One of our writers spent some time in the candy kitchen with the guest bloggers during our 2013 Blogger Event.
As a Harry & David writer, I’ve been to our candy kitchen a million times. But spending a couple hours there with our guest bloggers last week made me remember how truly awesome it is to see for the first time.
When we arrived at the test kitchen, Charlie and Connie (our head chocolatier and baker respectively) were all ready to share the yummy magic that goes on behind the scenes in the candy kitchen. We tasted several types of gourmet chocolate as Charlie told us what makes each one unique. The dark chocolate was my favorite.
The bloggers could barely wait to dive into the activity Charlie planned. With fall leaves on the table as inspiration, Charlie demonstrated how to use colored cocoa butter to paint chocolate leaf molds. As the bloggers worked their magic on each of their molds, Charlie shared some insights on working in the candy kitchen. Between Connie and himself, he told us, they have 65 years of experience at Harry & David. No wonder all the treats that go into our chocolate gifts are so awesome.
When the leaf molds were filled with chocolate and stowed in the walk-in fridge to harden, Charlie took us on a tour of the rest of the bakery and candy kitchen. I’ve been on a few tours with Charlie, and I learn something new each time. Like how sugar and water make all the difference when tempering chocolate. Now I know why my homemade chocolate dipped strawberries never quite work out.
By the time our tour was done, our stomachs were growling for something other than chocolate. So we headed to nearby Jacksonville to have an exclusive four course lunch at Déjà Vu Bistro. I got to hear all about the different projects the bloggers have going on. They gabbed about home decorating, what type of cameras they like best, the books they’ve written, the recipes they’ve tried and the other blogging events they’ll be attending this season. Heading back to the office with a very full and happy stomach, I thought to myself, I could get used to life as a blogger.