Sunday, April 1, 2007

When you have french truffle cravings in SF...

the answer is: go to north beach xox truffles.

have you had a hot chocolate with a freshly made truffle in the morning? deadly...when i stop by the store, jean-marc was making truffles, which was a fascinating process for me. he didn't have a big space for the kitchen. just behind the casher, he stands there and makes truffles all day. 200lbs or about 16,000 truffles everyday. the store has been expanding to oakland and napa (opening in this october), however, he still has a plan to make all truffles by himself. fresh everyday and good ingredients are the key for his truffles.

xox truffles have traditional flavors and some unconventional flavors as well. where does he get inspiration? from everywhere. for example, the most recent flavor, champaign, which he came up with when he had his son about a year ago. earl grey from his wife, peanut butter from one of his royal customers. however, the most important thing for flavors is that he should like it. even though a new flavor is popular among his customers, if he doesn't like it, he doesn't continue to make it..

used to be a chef in france and st. francis hotel in SF, he started this store about 10 years ago. why? because he got a heart attack in his honeymoon. stress as a chef was a big reason. so he decided to open a truffle store because he was a chocoholic. doing something he loves about. (isn't that simple? if you don't want to get a heart attack, do something you love about =) his wife is doing marketing and sales, he was able to focus on just making good truffles. i found him as a real french craftsman. wasn't distracted to other things, just focus on one thing, really good at making good truffles and happy with that....he only expands stores in every 3 years and doesn't have a plan to expand too big. he loves small production with the best quality. isn't it wonderful? sometime when you go to a famous chocolatier, you are overwhelmed by their impeccable stores and luxurious packages. however, in xox, it feels like a small neighborhood cafe in small town in france...

xoxtruffles north beach store: on columbus between filbert and greenwich..

available flavors: amaretto, black and white ball, cognac, creme de framboise/raspberry, creme de menthe, a la kahlua, liquer de noisette, rum coco, rum raisin, sebastien's champaign, triple sec, vin rouge, caramel, casimira's favourite, citron/lemon, coconut, dark chocolate, earl grey, framboise/rapsberry, french roast, noisette, a l'orange, peanut butter.

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