Friday’s Featured Artisan – Moonstruck Chocolate Co.

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Moonstruck Chocolate Co.

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Artisan! Each week, we focus on one of the many talented individuals and companies whose perfect products are proudly featured in GiftTree gifts. It may be a master chocolatier, a gourmet cheesemonger or a talented artist – GiftTree is here to connect their meaningful stories to the discovery of your next great gifting moment. If you’re either A) a Pacific Northwesterner, or B) a chocolate fanatic, you’re probably already aware of this Friday’s Featured Artisan – Oregon’s own Moonstruck Chocolate Co. Established in Portland, Oregon in 1993, the founders of Moonstruck Chocolate Co. set out on a mission to handcraft superior chocolates that are not only made from the finest ingredients in the world, but also look sensational and have remarkable textures as well, creating a chocolate experience for all the senses. Specializing in truffles, tablets, bars and drinking chocolate in seemingly infinite flavor combinations, Moonstruck pairs their decadent chocolate with fresh flavors found in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, hand-decorating each piece with the utmost attention to detail. Regarded as one of the most skilled chocolatiers in North America, Moonstruck’s Master Chocolatier Julian Rose is a classically trained pastry chef and confectioner who has made a name for himself as an authority on chocolate. He first began mastering his trade in his parent’s well-regarded pastry shop in Montreal called Patisserie Rose, and went on to train in the culinary arts in France. Julian then went to work for the world-famous European chocolate company Callebaut, serving as Director of Callebaut’s Chocolate Academy in Canada, where he taught and demonstrated the mastery of fine chocolate to the best pastry chefs and confectioners throughout the Western Hemisphere. At Moonstruck, Chef...
Friday’s Featured Artisan – Wildly Delicious

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Wildly Delicious

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Artisan! Each week, we focus on one of the many talented individuals and companies whose perfect products are proudly featured in GiftTree gifts. It may be a master chocolatier, a gourmet cheesemonger, a winemaker or a talented artist – GiftTree is here to connect their meaningful stories to the discovery of your next great gifting moment. This Friday’s Featured Artisan, Wildly Delicious, has been masterfully experimenting with fine food for over 20 years. In the early 90s, Austin and Michelle Muscat created their first infused oils and vinegars inside their kitchen in Toronto, Ontario. At that time they hadn’t the slightest inkling that they were starting their very own brand, but it’s that same culinary innovation and drive for success that became Wildly Delicious Fine Foods, a leader in the gourmet specialty food market. With dozens of varieties of sauces, dips, oils, tapenades, jams, vinegars, salts and spice mixtures in countless delicious flavor combinations, Wildly Delicious has become a globally recognized brand in the culinary world. They describe their philosophy as “one very simple idea: the idea that sharing a meal with friends, a colleague or your family builds memories. Food is the connective fabric that binds us all. Think back to special events in your life. Whether it was a celebration, a holiday meal or even a lunch you shared with a long lost friend. More often than not, you remember something about the meal you had. It could be something as simple as your aunt’s mashed potatoes, your mom’s brisket, your dad’s steaks or that banquet hall’s rubbery chicken. Smell, taste, color, texture – these are all...
Friday’s Featured Artisan – Argyle Winery

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Argyle Winery

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Artisan! Each week, we focus on one of the many talented individuals and companies whose perfect products are proudly featured in GiftTree gifts. It may be a master chocolatier, a gourmet cheesemonger or a talented artist – GiftTree is here to connect their meaningful stories to the discovery of your next great gifting moment. In 1987, winemakers Brian Croser and Rollin Soles staked a claim in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, inhabiting an old hazelnut orchard that was ideal for planting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapevines. Named Oregon’s Premier Winery in 2000 by Wine Spectator, Friday’s Featured Artisan Argyle Winery has produced world-class sparkling wine, barrel-fermented Chardonnay and critically acclaimed Pinot Noir from these same late-season, low-yielding vines on its cool Dundee Hills slopes. The winery is made up of three different vineyards: Knudsen, Lone Star, and Spirit Hill, each over 100 acres. The 120-acre Knudsen vineyard is located in the Dundee Hills and its high-elevation blocks are a key component to Argyle’s sparkling wines and Pinot Noir. These historic vines produce distinctive wines with ripe fruit flavors and earthy, spicy old vine character. The other, “younger” half of the vineyard features state-of-the-art viticulture: Old World clones planted in high density blocks on warm sites. The 160-acre Lone Star vineyard is home to the majority of Argyle’s Pinot Noir vines and is regarded as one of Oregon’s best Pinot Noir vineyards. Lone Star Pinot is characterized by big, intense black fruit flavors supported by a firm tannic structure, suggesting wines that will age very well. Their newest and largest vineyard, Spirit Hill, was purchased in 2007 and has 135 acres planted. This high-elevation site in the gusty...
Friday’s Featured Artisan – Olli Salumeria

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Olli Salumeria

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Artisan! Each week, we focus on one of the many talented individuals and companies whose perfect products are proudly featured in GiftTree gifts. It may be a master chocolatier, a gourmet cheesemonger or a talented artist – GiftTree is here to connect their meaningful stories to the contents of your next great gift. Have you ever had a slice of prosciutto so perfect, so heavenly that it seemed to practically melt in your mouth? Friday’s Featured Artisan, Olli Salumeria, specializes in artisanal slow-cured meats based on original 160-year-old family recipes that were handed down over 4 generations to their founder, Oliviero “Olli” Colmignoli. Olli was working for the US subsidiary of a salumi manufacturer that had been founded in Italy by his grandfather. Even though the prosciutto made in the States was great, Olli always preferred to serve the imported Italian ham to his friends. The American version was of course made using the same equipment, using the same Italian recipes, but the big difference between the Italian factory and the factory in the states was the hams – the Italian ham was just better meat. In 2010, Olli’s friend Chip Vosmik made a proposal – he had recently read an article about a man who was having great success selling his pasture-raised pork to high-end restaurants in New York City, so Chip said, “If I get you some really good pasture-raised pork, could you make prosciutto as good as the stuff you guys make in Italy?” Olli replied, “Absolutely. In fact, I have often thought it would be pretty cool to do just that. Trust me, the difference will astound you!” The following...
Friday’s Featured Artisan – Cary’s of Oregon

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Cary’s of Oregon

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Artisan! Each week, we focus on one of the many talented individuals and companies whose perfect products are proudly featured in GiftTree gifts. It may be a master chocolatier, a gourmet cheesemonger or a talented artist – GiftTree is here to connect their meaningful stories to the contents of your next great gift. Friday’s Featured Artisan, Cary’s of Oregon, actually started out as a simple idea for a fun family activity! Cary’s Father-in-Law Raymond gave Cary, his wife Jan and their three daughters a simple recipe for English toffee and a big slab of marble, as he had learned that candy makers use marble to cool down candy after it’s cooked. So Cary and his family began making toffee together, and it quickly became a family tradition during the holidays – cooking it in the pots, spreading it out on the marble to cool, experimenting with different flavor combinations. They soon had so much toffee that they shared it with their friends, and the more they shared, the more everyone loved it and the requests for more toffee poured in! Soon, all the requests had Cary making big batches of toffee nearly every weekend, so it was just a matter of time before the family decided to start a business to distribute their delicious gourmet English toffee nationwide. In April of 2001, Cary’s of Oregon was open for business.  Cary’s mechanical engineering background came in handy, and with the help of some engineer friends, he developed a manufacturing line with some custom designs to improve efficiencies in producing larger batches of English toffee while maintaining the artisan quality of the family recipe....
Friday’s Featured Artisan – La Maison Maille

Friday’s Featured Artisan – La Maison Maille

Friday’s Featured Artisan, La Maison Maille, is a French producer of fine condiments, and heir to an enduring legacy left by the Parisian Antoine-Claude Maille. He was the proud chef behind 84 sublime mustards and 120 vinegars. In the mid-1700s, Antoine-Claude discovered the beneficial health-properties of vinegar. He is accredited with saving many of the residents of Marseilles during the plague with his “Vinegar of the Four Thieves”, a vinegar which he suggested should be swallowed by the teaspoonful and rubbed on to the palms of the hands. His son, also named Antoine-Claude, was named Master vinegar-maker in 1742, and five years later, he marketed his own line of fragrant mustards and opened a small shop on the rue Saint-André des Arts in Paris. His new celebrity named him the official supplier to King Louis XV, and La Maison Maille was established. Today, nearly 270 years later, the chefs at La Maison Maille continually create textures and flavors that are the direct result of centuries of expertise, passed down through generations. The tradition is kept alive by the team of experts who create the products today, carefully selecting their ingredients and preserving the excellence that defines La Maison Maille in a continual quest for innovation and perfection. Know-how, craftsmanship and the human touch contribute to the character and quality of products La Maison Maille – a line that includes vinegars, oils, delectable mustards and pickles. Here at GiftTree, we’re delighted to carry two of La Maison Maille’s delicious products in our Cheese and Charcuterie Gifts – their cornichons, petite pickled gherkins (a variety of cucumber) with a tart and mildly bittersweet flavor, traditionally served as a condiment with...