When Sweet Secrets Chocolate was approached to compete in this year’s “50 Men Who Cook” Competition sponsored by the Bloomingdale Chamber of Commerce, we knew there was a problem right away! As a woman owned business with a staff of female pretzel artists, we immediately launched an area wide search for a “man-chef”.
“What we needed was a guest chocolatier who could really roll his sleeves up in the kitchen and learn the tricks and techniques of working with chocolate. We hosted our own competition and found lots of ‘chocolate experts’ right here in Chicago’s western suburbs!”, reported Dede Barnicle, owner of Sweet Secrets Chocolate.
The competition was rigorous and consisted of talking about chocolate, tasting chocolate, serving chocolate, and learning about making chocolate. It was extra sweet. After hours of interviewing and lots of taste testing, this year’s guest chocolatier was selected. Mr. Josh Ferstein, President of Flash Maintenance, a company specializing in restaurant and retail maintenance will be donning the chef jacket and representing Sweet Secrets Chocolate as one of the “50 Men Who Cook”
“I know my way around the kitchen”, said Ferstein. “It helps to have clients like Panera Bread Company. Plus, I’ve been known to cook a meal or two around the house”. Working with chocolate takes a little extra TLC, but the rewards are sweet. Sweet Secrets Chocolate will be providing attendees with miniature versions of their famous Chocolate Pretzel Pizza. Recognized by the National Chocolate & Dessert Industry as one of the most innovative new products of the year, the Chocolate Pretzel Pizza has become quite a hit. Featuring a “crust” of broken pretzel pieces, with layers of chocolate chips, M&Ms, broken sugar cones, chocolate cookie chunks, rainbow sprinkles and drenched in dark and white chocolate, this snack food / dessert item is ready to go toe-to-toe with any dessert entry.
The 7th Annual 50 Men Who Cook Event is hosted by the Bloomingdales Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds from the Competition will benefit the Bloomingdale area schools. Attendees will get to sample and judge their favorite dishes prepared by the 50 Men Who Cook. The event will be held Saturday, September 26th, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, at Hilton Indian Lakes Resort. Tickets are $30. Please come out for a great evening and a great cause. And we’d love your vote!!