“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Escape into Chocolate

Joshua Needleman and me at Chocolate Springs Cafe - Joshua invites you all to "Escape into Chocolate"

One of my all-time favorite movies is Chocolat, with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. It’s about a woman and her daughter who move to a small French village, open a chocolate shop and stir up the rigid community, ultimately helping them to let their hair down, be human, and to love. Second to none in this move was the chocolate. The bonbons, the cakes and desserts, the hot chocolate–you name it, it was all beautiful.

Ahh, chocolate. It could possibly be the perfect food–or maybe the perfect drug. It is complex–much like wine and coffee–having over 500 chemical compounds, including theobromine, a cousin of caffeine, and phenylethylalanine, a substance that is released in the brain when we fall in love. But to reap the benefits of chocolate, it must be good quality and of course, consumed in moderation.

Well, after visiting the Chocolate Springs Café in Lenox, MA about a month ago, I decided that the chocolate there was among some of the best to be found in this area. Better yet, the café, which is a unique blend of European and Japanese design, is warm and inviting and a great place to sit on a comfy sofa with a cup of divine hot chocolate and a delicious desert that’s almost too pretty to eat!

And if you’re there, chances are you’ll meet the owner, Joshua Needleman. He’s a brilliant and passionate chocolatier who makes all the beautiful and mouth-watering creations found in the café. The last time I was there, Joshua was nice enough to let me do a video interview with him that you can watch below.

In part 1 of the interview, Joshua explains how the raw cacao bean is transformed into the melt-in-your-mouth final product and shows us the creamy ganache that goes into making his hot chocolate.

He tells a fascinating story in part 2 about the inspiration that allowed the Chocolate Springs Café to materialize and presents a unique and symbolic model, made from chocolate, that he submitted to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation as an idea for a new World Trade Center! This blew me away!! I know you’ll enjoy seeing the model and hearing him tell the story. And if you’re ever in Lenox, MA, make it a point to stop in at the café for a treat for you or someone you love. You’ll be happy you did. Enjoy everyone!!


  1. Wow. I go to Albany and through to visit friends in Providence and Boston. Its now on the list and I'm curious to see howw it compares to Maison du Chocolat in NYC, which interestingly has a Japanese chocolatier, currently.


  2. Hi Sig, I think you'll enjoy a visit there! I didn't know that Maison du Chocolat has a Japanese chocolatier - I'm making it a point to visit there the next time in NYC!