By KENDAL ENZ
The Frederick News-Post
FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — For Cody Marwine, crafting chocolates comes easily.
“Foodwise, many things seem like common knowledge to me, but they may not be for others,” said Marwine, of Mount Airy.
Marwine, 20, was appointed assistant chocolatier at The Perfect Truffle in downtown Frederick in June. The Perfect Truffle is owned by Randy Olmstead, who studied under renowned chefs including Roland Mesnier, the former executive pastry chef for the White House.
“It’s nice working here,” Marwine said. “There are so many different kinds of chocolate (the chefs) are willing to use.”
As assistant chocolatier, Marwine is responsible for spraying and filling chocolate molds for truffles, and making ganache. It is also part of his job to create new chocolate flavors.
“Everyone keeps saying, `I want a bacon-flavored chocolate,”‘ Marwine said, so he has been experimenting with ingredients to create the perfect bacon truffle.
“It’s a more difficult flavor, but it’s coming along,” he said.
For a week this summer, Marwine made a batch of bacon chocolates every day, “But Randy was like, `We gotta stop, I can’t eat any more,”‘ Marwine said.
Being a chocolatier requires a lot of creativity.
“One day, Randy said I had to figure out what to do with a can of almond paste,” Marwine said. “That’s how the marzipan came about.” Other chocolate flavors Marwine is working on include vanilla and s’mores.
“Some flavors are easier to make than others, Marwine said.”With the bacon, we’re on our fifth or sixth try, but the marzipan was really easy. Sometimes you get lucky.”
Marwine graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, N.Y., this past spring. During his time there, he had a four-month externship at the cafe Nougatine at Jean Georges, a three-star Michelin-rated restaurant. (Three stars is the highest Michelin rating, reserved for restaurants with “exceptional cuisine” worth a special trip.)
“It was extremely, extremely intense. It’s one of the highest-rated restaurants in New York City,” Marwine said. Before he received the externship, he had to complete a stage.
“A stage is when you go to a restaurant you want to work for and work free,” Marwine explained. He completed two 12-hour stages before he was offered the externship.
“It was about showing that I really wanted it, that I wanted to learn and to better myself,” Marwine said.
While interning at Jean Georges, Marwine worked under the direction of Johnny Iuzzini, who was named one of the 10 most influential chefs working in America by Forbes.com in 2007. Iuzzini has also appeared on cooking shows including “Top Chef.”
“He is a very high-profile pastry chef,” Marwine said.
While at Nougatine, Marwine typically worked from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Some days, he didn’t leave the restaurant until 10 p.m.
“I think I learned more at (Nougatine) in four months than I did in the year-and-a-half I spent in college,” he said.
During breaks from school, when Marwine came home to Mount Airy, he would stop in at The Perfect Truffle to talk to Olmstead and see the new chocolate flavors. Marwine believes he got the job as assistant pastry chef simply because of timing.
“It just came at the right time,” Marwine said. “Someone had just left.”
Although Marwine enjoys both cooking and baking, professionally, he prefers baking.
“I like the chemistry of how (baking) works,” he said. “It’s amazing how you can take three ingredients, like you use in bread, but depending on how you mix them, the ratios you use and how you bake it, you can get hundreds of different tastes and looks.”
Marwine said he enjoys food in general because it is a universal language.
“You can put eight people who speak eight different languages around a pot of food, and they can connect through it,” he said.
After a couple of years at The Perfect Truffle, Marwine said he would like to find a position as a pastry chef in a fine dining restaurant.
“I’ll look for a pastry chef position until I am ready to become a sous-chef or to run my own kitchen,” he said. “Right now, I just want to keep learning.”
Information from: The Frederick (Md.) News-Post, http://www.fredericknewspost.com.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)