I got a hug from Grace Potter today!
This afternoon, I headed over to the Lake Champlain Chocolates factory on Pine Street, where Grace and The Nocturnal's drummer, Matt Burr, were putting the finishing touches on a special, limited-edition chocolate bar.
After the band pitched the idea of a collaboration, says Product Development Specialist Eric Lampman, LCC asked GPN members what they like to eat: "It came down to spicy [stuff] and nuts," he says.
Today, they made 2000 "Grace Under Fire" bars, consisting of dark chocolate, hot pepper and pistachios — with hints of cinnamon and vanilla thrown in for good measure. Beginning on the release date of GP&TN's new album, June 8, the chocolates will be available on the LCC website, and at the company's trio of local retail store.
After Potter wrapped up some of the bars for the camera, briefly breaking into the tune "Cheer Up Charlie" from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I got the chance to chat with the chanteuse. Turns out she's an avid foodie: "Music is the food of life, and food is music when it's done properly," she noted.
When Potter is on the road, she seeks out farmers markets to access local produce. Once, in San Diego, she even went so far as to forgo sleep after a late-night show in order to arrive at the fish market when it opened. The result? Paella for 35 people.
It's tough to stay healthy on tour, and in addition to using cayenne pepper for its "purifying qualities" and as a digestive aid, Potter has been experimenting with greens. "I've been going to Epicurious to find ways to make kale delicious," she notes. These days, she's serving it with tangy, whipped white beans and candied nuts.
A truffle aficionado — "truffles are the meat of the woods," she enthuses — Potter also makes plenty of mushroom dishes, such as portabella caps stuffed with crimini puree and topped with truffle glaze. Breaded fiddleheads (made with homemade Red Hen crumbs) are another specialty.
Next time you're in town, Grace, let's have dinner!