If you’ve ever had the pleasure (and pleasurable pain!) of riding the Napa Valley’s Bottega Gran Fondo, you’ve likely been sustained by a chocolate phenomenon known as Kollar Feul! It’s a decadent mixture of dark chocolate with almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, coconut, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cocoa nibs, pine nuts and raisins. And the mingling of all these flavors is amazing! So it’s clear now that we need to ride to indulge!
We are so fortunate to have the tremendous talent of chocolatier Chris Kollar and his partner, Naomi Pasztor, here in the Valley. What started as Naomi’s college business project at the prestigious Ecole Hôtelière of Lausanne in her native Switzerland, turned into Kollar Chocolates two years later with it’s home base now in Yountville. And the duo has been building momentum ever since. From classic truffles to new world flavors and creative creations like the Kollar Feul (pictured above), Chris has fashioned treats for just about every market tier!
We love their sense of local and sustainable too. They use fair trade and local seasonal ingredients whenever possible. For instance, lavender and fennel pollen truffles are made with flowers from Peter Jacobsen’s certified organic orchards in Yountville (which also is a favorite with chefs from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry). A lot of forethought has gone into their packaging as well and it’s all recyclable.
When you’re in town, it’s a fun jaunt to check out their totally unique “chocolate bar wall.” Say “hi” to Chris behind his glass encased workshop and find out firsthand how he developed his passion for chocolate as he jumped from the savory side of kitchen over to the chocolaterie. You’ll undoubtedly hear about his extensive travel in Europe in pursuit of classic chocolate knowledge and you’ll see for yourself how he has parlayed what he’s learned into his own unique style. With their home base in the Napa Valley, and a booming business, life is good! We wish them much continued success feeding their passion and our need for a superior chocolate fix – particularly as an important aid in ascending Ink Grade!