City Bakery's Hot Chocolate Festival
The scoop on the monthlong cocoafest.
Wed Jan 13 2010
Maury Rubin might be our favorite man in NYC. Every year, the City Bakery owner and baker gives us a different mug of deliciousness each day for a month. This year’s festival is themed “How to Knit a Marshmallow,” and the centerpiece is a “Night of Knitting & Hot Chocolate” on February 18, at which guests can sample flavors while learning from neighborhood knitting shops. As Rubin got to work in his hot-cocoa laboratory, he called TONY to reveal how his mad-scientist mind works.
The new flavor: “I don’t have the name yet, but one flavor I’m going to do is dark chocolate, espresso, pomegranate and lemon. Coffee became a protection against the pomegranate stealing the chocolate away; the lemon adds balance and lift.”
The classic flavor: “Arabian Nights hot chocolate, which I’ve been doing for seven or eight years, is a little bit like my Cathedral of St. John the Divine—it’s never been finished. Every year I go back and rework it. There’s cinnamon, licorice, cardamom, pepper, coriander, cumin and a series of teas. I’m in a wrestling match with it. Most years it sort of owns me.”
The cocoa calendar: “It’s a little bit like the Academy Awards—where the Supporting Actress one is second, so there’s good stuff right away. The first weekend always has a popular crowd-pleaser, which is usually either Banana Peel or Caramel.”—Billie Cohen
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