First Chocolate, Then Beer

What a great weekend it shaped up to be.  On Saturday a motley crew of us spent the day on photo safari in downtown Los Angeles.  Armed with Leicas, Nikons, and Contaxes (mostly from the 50’s and 60’s), we explored the pavement through range finders.  It was quite wonderful.  With no digital backs on any of our heavy metal, there was no temptation of chimping; and with each breathless snap lingered the hope that we got our numbers right–sunny 16, 250/5.6, etc.–and that the shot would turn out.  Of course, because it’s film that hope won’t be crushed or met until days or weeks from now, depending on the size of our collective wallet.

Naturally, I had the last of LA Luxe batch #008 in tow and had a rather dashing time peddling them.  And I tried something new: I asked folk if I could snap their pic as they procured my goods.  Most folk were amenable.  Now if only I can find some way to video record first-bite reactions (which usually involve all sorts of mouth orgasmery–they’re just that good).

It’s always a bit strange getting warmed up to selling them though, because isn’t it just a little other-worldly to have this bowler-wearing woman walk up to you only to ask you if you like chocolate? Oh do like chocolate?  Well I handcraft chocolates using some of the best chocolate in the world–Valrhona chocolate…along with handcrafted nougat, peanuts from a local farm, and on and on.  Chocolate is the topic de momente, but then conversation usually turns to other queries: how long I’ve been doing this, where I’m from, my background, etc.  One of the reasons I love street-vending is because I get to meet people, connect, and be a part of a community.

Indeed I am part of a community.  In the handful of weeks I’ve been bringing my chocolates to the marketplace I’ve had the good fortune of meeting wonderful people that are a part of the LA food community, including Amelia and Erica of Lindy & Grundy, Drew over at LA Foodie, and energetic Jordan of Fox Pizza Bus who introduced me to knowledgeable Michaele of Devils on Horseback, to name a few, along with a slew of great folk on Twitter.

Sunday’s first stop was the Hollywood Farmers Market.  Then off to Surfas to procuresome chocolate for the next LA Luxe batch, along with new types of chocolate for bars that I’m still working on.  After Surfas we headed towards Monkish Brewing to celebrate our first Father’s Day (which we refer to as ‘Bubble Day’).  What a swell time we had!  I was so glad to find out that Mr. Monkish himself holds a doctoral degree in theology.  So in addition to running his brewing business, he teaches as an adjunct.  As an aspiring academic and chocolatier, that’s the sort of inspiration I like to see!  Great brews–particularly Feminist Ale, and Pour Toi–were had, along with meeting new folk.  Lovely!

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