jcoco chocolate recently announced a new collaboration series called Tastemakers, a campaign that will launch in late March 2018 and feature three Seattle-based culinary innovators.

Chera Amlag, Chef Tarik Abdullah and Amanda Reed (Photo Credit: jcoco)

These influential leaders will showcase their unique flavor inspirations, culinary points of view and favorite jcoco bar flavors, including a special new bar created by a former contestant on ABC’s The Taste, Chef Tarik Abdullah.

The inaugural lineup of influencers include:

Chera Amlag, owner and baker at Hood Famous Bakeshop.
Amanda Reed, beverage director of Heartwood Provisions.
Chef Tarik Abdullah, founder of two local pop-up dining series, Morning Star Brunch and Midnight Mecca.

“We are so thrilled to partner with these talented culinary personalities right here in our backyard,” said Jean Thompson, owner and CEO of jcoco chocolate. “These tastemakers were selected because they have diverse relationships with food, as well as unique experiences with flavor innovation. By uniting the jcoco brand with partners that are aligned with our mission as a chocolatier, we hope to inspire and invite more consumers to delight in the flavor profiles that jcoco has created.”

(Photo Credit: jcoco)

Chef Tarik Abdullah, known endearingly throughout the Seattle food scene as “The Spice Man,” is the first culinary influencer to partner with jcoco. Abdullah is the founder of two locally renowned pop-up dining series, Morning Star Brunch and Midnight Mecca. Chef Tarik’s cuisine is inspired by the tastes and flavors of his childhood. He was raised in a Muslim family where foods with unique blends of spices were ever-present. His cooking ethos is a tribute to deep-rooted traditions from North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the American South. His global inspiration incorporates bold flavor combinations from these parts of the world and seasonal, locally grown ingredients.

(Photo Credit: A DJ and A Cook)

The jcoco bar Abdullah collaborated on is called the Boharat Middle Eastern Spice Dark Chocolate Bar. A complex and versatile blend of spices, boharat is used frequently in Middle Eastern cuisine and has notes of cumin, black peppercorn, cinnamon and clove. The Boharat Middle Eastern Spice Dark Chocolate Bar, made of the velvety 60% cacao dark chocolate that jcoco is known for, will be released in late March, at which time it can be purchased both in-store and online at jcocochocolate.com.

“Collaborating with jcoco has been an inspiring experience. I had a lot of fun experimenting with recipes that pair spices with chocolate and enjoyed bringing my culinary background to such a great company,” said Abdullah. “Jcoco’s mission of giving back to the community resonates strongly with me, so this partnership was a natural fit.”

(Photo Credit: A DJ and A Cook)

Abdullah will also partner with jcoco for a completely chocolate-inspired installment of his much-anticipated Midnight Mecca pop-up dinner series, which was initiated in 2010. Each Midnight Mecca dinner features a five-course menu prepared by Abdullah, cocktail pairings prepared by Damon Bomar of That Brown Girl Cooks!, live music and an art installation. The chocolate-inspired dinner will be held on Saturday, March 31 at the Seattle Chocolate flagship store, located at 1180 Andover Park West. Ticket prices range from $85 to $125 and can be purchased beginning Thursday, March 1. To purchase tickets or for more details, please visit jcocochocolate.com.

In celebration of these inaugural Tastemaker collaborations, the jcoco team will host a Tastemaker Launch Event on Saturday, April 21 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Seattle Chocolate flagship store. Tickets will cost $30 and will include complimentary lite bites by Chef Tarik, delicious desserts by Chera Amlag, craft cocktails created by Amanda Reed, “Experience Chocolate” tours and much more. To purchase tickets, please visit jcocochocolate.com.


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