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Architecture to Chocolate: Drawing from Inspirations

August 29, 2009

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Puerto Rican Food Experience Part 2: Inspiration from La Casa Cortes

March 20, 2015

It’s 2015, and a lot has changed since my time in Puerto Rico. I’m still reflecting on dining experiences from the trip, and one place in particular comes to mind as the most inspiring.  Chocobar de Casa Cortés.

 

The entire restaurant (located inside La Casa Cortés art museum and gallery) is centered thematically around chocolate. In 1929, when Pedro Cortés Forteza founded Cortés Hermanos in the Dominican Republic, he set out to capitalize on Caribbean cocoa. I’m sure he could scarcely have imagined his chocolate exporting business would become parent company to an art museum and a restaurant. But the company did just that, and opened its first chocolate restaurant and museum 84 years later, in the heart of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico.

Chocobar de Casa Cortés is any chocolate lover’s dream.  Along with sweet items, the restaurant offers chocolate inspired liquors, breakfast, tapas and a line of hot chocolate. Waiting 8 decades to open up a retail location won’t work for Jade Chocolates, but I certainly need to scale down my plans. A full service chocolate restaurant would be a dream, but for now, I’ll have to start small. Maybe a quaint retail shop.

Casa Cortes, I’m told, was primarily known for its hot chocolate. Order one and you’ll get a small piece of chocolate accompanied with cheese. It is customary to eat them together.

 

The wall behind me is decorated with Casa Cortes vintage metal chocolate bar molds.

 

My trip to Chocobar certainly has my thoughts in motion, as far as the future of Jade Chocolates. In the world of desserts and fine dining, a restaurant like Chocobar is something to strive for. My visit helped me decide what will be most practical for Jade Chocolates.  Start out with a retail location.

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