Before she became a chocolate maker, Chi Bui was an analytical philosopher who worked for the United Nations. Turns out her true passion was creating gorgeous desserts and working with cacao. Chi studied the pastry arts and went on to make delicious magic at Le Bernardin, Union Square Cafe and Daniel.
Eventually, Chi Bui became the bean-to-bar chocolate maker for Thomas Keller’s brand, K + M Chocolate, and now, she has crafted this truly magnificent and memorable bar in collaboration with Kahkow. The La Esmeralda 70% Dark Chocolate bar is an International Chocolate Awards winner for 2023, and I am delighted to have it in my collection!
- 2023 International Chocolate Awards Silver Winner
The bar is extremely chocolaty with one of the most exquisite mouthfeels that I have ever enjoyed. The flavor journey evolves from rich chocolate notes into luscious, sweet fruits and brown sugar. La Esmeralda has a delicate, pleasant acidity that adds complexity, and the subtle finishing notes are cedar and warm spices. Trust me…this is one bar you don’t want to miss!
The KahKow La Esmeralda 70% Dark Chocolate Bar is made from Single Estate cacao beans that originate from the Rizek Family Hacienda La Esmeralda, an enchanting farm located in the outskirts of San Francisco de Macorís. This protected area of just 100 acres is home to over 24,000 carefully grafted cacao trees.
La Esmeralda is one of the first farms in the Dominican Republic planted with elite cacao varieties that hail from Trinidad & Tobago and Costa Rica
KahKow is both the brand name of a superior quality line of chocolate made from Dominican Republic Rizek Plantation beans, as well as the name of the flagship store opened in 2019 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by the Rizek Family. This little boutique and workshop turns out truly fabulous bean-to-bar chocolate from fine flavor and heirloom cacao bean varietals. You can even see the beautiful, giant melangeur (chocolate mixer) situated right in front of the shop's window!
Nadia Rizek, fifth generation member of the Rizek family, decided to honor the century-long cacao legacy she inherited by spreading the Rizek passion, creativity and high quality beans to the the U.S., right in nearby Brooklyn.
KahKow is among the 13 favorite USA craft chocolate producers recognized in Melissa Clark's February 2020 New York Times article for the extra attention their team devotes to sourcing beans, forging positive relationships with growers and treating the planet with extra loving care.
I had the exciting opportunity to assist my renowned teacher, co-founder and Americas Director of the International Chocolate Awards, Dr. Maricel Presilla, at a Level One Chocolate Tasting Certificate Class that KahKow graciously hosted in September 2019. It was such a treat to meet and learn from Nadia and Kahkow’s chocolate maker in this beautiful jewel box of a shop. They are inspired and inspiring figures in the world of fine chocolate, and I am honored to know them and stock several of their exquisite bars.
- Ingredients: Sincle Origin Organic Cacao, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Sunflower Lecithin
- Net Weight: 50 g. / 1.76 oz.
- Country of Origin: USA