CUTCHOGUE, NY — A new brick-and-mortar shop for a North Fork chocolate company will kick off its grand opening with a giant chocolate Easter egg hunt around town.
Disset Chocolate, the creation of a Michelin-trained pastry chef and chocolatier, opens in Cutchogue this month.
Ursula Sala-illa, whose professional name is Chef Ursula XVII, is a New York native with roots in Catalonia. She trained with world-renowned pastry chefs and worked at several Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and the United States, including Ai Fiori, Albert Adria, Oriol Balaguer, and Jodi Ferrer, she said.
As part of its grand opening celebration, Atelier Disset will host the “North Fork Chocolate Egg Scavenger Hunt”. Starting on Saturday, March 27 and running through Easter Sunday, April 4, Disset will place seven large egg sculptures in seven locations throughout the North Fork. The eggs, which are 18 inches tall and made with 70 percent dark chocolate, will be designed in various themes that reflect their location, a release said.
People can discover the locations of the eggs through “hints” posted on Disset’s Instagram feed in the days leading up to and during the hunt, with all locations announced on March 27.
● Find and take a photo with each of the seven eggs.
● Post each photo to Instagram, tagging @dissetchocolate as well the handle of the location where it was found, and use hashtag #17chocolateEggHunt. (only public Instagram pages will be eligible).
● Check the Disset Instagram regularly for hints about the locations of the eggs before and during the hunt.
● Individuals who post photos of all seven eggs will be entered for a chance to win one of the eggs.
● Seven winners will be announced on April 5th via Instagram.
● Winners must pick up their eggs locally by April 9.
The shop opens on Main Road in Cutchogue at the site formerly occupied by Simply Sublime and will feature a collection of small-batch chocolates for purchase, including the bi-annual Disset Signature collection, special holiday assortments, a seven-chocolate bar collection, chocolate bombs, paint-your-own chocolate bar kits, and signature bon-bars and cookies.
The name of the shop is a reference to French ateliers, which are artist or designer studios, Ursula said.
“Atelier Disset will be a place for creative exploration, hosting workshops in a dedicated space within the shop. Paint & Sips, tastings, chocolate making classes, private events, parties, and more will all be offered in the coming months,” the release said.
The name Disset means “Seventeen” in Catalan, Ursula’s native language, and XVII is her second, or middle, name.
“As a resident of the North Fork, It’s a dream come true to see my vision come to life in this shop,” said Ursula. “When I founded Disset in the midst of the pandemic, I was understandably concerned about what the future would bring. But the overwhelming support of the community has made it possible for us to open the Atelier, and I’m delighted to have found a home for our chocolates right here in Cutchogue.”
Ursula said the North Fork epitomized the perfect place to launch her line. “I live on the North Fork, putting down roots here after over a decade of moving around the world. There is nothing like the North Fork. Being from the suburbs of Barcelona, the beaches, farms, and vineyards here are as close as it gets.”
After moving to the North Fork, Ursula said she worked for Claudia Fleming at The North Fork Table & Inn.
“With a push from her, I was inspired to branch out and pursue my passion of creating artisan handcrafted chocolate with the finest ingredients,” she said.
Ursula integrates the bounty of the North Fork into the chocolates.
“We source all local herbs and edible flowers, like the mint for the Disset Signature Winter 2021 collection, or the white chocolate mendicant in the Valentine’s Day 12-piece assortment. Any wine or sparkling wine we use is from the North Fork; the sparkling pop rock pate de fruit in the Valentine’s Day 2021 is from Sparkling Pointe.”
Any ingredients that do not grow in the North Fork, including chocolate, are sourced from “responsibly traceable farms and makers,” she said. The North Fork has inspired her creative process, Ursula said.
“The North Fork is a place of collaboration and growth in the true spirit of ‘farm to table,'” she said. “At Disset, we wish to incorporate this into our business model — to work with farms, makers, growers, and artists and to create something unique in every bite.”
The Disset Signature Collection is crafted from natural ingredients and Valhrona chocolate and available in four, nine, or 17-piece assortments.
Bonbons are available in flavors including banana walnut bread, lemon meringue, raspberry black sesame, mint, hazelnut, coconut almond, and apple cider cookie.
Ursula also offered tips on how to enjoy Disset Chocolate. “Just like a wine tasting, there’s an art to tasting and appreciating good chocolate. It’s an experience that should be savored slowly. I suggest taking a bite and allowing the chocolate to sit on your tongue and melt for a few minutes, which opens up the flavors onto your taste buds,” she said.
In addition to the new storefront, future plans also include pop-ups at wineries and other locations on the North Fork and beyond, she said.
Atelier Disset is located at 28080 Main Road, Cutchogue, NY. For more information about the North Fork Chocolate Easter Egg Hunt, visit @DissetChocolate on Instagram.