Top Pick Of The Week

April 12, 2011


Like many top chocolatiers, Oscar Ortega is also a pastry chef. He was a finalist in the 2009 World Chocolate Masters competition. Photography by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Artisan chocolates from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Each chocolatier has a different approach to handcrafting chocolates.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Beautiful and delicious!

.Gourmet Chocolates Page 2: Atelier Ortega


I have never met Chef Ortega, but my guess is that he’s a very fine juggler. If he can balance the flavors in his chocolates as beautifully as he does, keeping half-a-dozen balls in the air at the same time should be a proverbial piece of cake for the man.

Consider Chef Ortega’s Orange Caramel & Sea Salt piece. It might sound simple enough, but there are a lot of flavors going on. Caramelization has to be sufficient for you to taste the browned sugar, but not excessive. The orange juice and salt elements should be present, too, but not undetectable or overwhelming. And the chocolate can’t get lost in the mix, either.

Somehow, Chef Ortega manages to achieve perfect taste equilibrium, an achievement not restricted to this chocolate alone. His Espresso bonbon, with its excellent, very strong coffee flavor in a semisweet gananche center, is another winner. Ditto the Peanut Butter, which combines a dark milk chocolate with smooth PB.

If you prefer more exotic tastes, you’ll find plenty of examples in flavors such as Wasabi White Chocolate, Oregano & Earl Grey, and Black Sesame Seed & Tamarind. Anise, basil, cardamom, lavender, rose and saffron are additional ganache flavors that complement the standard ones (passionfruit, raspberry, and so forth).

The classy orange boxes open like a book and can be repurposed.

Chocolate bars, mendiants, hot chocolate mix and more are also available. If you’re in Jackson Hole, stop by the shop. The pastries look irresistible.

—Stephanie Zonis

Next Up: Cadeaux Chocolates.



This is Page 2 of an eight-page review. Click on the black links to visit other pages:



Continue To Page 3: Cadeaux Chocolates


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