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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Bootcamp takes chocolate to a new level

June 22. 2014 9:22PM

As the new flavor coach at Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts, master chocolatier Richard Tango-Lowy will be teaching students how to correctly taste chocolate.

And to think, all these years I have just put it in my mouth and chewed.

Tango-Lowy is owner of Dancing Lion Chocolate on Elm Street. His chocolate creations are definitely too pretty to just pop in your mouth. They are works of art, and priced as such. This is chocolate to be savored, and Tango-Lowy, a graduate of Ecole Chocolat’s Professional Chocolatier Program as well as a certified master chocolatier from schools in France and Italy, is a chocolate savoring expert.

“I’ve been actively tasting chocolate for at least 12 years,” he wrote. “‘Actively tasting’ means that I sit and mindfully, consciously explore a piece of chocolate with my eyes, ears, hands, nose and mouth. No distractions, no thoughts, notebook before me, pen in hand. After years of tasting, my sense of ‘taste’ has expanded and become much more sensitive; I’ve learned to ‘taste.’”

Eating chocolate just turned into a religious experience.

Tango-Lowy’s Chocolate Bootcamp class, taught entirely online to aspiring chocolate makers and chocolatiers all over the world, will cover chocolate tasting and how the cacao trees, cacao farmers and chocolate makers all affect a chocolate’s flavor.

“Different chocolates taste different for many reasons: genetics, environment, processing, and even your own mood. By the time you finish this course, you will really understand why chocolate is as amazing as it is!” he wrote.

An online class to learn about tasting chocolate sounded a little strange to me at first, but when you think about all the other educating done online these days, it suddenly seems normal. The cost is $84, plus supplies.

But if you do prefer the good, old-fashioned, face-to-face classroom experience, Dancing Lion Chocolate holds several intimate classes at its Manchester shop each year. This summer and fall Tango-Lowy and his team will offer “Learn to Taste Chocolate” on Tuesday, July 8, Baking Croissants on July 23, The “Zen of Brownies” on Aug. 21 and “Crafting True Chocolate Truffles” on Sept. 23.

All classes are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and cost between $45 and $85.

Finally, if like me you would rather forgo the meditating and just skip right to the eating, be sure to visit the shop during Dancing Lion Chocolate’s new summer series. Held on select Thursdays, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., the “Life as Art” series will host local artists to present demonstrations of their work and art activities.

For more information on Tango-Lowy’s online Chocolate Bootcamp, visit For more information on Dancing Lion Chocolate’s local programs, visit

Learning in the garden

Greater Manchester has a real gem in the Massabesic Audubon Center. You can kill a whole weekend afternoon exploring the trails without an agenda or participate in one of their organized programs.

The center’s 4-H Teaching Garden is the focus of a summer workshop series on select Thursdays with games, activities, and hands-on garden experience for children 5 to 12 years old and their parents.

On July 10 learn how to take care of a garden in “What Does a Plant Need”? The July 24 program will explore soil, how it’s made, and how we can make it better for the garden.

Find out who is a good guy, and who is a bad guy at “Friends and Foes in the Garden” on Aug. 7, and on Aug. 21 learn about the parts of a flower and how insects and other creatures help plants survive and supply us with food with “Destination Pollination.”

All programs are held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and cost $5. For more information, contact garden manager Tracy Morley at or 801-2863.

Serendipitous circus

Anyone driving by Stark Park last Tuesday afternoon might have thought the circus had come to town. But it was just two groups, strangers to each other, who came to the park to practice their crafts while creating a beautiful impromptu scene in the park.Heather Murphy Dragoiescu, with the Go Ninja circus arts gym, and her student Kile O’Brien of Lincoln practiced aerial silks on outdoor rigging while Nick Durant performed tricks across bouncy, nylon slacklines strung several feet off the ground between two trees.

Dragoiescu said she brings her performance rigging outside on nice days because it is too tall for her Lake Avenue studio. Durant, who said he practices slacklining all over the city, takes his hobby seriously enough to have “Living the slack life” tattooed on his torso, and will soon be headed across country to be a “climbing bum” for a while.

I hope to catch a few more free performances before he leaves.

NH365.ORG Event of Week

Thanks to the educators at Webster School, my oldest child has just completed the first grade as an independent reader. Now, I have to try my hardest over the summer not to mess up all their hard work.

Manchester’s Carpenter Memorial (city) Library is ready to help parents maintain their children’s reading levels this summer, with reading programs for all ages beginning this week.

Teens in sixth through 12th grade can win weekly prizes for reading. Participants can fill out a form, either at the library or online at, for every book they read. Each form is one entry into the weekly raffle for $25 gift cards to Double Midnight Comics, Cinemagic, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Game Stop or iTunes. Raffle entries can also be earned for attending library programs over the summer.

A grand prize of an iPad will be awarded after the close of the program on Aug. 22. Readers will earn one entry for every three books read as part of the challenge.

The program for pre-school through fifth graders, called “Fizz, Boom, Read!” starts with a kick-off party and registration at the West Side Library this Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m.

This program celebrates the ordinary wonders of everyday science, including weekly programs featuring experiments, robot building, “grossology fun,” nature exploration, and more.

Stay tuned to NH365.ORG for all of the library’s summer reading events.


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