Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dakota's (Amazing) POP Parlor!

Photo property of Chef Madeleine Dee
"Tart N Peppa", a blend of raspberry, lemon, dark chocolate, almonds, & black pepper. My favorite flavor!

I am a huge Top Chef fan. I actually own most of the seasons, and I put the show on whenever I'm working at home. Something about the sounds of passionate chefs facing ridiculous challenges in the background of my tiny place helps me stay focused on my work.

Recently, I've made Chef Dakota Weiss from Season 9 (Texas) something of a pen pal. From Hollywood to Louisville, KY, we've been in contact a few times. When I first saw her name in my inbox, I squeaked. Out loud. Don't judge me.

Anyway, she's really cool and extremely talented. Recently, she opened a gourmet popcorn business called "Dakota's Pop Parlor". When I get to a certain number of fans on my Facebook fan page, I'm going to give away some of her popcorn to a lucky liker. In the meantime, Dakota sent me some samples to, well... sample. :)

Photo property of Chef Madeleine Dee

LOTS of samples. Opening the box was like Christmas morning, complete with polka-dotted tissue paper. (!)

Photo property of Chef Madeleine Dee

That beautiful lady sent me a sample of each flavor, 13 in all. The combinations inside each bag were whimsical, fun, and intriguing. This popcorn is art.

I had a mini party this weekend with some close foodie friends so that we could sample Dakota's work. We were all truly impressed.

Someone with a sweet tooth will be more inclined to love every flavor because they are ALL sweet, even the savory ones like "Curried Pig" and "Sunday Supper". Everyone had different tastes, of course, but each of us LOVED "Candy Crushin", which simply sang with notes of orange and ginger. It was the group favorite.

Below are the flavors. My ABSOLUTE favorites are "Buzzed Nanuts" and "Tart N Peppa". The former is an incredible combination of espresso, chocolate, banana, and hazelnuts. It is the perfect sweet treat. The latter was a total surprise - initially, I just wasn't sure about the combination of lemon and raspberry with black pepper, but this popcorn is a dynamite powerhouse of flavor. The fruit flavors are perfectly sweet and impeccably balanced with the subtle bitterness of the dark chocolate and the savory bite from the pepper. "Tart N Peppa" is flat out addicting and AMAZING.

But those are MY favorites! Scroll down to discover what your own faves might be. :)

The Flavors
(* = my favorites)

Curried Pig
Madras Curry Toffee, Smoked Pistachio, & Bacon

Perk N Pop!*
Espresso Toffee, Toasted Coconut, & Macadamia Nuts

Malt in Your Mouth
Chocolate Malt Toffee, Maraschino Cherries, & Candied Jalapeno

Sweet Heat Wave
Honey-Lime Toffee, Cashews, & Ghost Chili

Peanut Gallery*
Peanut Butter Toffee, Marshmallows, & Roasted White Chocolate

Buzzed Nanuts*
Hazelnut-Chocolate Toffee, Banana Chips, & Chocolate Espresso Beans

Holy Mole
Chipotle-Chocolate Toffee, Toasted Sesame Seeds, & Cinnamon

Tart N Peppa*
Lemon-Raspberry Toffee, Black Pepper, & Marcona Almonds

Pumpkin Hatch
Pumpkin Pie Toffee, Hatch Chili Pumpkin Seeds, & Pinon Brittle

Sunday Supper
Roasted Chicken Toffee, Fried Sage, & Waffle Cone Pieces

Napa Nirvana
Cabernet Toffee, Golden Raisins, & Rosemary Crackers

Candy Crushin*
Orange-Ginger Toffee, Pink Peppercorn, & Pecans

Truffle Shuffle
Truffle-Honey Toffee, Black Pepper, & Parmesan

To order some of this amazing popcorn, please visit:

A few snapshots of my 2 favorite flavors:

Photo property of Chef Madeleine Dee
"Buzzed Nanuts"
Photo property of Chef Madeleine Dee
"Buzzed Nanuts"
Photo property of Chef Madeleine Dee
"Buzzed Nanuts"

And some more artsy, self-indulgent photos:

Photo property of Chef Madeleine Dee
"Tart N Peppa"
Photo property of Chef Madeleine Dee
"Tart N Peppa"
Photo property of Chef Madeleine Dee
"Tart N Peppa"
Go order some of Dakota's popcorn NOW! 
It would be a truly unique and memorable gift. :)

About Me

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Executive Chef and Owner of No Place Like Home in Louisville, KY. Writer, actress, chef, professional cook and professional eater.