BROOKLYN CHOCOLATE TOUR
By Jessica McKenzie | FEBRUARY 12, 2013
Daniel Preston, the founder of Cacao Prieto (218 Conover Street, Red Hook), was an aerospace engineer who sold his defense company and started a chocolate factory and distillery. “You’d be surprised how many engineers would be comfortable in a chocolate factory, but chocolate really came of age in the industrial revolution,” says Preston. Preston and his team of engineers developed chocolate-making machinery they sell to other bean-to-bar companies. He invites curious chocolate lovers out to their Red Hook location to see the mix of Victorian and state-of-the-art equipment at work. Although there are no scheduled tours during the winter, the sign on the door says “Please Knock” and they give impromptu tours all the time. “We’re friendly people,” Preston said. The storefront where you can taste and purchase their products is staffed from 11am – 7pm on weekends.
Their cocktail bar Botanica is closed until spring, but you can whip up your own Valentine’s Day cocktail with Cacao Prieto’s Don Rafael Cacao Rum (available at Dry Dock Wine & Spirits in Red Hook): simply shake with muddled raspberries and ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with a raspberry. If you want a traditional offering of chocolate for your sweetheart, Preston suggests the Bark Bars. Each organic, single-origin bar comes with a postcard illustrating a romantic story from his family history.
Scientists at Cacao Biotechnologies & Cacao Prieto have developed a new method of fermenting and extracting cacao beans that significantly increases the potency of natural antioxidants. The molecules being developed are Epicatechin based bioflavoniods with extraordinary antioxidant activity; more than 1000 times more potent than similar molecules derived from green tea.
In collaboration with ASP (Art, Science, Passion) and founder Rhett Butler, a facial soap was formulated with our developed Cacao Epicatechin antioxidant. The soap is truly a fountain of youth product formulated with natural and organic ingredients it posses a high percentage of functional ingredients. There is no “angel dusting” in this meticulous formula that spared no expense for function.
UV rays, IR radiation, pollution, and lifestyle factors generate damaging free radicals that can prematurely age skin. Antioxidants neutralize these unstable molecules, acting as a second line of defense against photodamage and accelerated aging. This soap will improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation by neutralizing free radicals and stimulating collagen production.
The unique soap’s ingredients include: Epicatechin antioxidants from Cacao Prieto, Widow Jane mineral water, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, almond oil, activated carbon, iron oxide, brown sugar, honey, green tea, urea, jojoba oil, macadamia oil, avacado oil, rose hip oil, grape seed oil, sheat germ oil, evening primrose oil, camellia tea seed oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, perrila oil, apricot oil, hazelnut oil, vitamin E, bentonite clay, honeysuckle oil, chamomile oil, blood orange oil, neroli oil, sweet orange oil, myrrh oil, cardamon oil, bergamot oil.
The soap will be branded and marketed by ASP later this year as part of their “black” line of natural products. The below samples were packaged by Cacao Prieto for our beta test panel of doctors and consumers.
Our scientists and “apothecary” laboratory is available for collaborations or developmental work. Please contact us to discuss your product development needs.
Cask | Blog: Craft Spirits and Craft Chocolate Under One Roof:
Walk past the glass front of the red brick building on Conover Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the first thing you notice is the cute little chocolate shop. If you look a bit closer, you can see the vats of molten chocolate, and you know that Cacao Prieto is not just a chocolate store but is in fact a chocolate maker. Once you step inside, you can smell that there’s something else going on here. As you look around, you notice that some of the machines you assumed were part of the chocolate making process look quite a bit more like copper stills. And who barrels chocolate, anyway?
Cacao Prieto is simultaneously one of the most unusual artisanal chocolate makers and unusual distilleries. Of course, this is a great thing. In addition to the fine dark chocolate bars and candies (most of it 72% cocoa), Cacao Prieto uses its chocolate in both a chocolate rum (Don Rafael Cacao Rum) and a chocolate liqueur (Don Estaban Cacao Liqueur). Both are excellent. A coffee liqueur made specially for Brooklyn Roasters is coming soon, and we can’t wait to try it.
Then, of course, there is the Widow Jane Bourbon. We can’t say enough good things about, so we had to offer it to our members on Caskers, starting Friday. This limited edition (only 1,500 bottles) bourbon begins life in Kentucky. After the folks at Cacao Prieto select the best barrels they can find, they bring them over to Brooklyn, where the whiskey meets with water from the Widow Jane Mine in upstate New York, the very same mine whose limestone is found in the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge and the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. This mineral-rich water infuses the whiskey with incredibly interesting, uncommon and uncommonly delicious flavors. Widow Jane is an experience to be savored.
There are some interesting things happening in Red Hook these days, and a whole lot of them are happening at Cacao Prieto.
Blue Moon® and Chocolate, a Perfect Pairing:
Our head brewmaster, Keith, will tell you that selecting the right ingredients for a beer goes a long way in making it a great beer. The same goes for Daniel Preston and the crew at Cacao Prieto when they’re crafting their chocolate. It’s definitely some of the best chocolate we’ve had.
watch the video at: http://bluemoonbrewingcompany.com/video/Chocolate-60.mp4
THE SHOPKEEPER’S GUIDE TO BROOKLYN: STUART & WRIGHT : ”Red Hook in general—there’s the new chocolate store, Cacao Prieto (218 Conover Street, Red Hook, 347-225-0130), and their factory is in the front. It’s unbelievable; you feel like you’ve been transported back 100 years. You can spend an afternoon sampling chocolate there!”
Posted by Rebecca Willa Davis on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Since opening in 2006, Fort Greene’s Stuart & Wright (85 Lafayette Avenue, 718-797-0011) has become a magnet for stylish residents of the borough (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams are frequent shoppers), thanks in no small part to the store’s excellent men’s and women’s designer roster. But owners Alec Stuart and Celeste Wright aren’t happy to just rest on their laurels; as Stuart explains, “There’s something building—we don’t know what it is, exactly, but it’s good to feel like we’re moving forward.” That something he’s referencing includes an expansion to start carrying home goods and books, a renovation in August, and an under-wraps plan to collaborate with some of the biggest Brooklyn creative-types over the course of the next few months (we can’t divulge the names just yet, but trust us when we say that the line-up is major). “You always hear people talking about lifestyle stores, and we’re really, authentically becoming a lifestyle store in a way that hasn’t been intentional,” notes Stuart. While we wait for the shop’s grand re-opening—Stuart & Wright will be closed for two weeks in August to make changes—we had Stuart, a longtime Fort Greene resident, share a few of his Brooklyn favorites in the first of a regular Brooklyn Magazine column.
Best Pizza: Not Ray’s (690 Fulton Street, Fort Greene, 718-855-8206). I usually get the straight-up plain slice.
Best Place to Spend a Rainy Afternoon: The Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, 718-638-5000). It always gets a rap for being the underdog [museum] in New York, but it’s amazing. They do great shows. And a rainy day in Brooklyn is a bummer, there isn’t that much to do.
Best Place to Break-Up: I’m such a foodie and my life revolves around food, so I’m going to go with Roman’s (243 Dekalb Avenue, Fort Greene, 718-622-5300)—because you’ll never leave unsatisfied no matter what the context of your meal is….Is that cheesy?
Favorite Store (That Isn’t Stuart & Wright): Erie Basin (388 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, 718-554-6147) is always an amazing trip. Red Hook in general—there’s the new chocolate store, Cacao Prieto (218 Conover Street, Red Hook, 347-225-0130), and their factory is in the front. It’s unbelievable; you feel like you’ve been transported back 100 years. You can spend an afternoon sampling chocolate there!
Best Place to Buy a Last-Minute Gift: Saipua (147 Van Dyke Street, Red Hook, 718-624-2929) —their home products are great, or you can get a beautiful arrangement.
Best Place to Get a New Wardrobe: If it’s not at Stuart & Wright, all I want is vintage, and I love [10 Ft. Single by] Stella Dallas (285 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, 718-486-9482). The back room is filled with every vintage treasure I didn’t even know I’m looking for.
Best Place to Outfit Your Apartment: Brooklyn Flea (176 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene). I found a guy there that has amazing vintage Japanese indigo textiles—I have no idea what I’m going to use them for, but he brings me back every week. There’s [also] the garages on Grand Avenue and Greene Avenue; it’s four garage doors that this guy opens and it’s all amazing architectural salvage ripped out of brownstones. It’s amazing stuff, but it’s hit-or-miss if he’s going to have his doors open. I haven’t [bought anything yet] just because I don’t need a marble mantel in my life right now, but some day I hope!
An article by Michiyo Nakana about her visit to Cacao Prieto in March.
Tasting of the custom coffee liqueurs produced for Brooklyn Roasting Company
If you are after main-stream, cookie-cutter, white bread, built for the masses destinations then PRECINKT is not for you. Our mission is to avoid those places and instead challenge you to uncover local gems and make them your own.
Free guided tour open to the public, with a $5 tasting and tour at Cacao Prieto and a $10 tasting at Red Hook Winery ($15 total). Purchase tickets at brownpapertickets
61 Local is proud to announce the kick off of their summer bike riding series. Join us the first Saturday of every month as we traverse through Red Hook for an inside look into the process and production of some of Brooklyn’s finest crafts people, including Red Hook Winery, Sixpoint Brewery, Saxelby Cheese and many more. Each tour will include two stops, with ample time to sample the goods at each location and buy some tasty treats to take take home. Bring your own bike, or rent one from nearby establishments, like Bike Smith or Ride Brooklyn.
Our inaugural ride of the season will take place on June 2. Meet up at 61 Local at 11am with extra cash to grab a quick cup ‘o joe and some breakfast before we head over to our first stop, Cacao Prieto. With $5 you get a tour and tasting of their chocolate wonders, then we’ll pedal over to Red Hook Winery for their barrel tasting and tour of local wines ($10). We’ll even be sprinkling in some pauses by the water front so you can take in the waterfront views and history that make this area of Brooklyn so special. We’ll round out our day of two wheel transit back at 61 Local for lunch, beers, and good conversation sparked by a day of exploration.
What to bring: A bike, helmet (NO EXCEPTIONS), backpack to transport home any goodies you purchase along the way, water, sunglasses, and some cold hard cash for breakfast, products from our visits, lunch at 61 Local, and tips for your hard working cycling guides.
Saturday Jun 02, 2012 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
61 Bergen Street
Kris De la Torre 347-763-6624