Cacao Barry® Flavour Dinners to inspire Chefs: Ivana Racca, Toronto, Canada

Flavour dinners to inspire chefs: Raca Café & Bar, Toronto, Canada

Cacao Barry® is honoured to announce that the sixth Flavour Dinner was designed by Executive Chef and owner Ivana Raca from Raca Café & Bar.

TToronto, May 8th, at the lively Raca Café & Bar, Cacao Barry invited 20 Chefs to discover an exclusive menu. Raca Café & Bar is a premier eatery in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. Under the leadership of executive chef Ivana Raca, this beautiful Queen St restaurant serves exquisitely crafted food satisfying even the most sophisticated palettes. Featuring both a beautiful indoor space and a breathtaking back patio, Raca Café & Bar is one of Toronto’s most exciting new restaurants.

Our Flavour Dinner started in a very friendly atmosphere out on the back patio with a refreshing cocktail infused with caraway and citrus notes. The cocktail was inspired by what was going to be revealed as the secret ingredient: caraway, the seed with anise like aromas!

While guests enjoyed the last rays of sunshine, appetizers where served, a delicate shrimp ceviche and a crostini with whipped feta, dill, mint and grilled radicchio.

It was time to move inside the cozy restaurant and discover the menu Chef Ivana Raca had prepared pairing her secret ingredient, caraway and Cacao Barry chocolates for this challenge. Ivana Raca, is a very talented chef with a long list of accomplishments. She apprenticed in the culinary arts at Humber College, and at age seventeen took her first restaurant job in the kitchen at North 44. Just three years later, chef Mark McEwan made her his first female saucier. The trend continued: Ivana went on to serve as the sous chef that launched ONE Restaurant, and at age 24 she became the first female executive chef at 6 million dollar food emporium McEwan Foods. Now, Ivana is chef owner of Raca Café and Bar, her first premier eatery.

Ivana Raca, is a very talented chef with a long list of accomplishments. She apprenticed in the culinary arts at Humber College, and at age seventeen took her first restaurant job in the kitchen at North 44. Just three years later, chef Mark McEwan made her his first female saucier. The trend continued: Ivana went on to serve as the sous chef that launched ONE Restaurant, and at age 24 she became the first female executive chef at 6 million dollar food emporium McEwan Foods. Now, Ivana is chef owner of Raca Café and Bar, her first premier eatery. The flavour pairing dinner had just kicked off for the guests, but the whole experience was actually initiated 175 years ago with a Scottish man named Charles Barry who started a quest for extraordinary chocolate flavours. Cacao Barry is thrilled to continue this journey today by exploring chocolate flavour pairings. As we all know the most exciting journey means nothing if you cannot share it with someone. This is what Monday night was all about, an opportunity for the 20 selected Chefs and Media to share experiences, discover an exclusive menu and be inspired The dinner kicked off with a crispy tartlet filled with a creamy purée of white asparagus, celery and Zéphyr™ white chocolate topped with wild mushroom and fresh asparagus delightfully paired with a Pinot gris, Beamsville Bench VQA, Malivoire 2015.

The Menu took us through to a decadent venison dish beautifully paired with the rich flavour of dark chocolate. The spiced caraway rubbed venison loin was served with a Tanzanie origin chocolate jus, a sour cherry croquette balancing the dish with a touch of tartness and a silky carrot puree with Saint Domingue origin chocolate. The flavours of the dish where all tied together with the Ripasso, Valpolicella, Villa Annaberta 2014

To end their dinner, guests enjoyed an Ocoa™ and Inaya™chocolates, caraway and hazelnut tart with rhubarb coulis. The bold cocoa flavours paired nicely with the touch of acidity from the rhubarb and the local JW Craft cider, Kitchener Waterloo

Nothing would have been possible without Chef Ivana Raca and her fantastic team. She accepted the challenge to play with chocolate flavours and imagine the most delicious pairings. Ivana chose Caraway as the one ingredient to pair with Cacao Barry chocolates to design a three course menu. Again tonight the 20 guests enjoyed a fascinating dinner, sharing their experience and inspirations leaving the restaurant full of new ideas for their creations. See you soon at our next Flavour Dinner.