolate-enrobed spheres of vanilla and ginger-sassafras ice cream on Woodford Reserve bourbon and White Jade ganache “water” served in cherry infused sponge cake and garnished with cacao brittle and edible flowers.

Final Thoughts…

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.
— Douglas Adams

Poetry by Richard Tango-Lowy.  Music by pianist Edward Bemish. Photography by Elizabeth Shelly.