BEST CHOCOLATE - 2010
Year after year, Rogue Chocolatier's founder and sole employee, Colin Gasko, continues to impress us with his single-origin chocolate bars. Gasko starts with cocoa beans, which he carefully sources from different regions of the tropical world, and then, working almost like a winemaker, coaxes every nuance of flavor—smoke, nuts, coffee, citrus, berries—out of the beans as he converts them into liquid chocolate via a laborious process of roasting, grinding, refining, and conching. (Perhaps a mad-scientist metaphor might be more appropriate, as a good portion of Gasko's work involves tinkering with all his homemade chocolate-making machinery.) Recently we've been excited to see Gasko's chocolate being incorporated into the foodstuffs of other respected local artisans. You'll find Rogue in hot-cocoa form at Kopplin's coffee shop, where it plumbs the depths of liquid chocolate in a way we never thought possible, and also in ice cream at Pumphouse Creamery, which turns it into a silky frozen mousse whose chocolate flavor is rich with notes of plum, roasted nuts, and caramel. Soon enough, we suspect we'll be seeing Rogue in more local bakers' cookies, cakes, and tortes, sweeping every chocolate-related category.