Dude, Sweet Modern Chocolate
It sounds more like a conversation between two California surfers than a moniker for a gourmet chocolatier. But in actuality the laidback name says it all. Dude, Sweet chocolate is handmade at an anything-goes shop, in an urban transitional area of Dallas known as the Bishop Arts District, where visitors ogle the myriad fudges, marshmallows, syrups, truffles and more, and giggle at their cheeky names. Crack in a Box. Chubby Nuts. Break-Up Potion.
In the midst of this, Dude’s owner and creator of chocolates, Katherine Clapner, is normally clad in a Dickies jumpsuit and boasting an arm full of tattoos. Clapner is more of a scientist than a chef – in fact she loathes being called ‘”chef.” Dip into her chocolate shop and you’ll likely find her in the middle of some sort of edible experiment. Her chocolate concoctions may entail boiling mushrooms, frying bacon and husking exotic corns.
“I just get bored really easily,” says Clapner. “The goal is to continue to make different stuff and not have to do the same thing all the time,” she says as she dumps a little-known Peruvian corn into a pot.“Who knows if it will go exactly according to plan? But that’s why I am going to try it.”
She credit her culinary approach to renowned Dallas chef Stephan Pyles, under whom she worked as executive pastry chef for ten years, in addition to her stints at The Savoy Hotel in London, Hotel Cipriani in Venice, The Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, The Mansion at Judge’s Hill in Austin and Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago.
“One of the things that sets [Dude, Sweet Chocolate] apart is the fact that I have a pastry-chef background, not just a straight chocolatier background,” she says. “We do things seasonally, as opposed to saying, I’m going to just do a batch of salted caramels or champagne truffles.”
“We are a little rough around the edges and we are a little too honest,” she says of what she calls Dude, Sweet Chocolate’s “anti-aesthetic.”
For the complete chocolate fix, travel to Dallas and make tracks to Dude, Sweet Chocolate’s storefront.
408 West 8th Street
Dallas, TX 75208