Samantha Emily Evans
On Friday the 13th, February 2015, the Fine Food and Dining Society is hosting their first dining event of the semester, Valentine’s Day Chocolate Dinner, at the Pittenweem Cocoa Tree Cafe. The Pittenweem Cocoa Tree Cafe is an independent, artisan, and family-run chocolatier owned by Sophie Latinis. Sophie Latinis was born in Belgium and raised in Africa, and she started out running a chocolate shop in Belgium before falling in love with the picturesque village of Pittenweem and opening her own chocolate shop there. The Cocoa Tree Cafe’s chocolate is sourced not only from Scotland and Belgium, but also from around the world – including single origin chocolates from hand-selected plantations. The Cafe also sells handmade chocolates created by Sophie herself.
While her story sounds a lot like the Chocolat, Sophie’s business wasn’t inspired by the book – but the Grand Festival of Chocolate that the Cocoa Tree hosts every year is! Joanne Harris, the author of Chocolat, has personally encouraged the festival, and she is quoted as saying, “a festival of chocolate sounds like a terrific idea and I would take it as a compliment if my book inspired it.”
In addition to being an adorable chocolate boutique, the Pittenweem Cocoa Tree Cafe also has a idyllic cafe and garden. The Cafe has been open seven years, but the Valentines Day Chocolate Dinner is their first collaboration with the Fine Food and Dining Society so far.
Sophie has uniquely created a beautiful menu for this special event:
Goats Cheese on Rocket with Chocolate Balsamic Vinaigrette Cocoa Nib Sprinkles
Chocolate Sorbet amuse bouche
Chicken Mole Poblano
A mole is a thick, dark sauce that combines native Mexican ingredients such as chilies, chocolate, tortillas, cilantro, tomatillos and tomatoes
Salt & Caramel Chocolate Dessert with pouring cream
Cacao Tea Infusion
The price of the dinner is £20 for members of the Fine Food and Dining Society, and £25 for non-members, with transportation to and from the dinner included in the price. Alcoholic drinks will not be available at the Cocoa Tree Cafe, but you are more than welcome to bring your own beverages for no corkage fee. The St. Andrews Wine Company and Luvians have created pairings especially for the evening.
The bus will leave from outside the Union at 6:30pm, driving along the coast to the charming village of Pittenweem. There will be time for a lovely stroll along the sea before sitting down to the delicious dinner, and arrival back to St Andrews is estimated at 10 o’clock. The Valentine’s Day Chocolate Dinner will definitely be a special dining experience – be sure to get your ticket!
Tickets are available for purchase here:
Samantha Emily Evans