Thursday, July 19, 2018

DRINK THIS: Chain Yard's Drunken Cherry cider

An earthy, aromatic and rum-infused new release

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 4:37 AM

LENNY MULLINS
  • lenny mullins

Jay Hildybrant
isn’t afraid to play around with ingredients, but the head cidermaker at Chain Yard Urban Cidery never wants to bury the best parts of cider under too much sugar.

“For the longest time there’s been a stigmatic idea cider needs to be sweet and needs to taste like apples. To me, it’s time we change that perception. We want to create a wine-like product,” he says. “My passion is definitely with cider but we always try to use winemaking techniques. It’s very much like saying wine has to taste like grapes, it doesn’t make much sense.”

It’s his storied background in (and contagious passion for) cider that keeps the taps at Chain Yard so carefully considered, meticulously crafted—and full of creative ferments like the latest Drunken Cherry. Made with cherry wine and aged with Compass Distillers’ rhumb (spelled funny, but it’s an un-aged white rum), Hildybrant calls this 9.4 percent drink robust and earthy, with a hint of sour cherry, too.

“We do something that’s fairly unique here at Chain Yard. Whenever we get in a fruit juice, we actually create a wine from that. It pulls out interesting flavours and aromatics. So we’ll ferment the cherry and get notes like cinnamon and nutmeg and really interesting nuances,” he says of the blend which he anticipated
would ring in at around 8.5 percent ABV. “The cherry went farther than we thought and hit 9.4 percent but I didn’t want to stop it because there were really unique notes coming out.”

You can taste all those nuances for yourself at Chain Yard (2606 Agricola Street) this weekend, Drunken Cherry is pouring now.
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Exchange has big plans for Hollis Street

The folks behind the St. John's Fish Exchange are bringing something massive to town

Posted By on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 4:32 PM

VIA FACEBOOK
  • via FAcebook

“Halifax is on fire right now,” says Andrew Flynn, the GM of The Maple’s soon-to-be in-house restaurant, The Exchange on Hollis (1583 Hollis Street). A spin-off of popular Newfoundland spot St. John’s Fish Exchange, the Halifax take on the concept will offer a “premium casual” space that’s seafood forward and aimed at satisfying a cross-section of demographics.

The 300-seater restaurant plans to open sometime next month—hopefully with enough time left for folks to enjoy the 2,000 square foot seater patio—offering up a private room, a massive bar and laser-sharp focus on experience. “It’s in the centre of that old downtown, that waterfront business area. We’re going back to mercantile cuisine, following trade routes,” teases Flynn of Caribbean Italian, Spanish influences on the large menu. “Like, you’ll have lobster but rather than a generic lobster, there’ll be a Caribbean rum butter.” He also promises craft cocktails and beer, Tidal Bay on tap and an eight-seater champagne and oyster bar.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cafe Lara is moving in on the corner of Agricola and Woodill

Soon that empty old laundromat is finally not going to be an empty old laundromat anymore

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 3:27 PM

Lara Cusson and Ruthy Shvalbe want to have a coffee with you - IAN SELIG
  • Lara Cusson and Ruthy Shvalbe want to have a coffee with you
  • ian selig
At long last the dilapidated laundromat on the corner of Agricola and Woodill Streets is being picked up, dusted off and reimagined. Later this summer Cafe Lara will come to life in a renovated version of the 2347 Agricola Street building, aiming to be a neighbourhood space that’s comfortable, inviting and a celebration of the social side of coffee culture.

“I think everyone has a story of the first coffee shop they started going regularly,” says Lara Cusson—the cafe’s owner and namesake, who’ll be working alongside manager Ruthy Shvalbe to open it. “I remember the first coffee shop I liked going to was in 2005 and it really became my home away from home, and luckily I chose a place with the best coffee.”

A Montrealer who’s made Halifax her home, she has worked in the food and drink industry since falling in love with that first cafe. And now she’s fallen in love with Halifax, in particular, the north end.

“I really like the idea of bringing people together, and community, and I think coffee is a great way of doing that,” she says of her project. “I think it’s something that appeals to everyone and people from all walks of life.”

Since deciding she wants to leave her mark on the local small business community, Cusson has spent time researching coffee shops of all types, scoping out as many as possible in other cities she visits. Cafe Lara will focus on serving top-notch java drinks, a well-curated menu of food (that’ll also be convenient for grab and go customers), LF Bakery pastries and providing a space that’s a lot of different things to the different people who stop by.

“I want to create seating for every type of person that might come in—a young mother with a stroller, a bar area for people looking for a few drinks, space for students who might want to study,” says Cusson. “I’m trying to keep the type of customer and what their needs might be in mind.” 
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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Aly Mae's Bread Basket brings Mary's cinnamon buns back to life

Legendary desserts for Dartmouth

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 1:00 AM


The days of Mary’s Bread Basket’s line-up-worthy cinnamon buns and nostalgia-inducing aromas are not behind us. The legendary staple that most folks remember from days of yore at the Historic Farmers’ Market (1496 Lower Water Street) disappeared from the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market (1209 Marginal Road) about two years ago but is back in action as of last week. The next iteration of the classic is called Aly Mae’s Bread Basket (11 Mount Hope Avenue, near the Dartmouth General Hospital). “They’ve been selling out like crazy,” says Gabrielle McNeill of the famous buns. She helps her sister Alysha Mae McNeill (AKA Aly Mae) run the business, which their family took over from their aunt Mary Mohammed. The new Dartmouth location sells cookies, squares, croissants and other baked goodness for now, alongside the cinnamon buns, with bread and English muffins to come later. Aly Mae’s aims to be back at the Seaport and Alderney Farmers’ Markets (2 Ochterloney Street) in the next couple of weeks.
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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Former Smiling Goat workers are opening Glitter Bean Cafe

The cooperatively run, queer-centred coffee shop opens in July

Posted By on Sat, Jun 23, 2018 at 11:19 AM

VIA @GLITTERBEANCAFE
  • via @glitterbeancafe

Glitter Bean Cafe is the newest cooperative cafe to hit Halifax, started by the same baristas who worked at the Smiling Goat.

“It’s a model that we think empowers workers, it’s also a model we think shares the workload and minimizes hierarchy,” says Charlie Huntley, vice-president of the cooperative and a barista.

The idea to start their own cafe was talked about between the workers at the Smiling Goat for years, but after the 5896 Spring Garden Road location (which was formerly a Just Us!) closed in April, its staff decided to make it a reality.

“We signed an agreement with Just Us! for a reduced rent if we carry their coffee, and some funding from our union, and we found some personal funding as well,” says Huntley. “So we were able to pull it off financially which was a major component we were missing before now.”

Glitter Bean is set to be the first queer themed cafe in the city.

“It’s explicitly queer but not exclusively queer,” says Huntley. “It centres on queerness and a queer aesthetic and queer workers and queer customers, but also we want it to be open and welcoming and make other people feel safe as well.”

“Having a queer cafe in the city is important because there are very few queer spaces in Halifax at the moment,” says Huntley. “A cafe is an establishment where younger folks, folks who are underage and queer, can go. It’s also just important to build queer community and have a space where queer folks an feel safe and feel represented and feel reflected in the workforce at the business.”

Glitter Bean plans to open by the second week of July, but the date has not been finalized.

“We wear queerness on our sleeves," says Huntley, "it just made sense for us to open a cafe that aligned with our values and aesthetics.”

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Two Dumb Vegans’ brain food

Inspired by the awesomeness of Mary’s Bread Basket, these farmers’ market bakers have perfected their cinnamon roll recipe.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 10:00 AM

DYLAN CHEW
  • DYlan Chew


Two Dumb Vegans

Historic Farmers’ Market, 1496 Lower Water Street
Saturdays, 7am-1pm


When Michael Grove and Kerry Sharp begin the baking process for their bigger-than-your-hand, quadruple-layered cinnamon rolls, a sort of routine settles in: Singing (lots of it), cinnamon-dousing (even more of it) and layering up rectangles of buttery-yet-butter-free dough. “We found ourselves harmonizing all time, singing Weird Al B-sides, Disney songs. We do “‘A Whole New World’ a lot,” Grove says as Sharp laughs.

The partners in life and baking sell their dairy-free cinnamon rolls—and other treats—under the name Two Dumb Vegans at the Historic Brewery Market and, occasionally, the Halifax Forum Farmer’s Market. “Once upon a time at the original Historic Market, there was an almost cult-like following for Mary’s Bread Basket cinnamon rolls. I’ll be the first to admit that when I was young I was in that lineup, which was 20 people long, just to get this mythical cinnamon roll. And it was great. And then Mary’s Bread Basket closed. My whole market experience was based around the cinnamon roll so I set out not to replicate it, but to fill that void,” Grove offers. “I took a really long time developing the recipe, reworking it until I had an incredible cinnamon roll that just happened to be vegan.”

The pair originally met when Sharp got a job at Grove’s now-shuttered Quinpool Road restaurant Red Lunchbox. Though the plant-based eatery didn't last long (its doors were open from February to April of this year), the spark between Sharp and Grove did.

“It was just like, ‘Well that’s it, we can’t run a restaurant so now we’re just two dumb vegans forging forward’,” Grove says. While their visions of the future include launching a subscription service of simple, meat-and-dairy free meals, for now it’s all about the cinnamon rolls.

“I grew up in a quasi-Jewish household where challah was a big deal, and I used to live across the street from a Hong Kong bakery, so something in me wanted to make something with the texture of like a steam bun but the rich, almost umami-ness of egg bread,” Grove says of the pair’s signature roll. “But also a big part of it, too, is the cinnamon,” Sharp adds, estimating that each layer of the four-layer rolls uses at least a quarter cup of cinnamon. (Grove guesses it’s higher.)

Maybe the most special part of all, though, is the eating. Grove says it’s “turned into a huge community. It’s almost like a church, honestly, in that it’s a wonderful community of people that just sit and drink coffee together and eat cinnamon rolls and everyone knows everyone’s name.” 

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Kam-Moon brings Mediterranean eats to Brunswick Street

New restaurant alert.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 2:28 PM

img_2076.jpg
When Hossam Ramadan says fast food, he's not talking about the junky kind that usually comes to mind. The operations manager at the brand new Kam-Moon says the restaurant aims to “introduce the best of the Mediterranean cuisine” and do so for an affordable price, but the speedy nature doesn’t mean there’s been any rush in concept or creation. “We wanted to redefine the fast food industry with homemade recipes.”

The 2013 Brunswick Street (next to Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique) spot soft-opened today, bringing tastes from Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Greece and Turkey to those looking for a quick and healthy bite. But what sets it the apart the most is the ridiculously fresh bread—baked in-house pita. Egyptian pita pockets—which are similar to the Lebanese kind we’re familiar with, expect thicker—are better known as eish, meaning “to be alive,” says Ramadan. “You walk around the Egyptian markets and it’s what you can smell, it’s really popular there. A lot of people depend on that bread to go through their day.”

Kam-Moon’s pitas will be packed with a variety of fillings (like falafel, kofta and calamari) and will be served from when the early morning baking finishes to around 10pm. And if you’ve got room for dessert Ramadan suggests trying the tulumba, which he likens to a Turkish churro. Um, sold.
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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Three must-eat dishes at this weekend's Halifax Greek Fest

It's souvlaki time

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 6:47 AM

gf1.jpg

Halifax Greek Fest
St. George’s Greek Orthodox Community
38 Purcell’s Cove Road
June 7-10


It’s year 33 for the Halifax Greek Fest, an annual celebration of culture where music, dancing, church tours and endless good food work together to make a weekend that’s sort of synonymous with summer kick-off. We chatted with George Kapetanakis—The Armview Restaurant and Lounge owner and Greek Fest volunteer—about how to conquer the festival’s menu. His number one tip? Get there early.

1. THE GREEK PLATE
“You get the variety pack there, and it’s pretty damn delicious,” says Kapetanakis. A favourite dish from the kitchen, this all-encompassing platter gets you pork or chicken souvlaki, moussaka, spanakopita, salad, lemon roasted potatoes and tzatziki. “The ladies down there have been working their arses off,” he adds.

2.PORK SOUVLAKI WRAP
This snack comes straight from the grill and features hand-cut, long-marinated, grilled-to-perfection pork and fresh tzatziki. Kapetanakis calls it “a labour of love.” “The donair is huge, it was invented by Greeks in Halifax, but the entire population of Greece eats this dish,” he says. Added bonus? It’s only $7.

3. BAKLAVA
You can’t not eat this. Phyllo pastry. Walnuts. Honey. “You can’t go wrong really,” says Kapetanakis. “It’s a little bit of sweet, a little bit of bitter, it’s the quintessential Greek dessert.” And if there’s any time to go classic, it’s now.
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Seedlip's here in spirit

Seedlip’s game-changing, distilled non-alcoholic spirits are coming to Halifax.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 3:46 AM

SUBMITTED
  • SUBMITTED

The world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits are set to make their east coast
debut this week at the first Drink Atlantic Cocktail Festival—and they’re guaranteed to stir up some debate, and great-tasting beverages. But who’s behind all of this and what does it mean for cocktail culture?

Established in 2015, UK-based distilling company Seedlip was born in founder Ben Branson’s kitchen out of a desire to capture the essence of the natural world. By removing the initial alcohol necessary for flavour extraction from his distillates post-extraction and forgoing fermentation, Branson has effectively created a remedy to “rid the world of horribly fruity mocktails.” Today, Seedlip products are available in 17 countries, served by Michelin-starred restaurants and offered at many of the world’s top 50 cocktail bars.

“It’s definitely sparking a conversation around how much alcohol people need to drink, and why can’t we cater to people who, for whatever reason, don’t want an alcoholic drink,” says Branson.

And with two refreshing spirit offerings, Seedlip is catering no doubt. Garden 108, an herbal blend of hand-picked peas and traditional garden herbs pairs wonderfully with simple tonic and garnish, lending its spearmint, rosemary and thyme base to a clean tasting beverage. Spice 94, an aromatic and complex blend of all spice, bark and citrus makes for a great NoGroni (Seedlip’s alcohol-free take on Negroni). And it’s not just alcohol that’s missing, Seedlip products are also free of sugar, calories, sweetener, artificial flavours and allergens.

However, the brand is by no means pushing a restrictive beverage agenda, rather it offers balance in a world of extremes. “We believe in the power of amazing flavour and wonderful experiences—that’s possible with a non-alcoholic cocktail and a low-alcohol content,” says Branson whose search for equilibrium-inspired Nolo: Seedlip’s two-night international pop-up bar event, featuring beverages with an alcohol content of no to low in 15 major cities (including Toronto) beginning July 24.

With a new Seedlip product set to hit the Canadian market later this year, Branson is “just scratching the surface of what’s possible with non-alcoholic cocktails.” Canadian ambassador for Seedlip, Sarah Parniak, will be in town for Drink Atlantic Cocktail Festival this weekend—Branson will there in spirit. (And for those not attending the event, you can find Seedlip at Pete's on Dresden Row.) He hopes his vision for more (and better) drink options will be embraced on the east coast.

“I enjoy giving people in the industry a new approach to thinking about hospitality for those who aren’t drinking and sparking a little debate,” says Branson. “I’m happy Seedlip is there—I’m always excited to show people that there is another way.” 

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Seven brews to toast The Coast

Join us on June 21 at the Stillwell Beergarden.

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2018 at 3:23 PM

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

COAST TAP TAKEOVER + SUMMER LAUNCH PARTY

Stillwell Beergarden
June 21, 6pm


As you've probably heard by now, The Coast turns 25 this year. Why should you care? Because we'd like you to join us for a toast. No champagne here, though! Instead, seven Nova Scotia breweries are pouring up special beers (and a cider) in honour of the occasion. Even better, each brewery is donating five percent of its profits to a local cause. The beers will be available June through July, with a special launch event on June 21. Check out what'll be on tap:

Sorry by Good Robot Brewing Co.
toasting to Bryony House

Love The Way We Love by Propeller Brewing Co.
toasting to North End Community Health Centre

This Beer Is Toast! By Garrison Brewing
toasting to Feed Nova Scotia

And the Hazy Sea by Spindrift Brewing Co.
toasting to Ecology Action Centre

Voice of the Doggos by Brightwood Brewery
toasting to SPCA Nova Scotia

Wheatly Edition by Off Track Brewing
toasting to SPCA Nova Scotia

Ahead by a Quarter Century by Boar Back Cider
toasting to the Downie Wenjack Fund
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Monday, May 28, 2018

Draft picks: nine Canadian Brewing Award-winning beers from Nova Scotia

We're so proud of you.

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2018 at 1:41 PM

Never Again, one of 2 Crows' silver award winners. - VIA FACEBOOK
  • Never Again, one of 2 Crows' silver award winners.
  • Via Facebook
Congratulations, Nova Scotia brewers. Nine beers from five local brewing companies took home Canadian Brewing Awards this year. For the full list of the 2018 Canadian Brewing Award-winners, go here. For our homegrown champions, look no further.

Gold winners

Category: 53 — Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
Beer: Bonanza! Foedre Aged Wheat Wine
Brewery: 2 Crows Brewing Co.

Silver winners

29791244_1828360067243588_9122103191944213275_n.jpg

Category: 4 – Kellerbier/Zwickelbier
Beer: Little Beast
Brewery: North Brewing Company

Category: 11 – Belgian Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale
Beer: Gus’ 65m Ale
Brewery: North Brewing Company

Category: 13 – French and Belgian Style Saison
Beer: Dynamo Rustic Saison
Brewery: 2 Crows Brewing Co.

Category: 33 – North American Style Amber/Red Ale
Beer: Temptation Red Ale
Brewery: Boxing Rock Brewing Company

Category: 42 – American-style Brett Beer
Beer: Never Again Foedre Aged Brett Pale Ale with Peaches
Brewery: 2 Crows Brewing Co.

Category: 51B – Barley Wine-Style Ale – American-Style
Beer: Giantess Barley Wine
Brewery: Tatamagouche Brewing Company

Bronze winners

31934910_1757795197599781_8626755239254425600_n.jpg
Category: 42 – American-style Brett Beer
Beer: Oh My Darlin’-Clementine Brett Pale Ale
Brewery: North Brewing Company

Category: 48 – Experimental Beer
Beer: Smoky Chipotle Porter
Brewery: Meander River Farm & Brewery

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

It’s beer o’clock all weekend

The Canadian Brewing Awards aren’t open to the public, but here’s how to take in the spirit (and buzz) of the event.

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2018 at 1:52 PM

Stillwell is one of many local suds-makers celebrating Canadian craft this weekend.
  • Stillwell is one of many local suds-makers celebrating Canadian craft this weekend.

Boxing Rock tasting bar

The downtown tea emporium is changing lanes during the Canadian Brewing Awards, offering four taps of Boxing Rock Brewing as well as tasting flights in four ounce glasses. 

May 24-26, World Tea House, 1592 Argyle Street, 6pm-12am

Boxing Rock tap takeover
Celebrate the kickoff of the Canadian Brewing Awards with this tap takeover. 

Thu May 24, WestSide Beer Wine Spirits, 287 Lacewood Drive, 4-7pm

Garrison and Spindrift tap takeover

Raise a glass to the kickoff of the Canadian Brewing Awards at The Stubborn Goat as the gastropub highlights seven different suds from Spindrift and Garrison breweries.
Thu May 24, Stubborn Goat Gastropub, 1579 Grafton Street

Grand National: A CBA Adjacent Festival
To celebrate the Canadian Brewing Awards' touching down in Halifax, the Barrington street brew-bringer raises a glass to its' 30-ish favourite producers nationwide (some of which have never been poured on the east coast). With beers being tapped at both the bar and its' Spring Garden Road beer garden all weekend long, sud fanatics will wanna follow along on social media so they don't miss a drop.
May 24-27, Stillwell, 1672 Barrington Street

North Coast to Coast collaboration launch

In time for the Canadian Brewing Awards, North Brewing Company shares five beers crafted in collaboration with microbreweries from across the country. Sip the results at this release party and save room for the Escarpment Labs tap takeover (featuring suds made with Escarpment Labs yeast and cultures). 

Thu May 24, Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery, 62 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth,11:30am-6pm

Friday Cask Night: ESB month

This edition of Propeller's cask night features an ESB flavoured with Skor. Toffee fans, your time is now.
Fri May 25, Propeller Brewing Company, 2015 Gottingen Street, 5-10pm

O-Town: A night of Oland and Motown

The Robie Street spot describes this night out best: "A night full of Motown music and a chance to drink everyone's favourite local beer—Oland's—at a classic hipster bar." Sign us up.
Sat May 26, Good Robot Brewing Company, 2736 Robie Street, 12pm-2am

Stillwell bottle release party

Stillwell celebrates the release of two new styles of suds and the arrival of the Canadian Brewing Awards with this sipping sesh featuring the cherry-raspberry Disco and the peach-y Preach. Get the bottles while you can!
Sat May 26, Stillwell, 1672 Barrington Street, noon-3pm

Crop Top Tolerance Day

The Robie Street's spot annual celebration of belly-bearing tops—and all bodies wearing them—returns. Show up with your navel out or borrow a pair of scissors at the bar to take part in the body-positive good times.
Sun May 27, Good Robot Brewing Company, 2736 Robie Street, noon-2am

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Raise your glasses, Drink Atlantic Cocktail Festival debuts this June

It's a Coast/Clever Barkeep joint

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 2:40 PM

VIA @GGNCHAN
  • via @GGNCHAN

Just when you thought your thirst for summer couldn't be any greater, here's something else to look forward to. From June 7 through 9, your pals over here at The Coast and The Clever Barkeep's Matt Boyle and Jeffrey Van Horne are celebrating our region's cocktail culture with the first ever Drink Atlantic Cocktail Festival. It's a weekend's worth of tastings, industry seminars, special events and some of the world's best drinks.

There's a lot to take in: two nights of spirits tastings, a Barcardi boat party and a seminar on all things punch related, to name a few. Plus we'll get a visit from internationally acclaimed bartender Gn Chan. The NYC-based cocktail star—who went from growing up in a booze-free home in Taiwan to winning the Bacardi Legacy competition in 2016 to taking his soon-to-be bar Double Chicken Please on a cocktail roadtrip—will lead an industry-focused workshop on what he does best. If you haven't heard of him, check out the video below to see Chan in action.

And for all things Drink Atlantic, follow along here or here.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Agricola Street Brasserie debuts a new rooftop bar

Billow Bar is all about booze and barbecue.

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 4:16 PM

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The folks behind Agricola Street Brasserie (2540 Agricola Street) and Little Oak (1475 Lower Water Street) are adding something extra to their repertoire. Just in time for patio season, the Brasserie’s upstairs patio will now be known as Billow Bar Rooftop Cocktails & BBQ, a sunny spot to drink, eat and eat some more. The 50-seater, which aims to debut this month, will boast a menu of southern barbecue inspired eats (think brisket and biscuits) courtesy of chef  Ludovic Eveno and creative ice cream sandwiches from chef  Julie Cook (like passionfruit and carrot). The wine and craft beers will be flowing, with a cocktail menu that’ll change regularly rounding out the drinkable offerings. 
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Thursday, May 3, 2018

King & North’s chocolate works of art


Jesse Gallant sells super-small batches of a favourite treat.


Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2018 at 4:00 AM

Gallant will bring his bars to the Halifax Crafters market this weekend. - RACHEL MCGRATH
  • Gallant will bring his bars to the Halifax Crafters market this weekend.
  • RACHEL MCGRATH

King & North Chocolate
facebook.com/kingandnorth


"Chocolate is so fun. It has such a sense of fun attached to it," says Jesse Gallant. "From the moment you're a kid and you try it the first time, it's something that's so exciting and playful."

Gallant is the owner of a small-batch chocolate business called King & North, which has sweetened up pop-up markets and events around Halifax for a little less than a year. Its next stop is the Halifax Crafters Society Spring Market on May 5 and 6.

Gallant was introduced to chocolatiering as part of the the baking and pastry art program at NSCC. When Gallant graduated, he landed a job at Dilly Dally Coffee Cafe. "I was very invested in the baking side of things, you know—muffins, cookies, cakes—that kind of thing. But I found myself missing playing with chocolate after awhile."

Last summer, Dilly Dally owner Laura Draeger suggested Gallant get his chocolate fix by making something for an upcoming market at the cafe. "I was kind of like, 'Yeah, why don't I?'" says Gallant. "It's nice, because it's the kind of thing where you don't need a ton of expensive or crazy equipment to get started." He began with a large piece of marble on which to temper the chocolate, along with moulds, bowls and spatulas. "Other than that, everything else is just extra."

RACHEL MCGRATH
  • RACHEL MCGRATH

These days, Gallant continues to work for Dilly Dally while conducting his edible experiments on the side.

King & North has three staple flavours along with rotating creations. Gallant enjoys collaborating with other local businesses, such as his "London fog" bar (with earl grey from World Tea House). Spring flavours, which you can find at his table at Halifax Crafters, include a milk chocolate bar with sourdough baguette from Birdies Bread Co. in Dartmouth.

For Gallant, inspiration can come from something as simple as sitting down to eat a snack and thinking about how to incorporate those foods in chocolate. One of the most important things in his process is making sure those flavours come across. "If I'm telling you I'm going to make a London fog chocolate bar, I want you to really know that when you eat it," Gallant says. "I want you to taste that." Hence why he paired earl grey with white chocolate: It has a milder taste and high fat content, "so it's able to draw in those bergamot flavours."

If you so much as peek at King & North's Instagram, it's apparent that aesthetic plays a role in the chocolate as well. "It's important that things look good, too, from a cake that's decorated beautifully to a gorgeously plated dessert," explains Gallant. He decorates using coloured cocoa butter, making each bar resemble a Jackson Pollock painting. Gallant works to make the flavour as consistent as possible, but given that he makes his treats by hand, no two bars are exactly alike. Think of it as a really tasty snowflake.

"That first moment when you see it and you're like, 'Oh, wow, this is a work of art'—I wanted to have that same reaction with the chocolate bars and the chocolate that I was making."


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In Print This Week

Vol 26, No 17
September 20, 2018

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