Cooking Class Bloggers

On April 25th and 26th I taught a cooking class at the Hartstone Inn and the topic was “pasta.” My blog entry on the 25th of April details the course and includes a recipe for basic egg pasta dough. Two of the “star” students from the class (actually everyone was shining that day – perspiration from kneading pasta dough) have gone on to write blogs on their experience in the class.

The first student and blog author is Lani Temple who happens to own the Megunticook Market here in Camden. In addition to running the market, Lani keeps busy as a regular guest on 207 WCSH NBC Portland, ME and is a columnist for Maine Food & Lifestyle. Lani’s blog is titled “Food Finds, From Camden’s Country Market” and her blog post includes some of her photos from the class.

The second student and blog author is Kate Shaffer who owns and operates Black Dinah Chocolatiers on the tiny off shore island of Isle au Haut, Maine. Kate makes terrific artisan truffles and candies completely by hand and my belly will attest to it. Kate has agreed to come to the Inn to conduct some chocolate cooking classes (I am reserving a space for myself) and I will be writing about her chocolates soon in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned. Here is the link to her blog post on the pasta cooking class.

Chef Michael Appears on Local TV Show "207"

Chef Michael appeared on WCSH (channel 6) on Valentine’s day (Thursday, February 14, 2008) at 7:00 p.m. with “207” host Rob Caldwell. Michael displayed some of his antique chocolate molds, discussed their history and demonstrated how to use them.

During the month of February, Michael displays his chocolate molds and a selection of chocolate figures in the dining room of the Inn for his guests to see. Come by the Hartstone Inn and he’ll give you a personal tour.
Michael’s second cookbook contains an article on his chocolate mold collection that outlines the use of antique chocolate molds from tempering the chocolate to molding the forms. For more information and techniques see “In the Kitchen with Michael Salmon”, pages 198 – 201.

Further information on Michael’s chocolate molds is available in this blog, just click on the “Chocolate” label below.

Chef Michael's Antique Chocolate Molds

When I was in my early twenties, I came across my first bunny chocolate mold at an antique store and I realized that I had found my niche. Whenever I traveled from that point on, I would search out antique shows and markets, purchasing every chocolate mold I happened upon. After years of collecting, my eye for old and unusual molds became more discerning, and I passed over the more common pieces. Easter and Christmas were the big holidays for chocolate molds, so you will find molds of Easter bunnies, eggs, chicks, Santa Claus and Father Christmas quite often. These holidays do, however, offer up some unusual molds like the bunny riding a motorcycle or Santa riding a donkey. A trip to Belgium back in 1999 led me to a gentleman who’s father had purchased all of the tin chocolate molds from several chocolate factories when they switched to the more efficient plastic molds. That was an overwhelming experience, looking through a shop with thousands upon thousands of unique chocolate molds. After many hours, Mary Jo was ready to see more of Brussels than just the inside of that one store, while I could have spent the whole day.

My second cookbook contains an article on my chocolate mold collection that outlines the use of antique chocolate molds from tempering the chocolate to molding the forms. For more information and techniques see “In the Kitchen with Michael Salmon”, pages 198 – 201.