The Woman in the Parlor at Chocolatier Blue
The Chocolatier Blue is a charming little parlor with inviting outdoor seating on Fourth Street in Berkeley. Danyelle Forte, a sweet-looking redhead in a severe Motorhead T, works her magic within its pastel-colored walls.
Danyelle is the pastry chef at the Chocolatier Blue patisserie – the woman behind the chocolate counter, and behind the ice cream vitrine, and in front of her customers – ages 2 to 92, and in front of the tabletop stove she operates in-between making sundaes, shakes, floats, and malts to order.
Please don’t rush her when she is stirring egg yolks for her incredibly delicious custard-based ice cream, or they might turn into a scramble. Making everything from scratch in old-school fashion, and not relying on industrially produced ingredients is the credo Danyelle works by, so her cherry or apricot sorbet would only last with the season, then other flavors and their creative combinations would roll in.
The Chocolatier Blue parlor has about 24 seasonal flavors to choose from, and several staples like vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel, and butterscotch.
On the day of my visit, bright-green lemon-basil-eucalyptus ice cream impressed me the most – made with fresh lemon and basil, and drops of fragrant essential oil. For her strawberry-ginger flavor Danyelle used organic Tomatero Farms strawberries and fresh ginger from Berkeley Bowl, which she juiced in the shop. Goat’s milk with hazelnuts and Mexican mesquite honey were my other favorites, but wait, what about that pink peppercorn, or coconut sorbet? Loved those, too!
My “cereal bowl” sundae was comprised of vanilla bean and strawberry-ginger ice cream and topped with puffed whole grain cereal, lime milk jam, and crispy meringue Os, and it was as scrumptious as no other cereal could ever be.
Besides gourmet ice cream and ice cream-based treats, the shop serves Flying Goat coffees and freshly-baked (usually twice daily) cookies.
In the chocolate department, there is also an embarrassment of riches – various caramels in delicate chocolate shells, painted gold, red, and dark green; chocolate bark made with different nuts, and hot chocolate and marshmallows.
The Chocolatier Blue Parlor is located at 1809 Fourth Street, Berkeley, California. Open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Call (510) 665-9500 or visit their website.