Tomato Design Goes Green!

If you missed the 5th Ave. Easter Parade, here’s a sampling!
April 24, 2011, 11:25 pm
Filed under: What happened to fun??


Wondering about the deficit? Experts have answers!
April 24, 2011, 4:01 pm
Filed under: Politics

:: This article, by David Leonhardt in the December 5, 2010, NY Times is as timely as ever:

:: So is this link from ;

:: not to mention HUGH LAURIE’S own protest song: — in case you were wondering what his take on it was.

Think about it!

An Entire World of Chocolate, Here in Chelsea!
November 12, 2010, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Business Events

The New York Chocolate Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th Street, NYC, is featuring many fascinating companies. Many are green/fair-trade/organic, as well: so you can sin and feel angelic at the same time! I would like to introduce you to some of them, as they are well worth knowing.

To begin with, OVERSEAS FOOD TRADING LTD. has two lines of top-quality candies from France and Belgium: Le Chef Pâtissier and Truffettes de France. The former includes all natural items such as truffles dusted with cocoa powder, fine champagne truffles, Begian milk and dark chocolate mouthfuls and pâtés de fruits, among other delectable treats. At left is a picture of Mouna Aissaoui (left) with Etienne. The second photo shows the booth for Le Chef Pâtissier.

You can reach them at:

The next company I tried out was COMPTOIR du CACAO, a small family-owned “chocolaterie artisanale” based in France. Apart from such tempting items as flaky pralines, hazelnut pistachio and salted-butter caramel (which won 2 awards at the Paris Chocolate Show!), they also have sugar-free chocolates for diabetics. The photos show the family hard at work.

Their URL is:

• ROGUE CONFECTIONS is an American-owned, New York City-based chocolate company that has only been in business for a short time. Their products are design-oriented, as they affix colorful graphics to their chocolate treats. The inspiration is vintage wallpapers, textiles and Victorian greeting cards. One of the dresses featured in the Fashion Show was designed by them, as well (see photo below). The booth photo shows owner Sherri Adler serving a customer.

Rogue’s URL is:

And what better complement to chocolate than vanilla? BOURBON VANILLA from Madascar takes an entirely different approach at this Show, featuring lovely deep-brown, fresh vanilla pods which smell like sweet perfume! Originally from México, the vanilla plant was was brought to Europe by the Spanish. At the court of the Bourbon kings of France, Madame de Montespan used vanilla to perfume her bath (and I can understand why!) From there, it traveled to Réunion Island thanks to Louis XIV, the Sun King, and thence to Madascar (around1880). The photos below show M. Yves-pol Taburet (at right), and the products artfully displayed.

Bourbon Vanilla can be contacted at:

I was intrigued by the booth for VALRHONA, which had one of my favorites prominently displayed: chocolate-covered orange peels. Created in 1922 by a pastry chef in the Rhone Valley, Valrhona became a registered trademark in 1947. They feature a wide range of products, including single-origin and grands-crus chocolate bars, baking chocolates and gift items.

Their URL is:

Another nice surprise, both visually and taste-wise, was SPICES AND TEASE, a four generations’-old company featuring an enormous array of imported, fresh spices and (what else?) teas. Based in Paris, they have been a source of flavoring for the chefs of that culinary city, and their success has been guaranteed for decades. Below is a photo of Bruno (at left) and François, plus a second image of their vast array of colorful spices.

Their Facebook page is:
They can also be reached at:

and François Payard recently opened a new store at 116 West Houston Street, in SoHo. For Thanksgiving you can check out their chocolate pecan tarts, traditional pumpkin tarts, assorted macaroons and their Masterpiece Chocolate Collection is shown below (the $60 box — with 54 pieces — is on sale for $35 during the Show!) They also feature truffles, panetone, and many other chocolate delights, as well.

Their web site is: http://fpbnyc.

Last but not least: I must say, as owner of TomatoDesign.Net, I was gratified to see James DiStefano, the Executive Pastry Chef of ROUGE/TOMATE walking the floor. They are located at 14 East 60th Street, and are one of NYC’s finest restaurants. It’s always nice to run into another tomato when surrounded by chocolate!

Their URL is:

The New York Chocolate Show runs until Sunday, November 14, 2010. Tickets are $30 at the door and $28 online. Saturday and Sunday they will have demonstrations and exhibits for children, as well as adults.


Imagine a Fashion Catwalk of Chocolate Dresses!
November 12, 2010, 5:53 pm
Filed under: Business Events

Today I went to the Chocolate Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th Street, in NYC. What an amazing experience! There were chocolates from all over the world that one could sample. In an hour (or less) I actually couldn’t take another bite!

Each of the exhibitors had created an entire outfit made almost entirely of chocolate. There was even a chocolate train! Here are some of the images from that fashion show:

5 Crazy Chocolate Dresses

Flower Dress

Snail/Butterfly Dress

Sun Dress

2 More Dresses

Dress Close-Ups

3 Dresses, incl. Tina Cocolina

Dress By Rogue Chocolates

Chocolate Dresses

Green Dress

Sack Dress

Merry Holidays!
December 19, 2009, 3:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Green Mall is hot!
November 14, 2009, 12:52 am
Filed under: *** Press ***, Green Issues


The Green Mall got a major boost on on 11/4/09: go to to see the whole story!

We’re launched and we’re officially a full-time business, promoting the products and services of  120+ sustainable/eco-friendly/fair-trade businesses.

Membership is FREE until 12/1/09; then it will be a modest $9.99/month per business to join. That will allow The Green Mall to put on special promotions and do PR for its members at every level, while maintaining a quality site.

Take a look: we’re at

And join us today!!

Press Release: The GREEN MALL is here!
October 5, 2009, 12:48 pm
Filed under: *** Press ***, Green Issues

For those of you who want to make your lives and businesses eco-friendly, fair-trade or sustainable — or if you just want to add green bookmarks — this is the site for you!

TomatoDesign.Net announces the launch of The Green Mall (!

We have everything from baby clothing to rain barrels: and much more in between!

Check us out today — and let me know what you think!



— Nancy L. Hoffmann