Friday, April 20, 2012

Kate Gerteis Shaffer

A veteran of countless California restaurant kitchens, Kate Gerteis Shaffer moved to Maine in 2000 and landed her dream job—cook at an almost impossibly romantic lighthouse inn on remote Isle au Haut. When, five years later, the owners decided to retire, Kate was determined to find a way to use her rather limited battalion of skills to stay on the island—and with the community—she had accidentally grown to love.

Severely impaired by the inability to think inside the box, Kate and her husband, Steve (both of whom knew squat about chocolate) dreamed up a business making gourmet truffles out of their home kitchen, with a café in the middle of nowhere from which to sell them. With the inception of now iconic Black Dinah Chocolatiers, Kate and Steve set out to make a living—and, almost in spite of themselves, ended up making a life. In November, Kate was named one of North America’s Top Ten Chocolatiers by Dessert Professional Magazine.

Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier (Down East, $29.95) tells the story of Kate unlikely career and shares her tips and recipes for chocolate confections and other popular items served at the couple's seasonal cafe. Lavishly illustrated with 50 color photographs, the book includes detailed instructions not only for making chocolates, but for incorporating chocolate into a variety of sweet and savory dishes. From building a successful business on a remote island to creating fabulous gourmet chocolates, Desserted removes the mystery but keeps all of the magic.

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