Monday, November 20, 2017
Features and More

William Dean Chocolates owner says his are killer truffles of 'Hunger Games'

RECOMMENDED READING


About 30 minutes into the mega-blockbuster film Hunger Games, Bill Brown, the owner of William Dean Chocolates in Belleair Bluffs, felt his seatmates elbow him in the sides.

Up on the screen were several of his handmade chocolate truffles.

Like a parent knows the face of his own child, Brown recognized the green and yellow pattern he and employee Wyatt Rachal painstakingly hand-paint on the top of the lemongrass and coconut truffle; the marble swirl of purple, bronze and red on the PB&J; the purple dotted port with fig; and the lavender truffle in a delicate butterfly shape.

It was the scene in the train where protagonist Katniss and love interest Peeta are bound for the Capitol and a fate uncertain. Laid out before them are the most opulent foods imaginable, including about a dozen chocolates on a silver tray at the center of the screen. But at the Friday night screening, the vision of his chocolates in a supporting role was over in a matter of seconds.

Brown contacted the film's food stylist, Jack White, who has worked on more than 75 Hollywood films.

"He said he purchased chocolates at the Dean & Deluca in Charlotte, N.C. (the movie was filmed in Hildebran, N.C., about an hour outside of Charlotte), and we sell our chocolates there," Brown says.

Reached by phone Monday, White could not confirm the origin of the chocolates — only that they were not purchased directly from William Dean.

"Foods for the film were sourced by several different people locally in Charlotte, including Dean & Deluca. Some foods we made, and other things were flown in from Los Angeles."

Not content to live with the uncertainty, Brown went back to the Largo Mall on Monday afternoon to see his chocolates' cameo again.

"There's zero doubt in my mind. The first time I saw it, it was a lot to take in. I wasn't expecting it. But now that I know they're there, it's easier to spot."

It's not the chocolates' first brush with fame. Actor Mo'Nique and singer Kelly Clarkson have each sampled William Dean sweets, which have won dozens of awards in national and international competitions.

"I don't want to be in a movie, but if my chocolates make it, that's okay," says Brown like a proud papa.

But unlike the Hunger Games, "you don't have to kill anyone to have our chocolates here."

Laura Reiley can be reached at lreiley@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2293.

Comments
Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s Coco was more enjoyable three years ago when it was titled The Book of Life and came from Twentieth Century Fox.Both animated features spring from Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos celebration, the annual "day of the dead" when departed rela...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Della Reese, of TV’s ‘Touched by an Angel,’ has died at 86

Della Reese, of TV’s ‘Touched by an Angel,’ has died at 86

LOS ANGELES — Della Reese, the actress and gospel-influenced singer who in middle age found her greatest fame as Tess, the wise angel in the long-running television drama "Touched by an Angel," has died at age 86. Reese’s co-star on the series, Roma ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Most air travelers say taking off your shoes is okay. An etiquette expert disagrees

Most air travelers say taking off your shoes is okay. An etiquette expert disagrees

Unless you are ensconced in first class, sleeping on a plane is as intimate as dozing off in a waiting room on jury duty — everyone on the aircraft knows the decibel level of your snoring and the sad state of your socks.To gauge how passengers percei...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Take small bites.This may be the most crucial advice for Thanksgiving hosts who don’t have years of cooking and coordinating experience to provide the confidence that comes with leading the charge on the year’s biggest cooking day.It’s the first thin...
Updated: 9 hours ago
American wines red, white and sparkling for your Thanksgiving table

American wines red, white and sparkling for your Thanksgiving table

You’ve dusted off Grandma’s good crystal for the Thanksgiving table. Or you’ve pulled out all your mismatched stems to have enough for every place. Now what to pour?For this most American meal, based on foods native to America — turkey, pumpkin, corn...
Published: 11/20/17
Country artist Mel Tillis, who traced success to Plant City youth, dead at 85

Country artist Mel Tillis, who traced success to Plant City youth, dead at 85

Before Mel Tillis achieved stardom, writing songs recorded by hundreds of Nashville artists and embracing the stutter that became his trademark, he was a young man fresh out of the Air Force struggling to land a spot in a Plant City talent show.Eyes ...
Published: 11/19/17
How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

Perfect your crust. Try new filling recipes. Learn some decorating tricks. And prepare for the biggest pie day of the year: Thanksgiving.   From apple to thyme You’ve got the crust down. Now it’s time to choose a filling for your holid...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

From appetizers to pies and everything in between, we’re here to help you put together a low-stress Thanksgiving spread. Here are a few ideas, and be sure to check out our Thanksgiving special report for more tips on preparing for the big day. ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Holiday-themed events dot the East Hillsborough landscape

Holiday-themed events dot the East Hillsborough landscape

East Hillsborough residents will have three holiday-themed events to help brighten the season this year.Christmas Lane, the long-time holiday celebration that started on an area farm, launches another season of festivities at its current spot, the Fl...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/19/17
Christmas in downtown Tampa as Winter Village ice rink opens

Christmas in downtown Tampa as Winter Village ice rink opens

TAMPAWhile her teenage daughter and 6-year-old son glided effortlessly across the outdoor ice rink at Curtis Hixon Park on Friday, Danielle Engram, 35, stood nervously on her rented blades.This would be the lifelong Tampa resident’s first time on the...
Published: 11/17/17