Theo + FareStart

18 September 2012 Cassandra Lea

We are so inspired by the FareStart culinary job training program that we invited their students and chef instructors into our confection kitchen to collaborate with our chocolatiers. The result is this creative and delicious Mirepoix Caramel Box, available for the holidays in honor of FareStart’s 20-year anniversary.

$1 from every box sold will benefit FareStart’s job training program for the homeless, helping to provide students with the tools and support needed to transform their lives.

 

Fueled by Collaboration
The Mirepoix Caramel Box was born out of both Theo and FareStart’s penchant for collaboration. FareStart’s much lauded program of weekly Guest Chef Night dinners invites local chefs to come into the FareStart kitchen and work with a group of the organization’s students to produce a special one-night menu for the FareStart restaurant, with all revenue generated going back into the organization to support FareStart’s culinary job training program. Theo Chocolate’s Chef Session series has involved some of these same chefs—and many more—bringing their expertise to the Theo confection kitchen to create limited edition confections with the Theo team.

 

The Chef Session
For this project, a group of 15 students and chef instructors from FareStart came to the Theo factory for a day long Chef Session, with a special tour and demonstrations on the finer points of working with chocolate and caramel making. For the session, the joint group focused on savory combinations, and we stocked our kitchen with the freshest organic herbs and vegetables.

 

Herbs & Vegetables in Caramel
Some of the ingredients we focused on included onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes, ingredients found on just about every restaurant menu, along with plenty of herbs. When we listed the vegetables in our own refrigerators, celery made the brainstorm too. And we couldn’t leave out carrots—which have a special meaning to Farestart students. “Mirepoix is 50% onions and 25% each celery and carrots, diced fine,” explained FareStart student Eddie, adding “And believe me, we go through a lot of carrots.”

The combinations focused on some of the very culinary building blocks taught in FareStart’s culinary job training program, In much the same way, Farestart’s culinary job training program provides the foundation and support for every student who passes through their doors to create a new life for themselves and their families.

 

Mirepoix
Mirepoix (meer-PWAH) is one of the ultimate kitchen basics and the foundation of so many soups, stews and stocks. It’s the building block for all soups and the best way to hone a student’s knife skills.

“I would have never thought about mirepoix as ingredients inside caramel,” said a FareStart student on the mushroom team.
“You can have your soup and candy, too!”

 

Theo + FareStart Mirepoix Caramel Collection

Caramelized Onion - Sweet onions, beautifully burnished, meld with our buttery caramel, decorated with a stripe of caramelized white chocolate and a pinch of salt and pepper

Carrot Coriander - Roasted carrots concentrate their sweetness, complemented by toasted coriander’s earthy sweet & savory notes, decorated with carrot lace, sea salt & sugar

Celery Herb - Sweet, buttery caramel perfectly offsets the vegetal notes of roasted celery and bouquet garni, garnished with celery seed and grey & black lava sea salt

Bay Fennel - Herbal notes of fresh bay laurel and fennel seed are offset with the bright zest of lemon, accented with green fennel stem

 

Available in our Fremont factory store, through the Theo website and at the FareStart café and select retailers.

 

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