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Newspaper Coverage of The Oakland Chocolate Company
featuring Chocolate Maker and Chocolatier, Nancy Nadel

 

 

July 2016 We are proud to announce the awards we received for our assorted flavored caramels entered in Taste TV's 2016 International Chocolate Salon Caramel Competition:

Silver:Best Exterior Design for our Walnut Cashew Turtles 

Bronze: Best Taste and Best Overall Chocolate Artistry for our Caramels Macchiato made with Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

 

 

 

5/31/14  Our new tasting room at the Beach Street location is finished and ready for Small Group Tours and Tasting. Please call 510 545-2462 to make a reservation.  We suggest a month in advance of the desired date. The tasting room seats 12 comfortably. The Tasting and Tour Program includes tasting our Jamaican chocolates of different cacao concentrations and compare to another origin sample. Guests also receive 2 1-oz. bars of their choice and 2 truffles or bonbons. The tour of the facility includes a demonstration of fermented bean testing, a talk about how chocolate grows and how the export system works in Jamaica. The pictures below show the tasting room:

 

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9/4/13 We haven't released our new location to the press yet but we wanted you to know first, how excited we are to have our own kitchen, located at 1552 Beach Street Unit L, Oakland, CA 94608. Here is a picture of the kitchen area:

      

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 9/1/13

 

We are proud to announce the awards we received for our assorted flavored caramels entered in Taste TV's 2013 International Chocolate Salon Caramel category:

Silver:Best Ingredient Combinations 

Bronze: Most Unique

Honorable Mention: Best Taste and Best Overall Artistry

Selected Judges' Comments for our submission: " Curry!"

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ON LOCATION with Nancy Nadel |  By Tim Kingston and Pat Mazzera

Many of us know Nancy Nadel as the city councilmember for Oakland’s District Three, but she has another identity, driven by taste buds and a deeply rooted sense of justice. Nadel makes chocolate: artisan confections from beans originating in Jamaica, with flavor from her garden’s lavender, orange trees, and other flora. She launched the sweet sideline—known as Oakland Chocolate Company—almost two decades ago when she fell in love with Jamaica, and vowed to help the country’s beleaguered cacao farmers strengthen their sales.

Oh, Jamaica
I just love it there. My husband [Chappell Hayes] and daughter and I had our last vacation there before he passed away. It is one of the few places that I can relax. I love the smell of the air and the breeze, and the warmth of the people. And the food is very healthful.

Best place to score chocolate supplies
I make chocolate from the beans I get from Jamaica. Supplies I get from Jetro Cash and Carry. White chocolate, vanilla beans, and cocoa butter I get from Pacific Gourmet.

Favorite place to reflect on Chappell Hayes
Middle Harbor Park. There is an observation tower dedicated to him, and the broad views of the Bay are extraordinary. Chappell was an organizer and computer genius, a woodcraftsman/teacher who taught young people to make things out of wood at an after-school program. He worked to eliminate toxic waste in West Oakland such as lead in the soil. He worked on making sure that, after the 880 freeway collapsed during the Loma Prieta earthquake, it did not go up in the same place, so the two halves of West Oakland were reunited.

Favorite restaurant
Hibiscus in Oakland, which has Caribbean food and a wonderful chef from Barbados who makes ackee, rice, and salt fish, which is hard to find on most menus. I also like Yardie Jerk for jerked chicken and salmon.

Entertaining out-of-towners
I like to take them to Joaquin Miller Park. Lake Merritt is a bird sanctuary; it is just the right length to walk around. It is just such a blessing to have a lake in the middle of the city.

Favorite bookstore
I just found it. University Press Books in Berkeley. [It] has science books, books on physiology, psychiatry, and mental health that are all issues important to me as policymaker.

Hidden East Bay gem
The Cleveland Cascade staircase that has an incredible view of the lake. I love to walk along Hillegass Street in Berkeley and Oakland; every house has a gorgeous garden. Then there is Underground Treasures on 17th Street, one-of-a-kind clothes that are just beautiful.

Favorite furniture store
My house is falling apart; I can’t say that I am focused in that direction. I am focusing on keeping the four walls and roof up.

Favorite local purchase
Organic oats from Mandela Foods Cooperative. I start every day with organic oats and blueberries.

A great gift
A massage, and a hydraulic press to make cocoa butter.

Ideal day in Oakland ? Not working. Relaxing and spending the day without having a schedule.

Little-known fact
I ride a tricycle, because I never learned how to ride a bicycle. I used to think my daughter would think I was dorky, but now so many kids like it because I can put a boom box in the back.

Resources

Cleveland Cascade (runs north of Brooklyn Avenue, from Lakeshore Avenue to Merritt Avenue, overlooking Lake Merritt in Oakland), Friends of the Cleveland Cascade, Oakland, (510) 903-9216; clevelandcascade.org.

Hibiscus, 1745 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, (510) 444-2626; hibiscusoakland.com.

Jetro Cash & Carry, 105 Embarcadero, Oakland, (510) 628-0600; jetro.com.

Joaquin Miller Park, Joaquin Miller Community Center, 3594 Sanborn Drive, Oakland, (510) 867-0669; oaklandnet.com/joaquinmillerpark.

Lake Merritt; oaklandnet.com/parks/parks/lakemerritt.asp.

Mandela Foods Cooperative, 1430 Seventh St., Oakland, (510) 452-1133; mandelafoods.com.

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, Middle Harbor Road, Oakland, (510) 272-4810; ebparks.org/parks/middle_harbor.

Pacific Gourmet, 1060 Marin St., San Francisco, (415) 641-8309; pacgourmet.com.

Underground Treasures, 385 17th St., Oakland, (510) 251-1996.

University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, (510) 548-0585; universitypressbooks.com.

Yardie Jerk, 3301 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, (510) 547-4900; yardiejerk.com.

 

 


(top to bottom): Sweets infused with the taste of Jamaica. Munchies at Mandela Foods Cooperative. On top of the world at Oakland’s Middle Harbor Park. Photos by Pat Mazzera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Oakland Councilwoman Talks Chocolate at Temple Israel

Nancy Nadel is one of the presenters at the fourth annual Jewish Chef Series that will be presented on four consecutive Sundays: Jan. 23 and 30, and Feb. 6 and 13, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, at Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Road in Alameda.

Four years ago, at age 60, Oakland Councilwoman Nadel discovered a passion for making chocolate. She was visiting a cocoa bean farm in Jamaica and became intrigued by the distinct nature of Jamaica's hybrid cocoa bean.

This led to learning about how beans were picked, the chocolate fermentation process and eventually she started taking classes in chocolate technology.

She practiced at home with small amounts of ingredients and soon created delicious, unusual chocolates with flavors unreplicated elsewhere.

Nadel rented a kitchen in Oakland and thus began The Oakland Chocolate Company, where she takes the cocoa bean from bar to bonbon.

Nadel's primary job is as Oakland councilwoman, but making chocolate is her true love. Trained as an engineer and artist, she finds using her hands to create something special makes her feels good.

"Making chocolate is my retirement project," Nadel said. "I figure I have 20 more productive years left and I can't think of a better way to spend my time!"

Nadel's presentation will be Jan. 23. That day, she will be joined by Avital Ungar, a tour guide for the Gourmet Walks Company.

Other Jewish Chef events include: Jonathan Wornick, co-owner of "Amba," the East Bay's newest Mediterranean vegetarian restaurant on Jan. 30; food cart vendors Amelia Prapher-Nahman who operates the "Egg Cream Cart" from her food tricycle and Evan Bloom with a cart called "Traiff" at the Feb. 6 event; and Michael Rose, co-owner of Semi Freddi's, on Feb. 13.

Unlike a cooking class, The Jewish Chef Series is an interview/tasting event. Attendees learn the back story behind how the chef/restaurateur got into the business, the hurdles they needed to climb, how their Jewishness influenced their culinary creations, and even kitchen mistakes; then everyone tastes samples.

"Learning how a chef progresses from an idea into a menu item makes eating their food a richer experience," said Mindy Myers, organizer of the Jewish Chef Series, and principal of the Temple Israel Religious School.

"Once you learn what it takes to make an unusual dish or acquire just the perfect flavor, tasting is taken to another level."

The Jewish Chef Series is a fundraiser for the Temple Israel Religious School. Money raised will help with tuition assistance and supplies. Part of the funds raised is also earmarked to support eco-organizations in Alameda.

Advanced tickets can be bought by calling 522-9355. The cost is $80 for the four-part series; $25 for each event at the door. For directions visit www.templeisrael alameda.org. To learn more, call Mindy Myers at 593-5285 or e-mail mindy@noteniks.com.

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