Cacao sostenible: una alternativa para la Amazonía Colombiana
Colombia firmó sus Acuerdos de Paz en 2016, poniendo fin a 60 años de conflicto interno que se desarrolló en… Read More
Since 2016, the United Nations have invited the international community to celebrate “Sustainable Gastronomy Day”, recognizing the importance of our food choices to fight climate change and inspiring people around the world to support sustainable food production, adopt healthy diets, and avoid food waste. Restaurant chefs are key actors in promoting sustainable food systems for healthy and culturally diversified diets. TCHO’s mission is to bring better chocolate to the world – better for the planet, better for growers, better for consumers. The TCHO Source program partners with cocoa farmers, farmer owned cooperatives, and cocoa research institutions and leverages long-term sourcing relationships, price premiums for Organic and Fair Trade practices, and price premiums for quality (additional money to cocoa farmers specifically for the flavor of their beans) to improve equity in the cocoa supply chains. This means that TCHO is a natural chocolate source for chefs who are pushing the boundaries of sustainable gastronomy.
To celebrate this day, we sat down with David Rodriguez, Executive Pastry Chef at Watershed at the Owl, a California-based restaurant, to learn more about their brand, vision, and communicating this ethos to their customers.
Watershed at the Owl is located in an old mining town–Grass Valley, CA. We focus on using only sustainable and/or local ingredients. For example, all beef for the restaurant comes from within a 20-mile radius. We use a specific breed of steer and our Chefs use the ENTIRE animal. We make soap out of the beef fat, use the bones for stock and gelatin. We use the beef tongue and innards—everything. For produce, we also work with local farms and source as local as possible.
I’m the Executive Pastry Chef at Watershed at the Owl. We do everything for our dessert menu in house. We bake bread from scratch and make ice cream from scratch. We use some local flours.
Yes! Initially it was a little tough, as it was a huge change from what the community was used to. But once they learn this supports the community and neighboring towns and jobs, people are very supportive.
We are going to focus on staying small and fine tuning. For example, we are located between Tahoe and Sacramento, California and there isn’t much demand in our town for sustainable chickens and eggs. We are working on getting a group of people together in our community to pool our demand and source local sustainable eggs and poultry.
We use TCHO in our Milk Chocolate Mousse and Hazelnut cookie butter, salted caramel, crème fraiche with cocoa crumbs. We use the TCHO 39% milk chocolate for the chocolate mousse (I love the caramel notes), plus TCHO Natural Cocoa Powder for the Cocoa Crumb to balance out the sweetness of the mousse and house made cookie butter (spreadable Sable cookie made with hazelnut flour). We also incorporate TCHO chocolate in petit fours and mignardises.