benjamin_desmartins.jpgDessert first. That’s my motto. And tomorrow is a great opportunity to indulge in your chocolate envie by attending a tasting and presentation by French chocolatier Benjamin Desmartins.

Desmartins comes from a family of chocolate-makers in the heart of the Gâtinais region, just south of Paris, France. He studied at the Ecole de Paris des Métiers de la Table (Paris School of Culinary Arts), where he was trained by Pascal Caffet, a well-known Parisian chocolate-maker. Through Caffet, he met the greatest names in the French chocolate business and learned some of the well-guarded secrets of the trade. After graduating, he entered the family chocolate-making business, “Comptoir du Cacao,” and created the brand “France Cocoa,” offering a range of simply crafted chocolates that use the best ingredients on the market.

This is an opportunity to learn how chocolates are made, from cocoa beans to truffles, and to taste Desmartins’ award-winning praline rolled in fleur de sel-butter caramel and sprinkled with chocolate, his dark-chocolate praline with hazelnut paste or dark-chocolate crystallized oranges.

The event will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17 at Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro on Pinhook and is sponsored by Alliance Francaise de Lafayette. Call 261-1002 or 296-7418 for reservations. Fees are $5 for AFL members, $10 for the general public. Dining is available after the presentation; call Jolie’s at 504-2382.

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