Vinnie

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Is Valhrona chocolate acceptable for vegan pastry chefs. Valhrona website says that the dark chocolate products contain all vegan ingredients, but as it is produced in a facility that uses egg and milk products, they are not able to obtain a 'vegan certificate'. Thoughts....also be great to hear from other chefs out there on opinions regarding this subject...thanks
 

Lou

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I'm no chef, but I know something about vegans. And I'm a chocolate lover.

There are vegans who are concerned about cross-contamination. Some of them are on this forum and will have something to say about it.
But there are also vegans, like me, who see cross-contamination as just too ubiquitous to worry about. My grocer sells meat in his store. He also traps and kills rodents. His store is not vegan. but I have to buy my groceries somewhere.
But it is a slippery slope. where do you draw the line?

Tyson is a terrible corporation. Tyson bought Gardien. When you buy Gardien products are you supporting Tyson? I think there are countless examples of this kind of stuff.

As a vegan, I buy mostly organic. Non-organic farming is bad for the environment and directly kills animals. I am also concerned about human welfare. The harvesting and production of chocolate in West Africa has major issues with both slavery and child labor.
http://www.foodispower.org/slavery-chocolate/

When I buy chocolate I look for Certified Organic and Free Trade stickers. I don't see either on Valhrona. You might be able to investigate and find out more from the company's representative. Or you might be able to buy chocolate from one of these companies.
https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/10-fair-trade-low-sugar-vegan-dark-chocolate-bars/
 

Vinnie

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Thanks, I'm a recent convert to vegan-ism. I am a chef for thirty years+... A few years back I worked in a veggie restaurant for two years here in Barcelona, so I've been head hunted and brought back as head chef for a new plant based restaurant. This will not be my hippie mother's vegan(that stuff in the 70s was awful), this is going to be really good food that is also all plant based, I'm a chef first. I see what you mean in my research about sourcing for cooking for the public and using the term 'vegan' I am saying 'plant based' because I want to avoid the pitfall of falling afoul of any perceived rules. Thanks for your advice really appreciated, and yes we are striving to be fair trade, eco, environmentally aware, but we also have to cope with the realities of the world in which we live.
 

Lou

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Fairtrade and organic are not exactly vegan principles. but a lot of vegans endorse those things.
I buy fairtrade, organic, shade-grown coffee as often as possible.
After a delicious healthy plant-based meal it would be great to enjoy a chocolate dessert with a cup of coffee. And it would be even better if it didn't' come with a slab of guilt. :)
 

Vinnie

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Fairtrade and organic are not exactly vegan principles. but a lot of vegans endorse those things.
I buy fairtrade, organic, shade-grown coffee as often as possible.
After a delicious healthy plant-based meal it would be great to enjoy a chocolate dessert with a cup of coffee. And it would be even better if it didn't' come with a slab of guilt. :)
I am vigorously sourcing to the best of my ability, and we are always going to strive for improvement. If you're in Barcelona anytime soon let me know
 

Lou

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I read Origin by Dan Brown and put Barcelona on my bucket list. Looking forward to coming by.
 

Forest Nymph

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I am not a chef, but considered becoming one a decade ago before I learned massage instead. My experience with food and dining tells me that you cannot market your products fully cooked as vegan if your chocolate doesn't have vegan certification. Depending on your clients this might not be an issue (do you live in Los Angeles, San Francisco or Portland because if you do WATCH.OUT.) ...in a smaller town vegans may just be happy to see "dairy free" and "egg free." Also if you chef for famous people do not even try it you will likely be given walking papers.

In sum, who are your diners? Average Midwestern vegans or upper middle class urban hipsters? There's your answer.
 

Lou

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I am not a chef, but considered becoming one a decade ago before I learned massage instead. My experience with food and dining tells me that you cannot market your products fully cooked as vegan if your chocolate doesn't have vegan certification. Depending on your clients this might not be an issue (do you live in Los Angeles, San Francisco or Portland because if you do WATCH.OUT.) ...in a smaller town vegans may just be happy to see "dairy free" and "egg free." Also if you chef for famous people do not even try it you will likely be given walking papers.

In sum, who are your diners? Average Midwestern vegans or upper middle class urban hipsters? There's your answer.


He said his restaurant is in Barcelona, Spain. and that his restaurant is "plant-based". so he probably won't have any issues. the only famous people he might have trouble with is people looking to get a glimpse of Dr. Robert Langdon. ;)
 

Forest Nymph

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He said his restaurant is in Barcelona, Spain. and that his restaurant is "plant-based". so he probably won't have any issues. the only famous people he might have trouble with is people looking to get a glimpse of Dr. Robert Langdon. ;)

Barcelona is a major city. I would be cautious if I were him. But if he says plant based at least he can't be sued.

My answer stands that he needs to weigh his audience. Only he knows if he mostly hosts locals or international wealthy travelers.
 

alleycat

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I love chocolate, but don't usually buy it. At our local markets we have a grower of black sapote also known as chocolate pudding fruit. Latin name is Diospyros digyna. Oh it is so good.