Eva Knott 2:42 p.m., May 21
Isabella Valencia has sugar and over a century of tradition coursing through her veins. A third generation confectioner, she's used time-tested family recipes and her forward-thinking creativity to do what her forefathers have done back in her home country of Austria — make a name for herself as a top tier sweets savant.
She's sold her truffles and assorted goodies at high-end spots such as the Marine Room in La Jolla and downtown's Westgate Hotel and even been shuttled to Hollywood to sate cravings of A-list celebs. Up until now, she's done so from her production facility in El Cajon and without a retail space. But that all changed this month with the arrival of Dallmann's Chocolate Boutique at 2720 Villa de la Valle, a space on the second story of Del Mar's Flower Hill Promenade that fits hand-in-chocolate-smeared-hand with neighbors like Venissimo Cheese, The Wine Connection and Pannikan Coffee and Tea (located directly nextdoor).
In addition to giving Valencia a point of sale for her cocoa-based tidbits, the new space will also provide a nice setting for her new weekly chocolate tastings. The Botique's initial slate of tastings, which are limited to 14 people per event and require spaces to be reserved, is included below. Additional information can be found at http://www.dallmannconfections.com.
July 13, 6:30 - 8 pm: Chocolate & Wine ($45/person)
July 20, 6:30 - 8 pm: Chocolate Fondue ($35/person)
July 28, 6:30 - 8 pm: Chocolate & Cheese ($50/person)
Aug. 3, 6:30 - 8 pm: Chocolate & Salt ($35/person)