Quintessential Chocolates Unveils First Certified Organic Liquid Center Chocolates
By Doc Lawrence
NEW YORK CITY-It’s a time when the purveyors of wonderful things to eat come together to share and learn. If the Summer Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center is anything, it is an adventure into the delicious world of flavors and palate-pleasing items that just might be on the shelves of our retail stores soon. Just as Tesla is changing the perception of total electric cars from ones that once looked like a bloated M&M to a luxury ride with bells and whistles, many exhibits here will take attendees to new horizons where industrious entrepreneurs unveil goodies heretofore unknown.
Meet Lecia Duke, widely known as the “Chocolate Diva,” an architect turned chocolatiér and role model for women seeking entrepreneurial success in a man’s world. Her company, Quintessential Chocolates is a major tourist attraction in the stunningly beautiful city of Fredericksburg in the fabled Hill Country of Texas. Visitors from packed tour buses to curious food journalists flock there to gaze at the hands-on production of liquid center chocolates through a process Ms. Duke learned in Switzerland.
There is excitement in Ms. Duke’s voice as the show opening approaches. “We are introducing the first certified organic liquid center chocolates,” she revealed, adding that the new organic flavors will include Ginger Liqueur, Spiced Rum, Vanilla Vodka and Wheat Whiskey. Honoring her Native American heritage, these new first-of-a-kind chocolates are connected with the economic survival of the Huichol Indians.
These certified organic liquid center chocolates, she added, were developed “to not only demonstrate we as a small business could do something no other company in this industry has done, but demonstrate that these represent an exciting array of new flavor profiles.”
Lecia Duke’s staff often hint that she seems to be aligned with an ascendant star. Her impressive career began in architecture and graphic design that included a stent at NASA where she designed for the space programs, re-purposing a de-sanctified church into a community center in Fiesole, Italy, the restoration of Nashville’s 2nd Avenue warehouse district and the restoration of the historic Strand in Galveston Texas.
Chocolates followed all this and today, Ms. Duke’s Quintessential Chocolates remains the only chocolatiér in America to use the centuries-old process known as Liqueur Praliné.
I enjoyed a sneak preview with some bites of what will be shortly unveiled at the show. These are chocolates with dramatic impact on the palate. Be prepared for an unforgettably indulgent taste sensation.
And everything, pledges Lecia Duke, comes with a big Texas-style welcome.
Quintessential Chocolates' exhibit is located at Booth #5119. http://liquidchocolates.com