Interview with Bill Foley and Elizabeth Foley
The Chocolate Fetish recently received the 2013 Best Chocolatiers and Confectioners in America Four Star Award rating from The International Chocolate Salon. This prestigious award, presented by The International Chocolate Salon, Taste TV, and Chocolate Television is based on Gold and Silver awards received in the various 2012 Chocolate Salon Award competitions.
The Chocolate Fetish secured their position in 2013 by winning a 2012 Top Chocolate Bar Gold Award for their Ultimate Crunch Bar.
Rapid River Magazine: The Chocolate Fetish has just been named one of the best Chocolatiers in the country. Tell us a little about this award and what it means to you.
Bill & Elizabeth Foley: We are honored to have received this four star award and to be named as one of the country’s best chocolatiers. We know we make a great product but it is always validating to receive recognition from such a prestigious organization.
We are particularly proud to have won this award because our chocolates were judged alongside well known chocolates from all over the nation by reputable judges in the confection industry. “The Best Chocolatiers in America” distinction encompasses The Chocolate Fetish as a whole, from our fine chocolate confections to our superior customer service. On behalf of all of our hardworking staff in Asheville we are delighted to receive this award.”
RRM: Tell me about your award winning Ultimate Crunch Bar.
BF & EF: One of the competition judges said, “A great artisan chocolate bar should offer the same experience as a great glass of wine: rich, complex, with a lingering finish that makes you simply want to sit and savor.”
That is what we try to achieve with all our chocolate offerings, something you can sit and savor. We began making our Ultimate Crunch Bar a few years ago based on recipes for Turón, a traditional dessert from Spain. We used these traditional recipes as an inspiration and developed our Ultimate Crunch Bar from there.
It starts with a crispy hazelnut milk chocolate that is studded with almonds, pistachios, pecans, apricots, and berries and then we enrobe it in one of our signature dark chocolate blends. As one of the judges from the competition said, “The Ultimate Crunch Bar is a fetish we can all get behind.” We wholeheartedly agree.
RRM: How has living and working in Asheville changed or influenced the way you create or develop new confection recipes?
BF: We continue to draw a lot of inspiration from our world travels and from the years my wife and I spent living in England and Belgium and our extensive travel in various parts of the world. We try to focus on making very European style confections. Asheville’s dedication to buying local influences us to find quality ingredients close to home. We use locally produced cream we source directly from a 7th generation family farm in North Carolina. We use local ingredients whenever possible.
RRM: Tell us a little about what you have to offer this Valentine’s Day that might just surprise people who think you’re only just about chocolate.
BF & EF: Again this year we probably have the widest variety of fine chocolate offerings for Valentines Day then anyone in WNC. We offer everything from unique hand crafted 3 dimensional items to superior traditional chocolate confections. We really are all about chocolate. We decided years ago to focus our energy on chocolate so that we could do one thing really well and stick to that. We’d rather be a master of one thing than a jack-of-all-trades. Our strong customer base reinforces our strategy.
RRM: What chocolate treat do you recommend for Valentine’s Day for people who really love chocolate and want something unique?
EF: We offer a variety of chocolates that are hand decorated with our special blend of colored cocoa butter and are delicious, unique and some say too beautiful to eat, but go ahead we can make more! Our chocolatiers hand-paint each one using colored cocoa butter and hand tempered colored chocolate. For this Valentine’s Day we are offering a variety of hand-painted hearts, chocolate high heel shoes, chocolate cowboy boots and delicately hand sculpted chocolate roses.
RRM: Do you have any other special offerings for Valentine’s Day?
EF: Yes! I’m really excited about our new Raspberry Cheesecake Ecstasy Elite Truffle. We’re also offering local delivery this year on Valentine’s Day and of course, freshly dipped chocolate covered strawberries starting Valentine’s weekend. (Order early our strawberries always sell out!)
The Chocolate Fetish, 36 Haywood St.
(828) 258-2353, www.chocolatefetish.com