From Our Editors
After earning a master's in sculpture, William Gustwiller immediately put all of those years of education to good use—though not in the way you might expect. He brought his artistic eye and sculptor's hands to the world of exotic chocolates, and he handcrafted enough of the sweets to open up Eclipse Chocolate in 2004.
Now, Gustwiller and his disciples sculpt about a dozen pastries and nearly 100 confections, including "quirky truffles" that were profiled in Food & Wine Magazine. Their artistic media: natural, organic, and sustainable ingredients. With a delicious layer chocolate as its mortar, Eclipse Chocolate has forged a partnership with Guittard Chocolate of San Francisco. The organization works directly with cacao farmers and other agents to source the high-quality, sustainable and fair-trade cacao that Eclipse Chocolate uses exclusively in its products.
Much of that cacao makes its way to Eclipse Chocolate's onsite bistro, where chefs incorporate it into buttermilk pancakes and blend it into what Travel and Leisure called some of "America's Best Hot Chocolate." The bistro, which also won a Silver Fork Award from San Diego Home & Garden magazine in 2013, even finds ways to incorporate chocolate into dinner: just look to the mascarpone meatball, which the chefs serve with a vanilla bean crostini and a cocoa balsamic drizzle. See a virtual tour of the restaurant here.