La Casa Tropical

3rdarm mexico city frontera grill staff trip chicago xoco arthur mullen la casa tropical

We woke up to a class by chocolate genius Héctor Galvan at La Casa Tropical: in many ways I felt I was still dreaming. Héctor Galvan’s background in design translates into a trippy, beautiful space, and the creativity to paint pictures of concepts that astounded me, despite my own relatively deep knowledge of cacao.

3rdarm mexico city frontera grill staff trip chicago xoco arthur mullen la casa tropical

As the manager of a restaurant that houses one of the only bean-to-cup chocolate programs in the US, it is part of my job to lead countless chocolate tours, from groups of students to journalists from Zagat, throughout the year. This chocolate talk blew mine out of the water!

3rdarm mexico city frontera grill staff trip chicago xoco arthur mullen la casa tropical

Héctor’s description will stay with me forever: how it all begins with a flower, how cacao at sea level reaches to sun to pull down the bright, acidic flavors, while cacao in the mountains reaches down to the depths for earthy and complex notes. The team at Casa Tropical kept us comfortable with some of the most delicious food I’ve had.

3rdarm mexico city frontera grill staff trip chicago xoco arthur mullen la casa tropical

The cacao and sea salt butter, the palette cleansing lemon verbana tea, the sparkling vanilla water, ridiculous bread. I’ll say it again: that Héctor Galvan is a genius.

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