Thanks to the Mimbres Region Arts Council for inviting me, as a food blogger, to these two events. I'm glad that I could, in turn, support the MRAC by bringing along another chocolate taster, my daughter, Lauren. It was a fun weekend especially because of my traveling companion.
Lauren and I arrived in Silver City late on Friday night. After checking into our hotel, we went to the Curious Kumquat where we were greeted by chef and co-owner, Rob Connoley. Rob whipped up a fancy, late night snack for us, and we had the chance to visit with him and two, out-of-town couples who were just finishing their dinner. Rob would describe his cooking as leaning toward molecular gastronomy with classic French pastry roots. I would describe Rob's attitude toward cooking as passionate and adventurous - when combined with his spiritual gift of hospitality, I can't help but think this is how food should be experienced.
The ticket to Chocolate Fantasia entitles the bearer to sample 20 of the 25 chocolates offered throughout the historic downtown area.
Chocolates could be found in the Food Co-op, the yarn shop, the museum, the gelato shop, and several art galleries. We left the car at our hotel and logged 4.5 miles walking to and around the downtown area - trying to keep up with my commitment as part of the Tall Mom on the Run 1000+++ Club.
For such a leisurely afternoon, we did do a little clock watching, just to make sure we were in place for the puppet parade at 2:00 - well worth minding the schedule!
X'ocotal, the evening event (also a fundraiser for MRAC), was held at Gila House Hotel & Galley 400, a combination art gallery and bed and breakfast, a beautiful venue.
Lauren (left) and I enjoyed visiting with innkeeper, Alice (right). Rob Connoley prepared the food - exotic creations, everything from chocolate bon bons with flavors like muscovado chile, basil, and lemon goat cheese, to a beef tenderloin and a pork roast crusted with cacao beans. Rob's favorite was the pork roast, but I thought the beef tenderloin was the star. I wonder if it was sous vide? Oh! I should also mention the pate a choux filled with chocolate, bacon and gorgonzola. OMG! I'll be trying to copy that - we'll be kicking appetizers up a notch in the Old Pueblo!
The Cake of a Thousand Faces made an impressive centerpiece. (Chocolate faces made in silicon molds on loan from a local artist.) St. Clair wines capped off the evening event, with music provided by local musician, Andrew Dahl-Bredine.
It was a great day; Silver City is a charming community. I hope to bring my husband with me next time, maybe to take in one of the music festivals. If you plan to experience a future Chocolate Fantasia & “X’ocotal — An Evening of ‘Xtreme’ Indulgence”, call MRAC to purchase tickets in advance; they sell out!