Joe Harberg: On a quest for the World’s Greatest Chocolate

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From the shores of southern California, to across the pond in London, Joe Harberg is the man for the best of the best chocolate finds.

With over 205,000 Facebook fans and a social media reach of over a million, Joe is the number one chocolate guruEat More Chocolate Joe Harberg has proven that his sign of approval could really help make it for a new or small chocolate business. He is THE chocolate expert on a “quest to find the world’s greatest chocolate.” In almost a heroic way, Joe brings life and publicity to the small yet delicious hole in the wall shops and lets you in on what your taste buds have been begging for without ever knowing a specific chocolate combination existed.

Joes got us covered….

Best city for chocolate: It’s a tie between NYC and San Francisco.

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Best country for chocolate: Never been to a country I can’t find something great but Belgium has a shop on every corner and sometimes 2 or 3.

Favorite Chocolate Holiday: Everyday is a chocolate holiday 😉

Best part of the chocolate industry: I love this industry for the sampling and reviewing of chocolate because everyone smiles when mentioning or eating chocolate. Chocolate is so varied; ice cream, cake, cookies, truffles, bars, cupcakes, pastries, brownies, desserts….get the point?

Where’s a hidden spot with amazing chocolate: Every town has a small chocolatier or bakery that has amazing chocolate. There’s so many places I have found amazing chocolate on my journey and some places where I would never think to look: Hico, Texas (middle of nowhere) at Wiseman House Chocolates , Cummings, Georgia’s The Chocolaterie where the chocolatier is a Carnagie Mellon Engineer, and Cake Balls in Temple, Texas at Sweet Tr-eatery that were unbelievable and unexpected.

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What are some of your memorable chocolate surprises: Newport, Rhode Island has Cupcake Charlie’s where I had my first chocolate “cake cup” (LOVE THOSE), Venice Beach, CA introduced me to multi chocolate flavored Bread Puddings at Schulzies, San Francisco’s Smittens Ice Cream, made to order using liquid nitrogen, and chocolate rice pudding at Rice to Riches in Soho, NY come to mind immediately.

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What would you pick up at a gas station for your chocolate fix? Nestle Crunch Bar, M&Ms, or a plain Hershey’s bar.

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What would be your ideal birthday cake? Just Desserts Original Chocolate with Chocolate Cake and PF Changs Great Wall of Chocolate.

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Donut, Cake, Cookie, or Ice Cream? I refuse to answer…. hahah ….I am an equal opportunity eater; which means I take up all opportunities to eat chocolate.

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Craziest chocolate concoction you have ever tried that surprised you? I remember the 1st time I had chocolate that wasn’t in a bar or dessert. It was at Panache in Kansas City, where they mixed milk chocolate and corn flakes. It was 30+ years ago and I remember thinking WOW, this is really unique the way they put it together. However, nowadays, there are some incredibly talented chocolatier’s: At Dude, Sweet Chocolate in Dallas, chocolatier Katherine Clapner truly puts together strong combos of different things, like a heart she made last valentines day! AMAZING!

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Chocolate for breakfast, where should we go? One of two places: chocolate waffle with banana compote at Payard in Las Vegas or anything chocolate off the breakfast menu at the Le Parker Meridian Hotel in NYC.

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Favorite chocolate event? Chocolate Week in London: made up of the International Chocolate Awards (Where I have judged since they started the awards in 2012), Chocolate Restaurant week (with great desserts), and The London Chocolate Show “Salon Du Chocolat”!

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Ever ate so much chocolate it made you stop eating it for a while? NEVER

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Favorite chocolate topping you can’t live without? Hot Fudge

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Best mix of M&M’s you have ever had? Gwyn’s High Alpine M&M’s Chocolate Chip Brownie….SERIOUSLY GOOD

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Your first business deal with chocolate: When I was 10 yrs old, I rode my bike down to the local convince store and found out they were doubling the price of a Nestle Crunch bar. So I went home and got all the money out of my piggy bank and went back and bought all their inventory of Nestle Crunch bars at the lower price. It ended up being a 6 month supply.

My first real job at 15 was stocking chocolates and making boxes at the Teuscher franchise in the Houston Galleria.

As of today your favorite chocolate drink? Mindy’s Hot Chocolate in Chicago, Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity in NYC, and Chocolate Double Dark Milkshake from Godiva

Best Mix of Oreos you have ever had? Chocolate oreo bark from Chocolate Pizazz in Houston. So simple/so good!

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Do you prefer a hollow or solid Easter bunny? Solid for sure….get to eat more chocolate!

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It’s Valentines Day…where do you get your wife chocolate? My sample refrigerator…hahaha

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So if you haven’t figured it out yet, you are absolutely insane if you sell chocolate and you haven’t sent a sample to EMC.

Eat More Chocolate’s chief chocolateater Joe Harberg is THE acclaimed chocolatier of all chocolate (for good reason…HELLO) and his stamp of approval could make the world of a difference to your business.

We love his FB page (which we can never look at without our mouth watering) and any fellow chocolate lover could only be so lucky to have a part in his journey.

The future is looking rich and full of chocolate for EMC!

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May the horse be with you….

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The first Federation Equestrian International World Reining Championship took place during the FEI world equestrian games at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain in 2002 where Shawn Flarida became the first individual gold medalist in reining.  Shawn is currently the only National Reining Horse Association 5 million dollar rider (Life Time Earnings) and his career is very much on the upward spiral.

Reining is designed to show the athletic ability of horses in the show arena. Competitors are given one of ten approved patterns which are divided into seven or eight maneuvers, including small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, 360 spins, and what is generally considered the “signature” move for reining horses, the sliding stop. You can see each of these moves demonstrated here: http://bit.ly/UipTwu 

Although a part of the sporting lifestyle is closely linked the spirit of the west; reining is growing in popularity around the world every year. Despite the seemingly relaxed attitude of the horse and rider on top of the loose reins typically used, reining demands high levels of concentration and riding skills with precision, finesse, attitude, and quickness, which are closely watched for scoring.

Over the next few months, we are going to be looking into the preparation for both Shawn and his horse “Spooks Gotta Whiz” owned by Michell Anne Kimball for the World Equestrian games in Normandy, France, which begin on August 23, 2014.

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Last month at the historic Kentucky Horse Park, Shawn competed to earn one of four spots on the World Equestrian Games team USA. After two days of competition, Shawn was standing atop the podium.

CB: You have competed on Team USA every year since the competition began; was winning the qualifying this year just as exciting?  

SF: Yes, of course!

 

CB: Do you have a favorite Team USA moment from over the years?

 SF: There are so many different moments that are great. I think for me my favorite moment is standing on that podium as they raised the flag.  That is the moment that really stands out to me in my head!

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CB: Did you get to celebrate after the qualifying win or will you save the celebration for France?

SF: I didn’t celebrate after the qualifying. Hopefully France will go well! Plus being a team competition, we can hopefully celebrate together over there in Normandy.

 

CB: What was the most important part of your preparation for the qualifying that you felt really helped you stand out amongst the competition?

SF: Just making sure my horse was as best prepared as he could be for that specific pattern. He is a great horse, and we have competed together multiple times. I know what he needs to be prepared. Both of us being in tune together is just the most important thing.

 

CB: Now that you have earned another spot on Team USA, would you say it feels any different this year knowing you’re headed to France to compete?

 SF: Not anymore excited than years past, we have been to Spain and in 2010 in Kentucky, they are all just as exciting.

 

CB: We will be following your preparation for yourself and your horse over the next few months; is there something you think people will learn about you and your horse that will surprise them?

SF: I think they will learn a lot of things. For the average person they will be surprised of the little details that both my horse and I have to follow through on to even get to Normandy.  Little details such as getting the horse there, getting his food there, transportation for the teams horses once we arrive…there are just SO many things that I think the average person will be surprised to find out!

 

CB: It’s a long road to Normandy; is there something particular you have to keep in mind while making preparations for the months ahead?

SF: The only thing that I really have to remember is that it’s another horse show. It’s a competition and you have to do your basic work to stay on course and be prepared as you would for any other competition. I just make sure I have myself and the horse as best prepared as I can.

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Under the helmet: Cade Clason

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From his nickname of Wild Bill, to what got him in trouble as a kid. Crush Brands is taking a look under the helmet and finding out more about Professional Motocross & Supercross rider Cade Clason.

Cade is a small town kid from Ohio who turned professional in the fall of 2013 after an amazing Amateur career.  Currently he lives in a camper (way more badass than it sounds) with his mechanic Dougie in South Carolina at ClubMx Training Facility. Traveling from ClubMx to races almost every weekend he says he is “Living the Dream.”

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Alright we will start off with an easy one…what’s your favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream?

   Half Baked…hands down

Can you explain the difference between Motocross and Supercross to me?

   Motocross is outdoors, usually in the middle of nowhere in grass fields, and the races are much longer. Supercross is in a stadium, usually football or baseball. The track is really tight and there are lots of jumps.

Between the two, would you choose Supercross or Motocross?

      Motocross

If we were to come to your home…or camper in your case…and looked in your fridge what would we find?

      Chocolate milk and ice cream….everyday

 If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

      Dos Equis guy from the commercial….”coolest guy on the face of the earth.”

Favorite pump up song before a race?

      Ohhh…One song I can listen to all the time that just gets you motivated…..“Million Lives” by Jake Miller.

We’ve heard through the grapevine (thanks Marshal Weltin) that your nickname is Wild Bill. What’s the story behind that?

      Oh my gosh how did you guys even find out about that?? I literally have 3 friends that call me that. We went to visit a friend in the hospital and when you get there they take your ID and call your name to give it back to you…well they called me as William and nobody stepped up for a second until I did…and nobody knew that my real name was William so then they kind of put the whole crashing a lot thing in Supercross with wild…then they just kind of shortened it up to bill, so that’s really where that came from.

 When you race you’re riding 30+min motos (another word for race in the Moto lingo) and I’m sure many of us at home are wondering how you get in shape for such a long race day?

      Practice 30 min motos/some 40 min motos/ a lot of running and cycling/a little bit of swimming/ also do some weight training/ stuff with high intensity to get my heart rate up really makes for the best possible shape for a long race.

Got a favorite quote that really helps you keep things in perspective?

      “If you don’t live for something you’ll die for nothing”

What is your stance nowadays on selfies?

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I’m all about the #MuscleMondays on Instagram and what not…I’m totally kidding….if it’s not Snapchat I’m not really a big selfie guy….#Antiselfie #TBT

Your three must follows on instagram?

      @markolf827….@andy_daggett… and a 3rd one…..ahhh man I follow so many cool people….but I gotta go with @racerxonline

Is there one moment you find yourself replaying in your mind?

      Last year at Loretta Lynn’s (Biggest amateur national race of the year) the last moto… I feel like I should have gotten third when I ended up fourth…I couldn’t see because my goggles were dirty and I followed the kid in 3rd the whole race and couldn’t pass him. I just look back a lot wishing I had made the pass.


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You do a lot of joking around on your Twitter feed. Are you that way at the track too?

      Yea you got to always keep a good sense of humor on ya…If I try and act all tense and serious the day is no good. I am the only guy at the starting line joking/talking and having a good time, everyone else is all serious and what not…but I try to just have fun and keep the tension loose.

What’s the greatest prank you’ve ever pulled?

      It was just my mom and I at home and my friend and I, we found a positive pregnancy test at a McDonalds parking lot and we took it to my house and sat it on my sisters bed for my mom to find…..she absolutely freaked out….funniest thing I’ve ever done…so funny.

All right give the girls a break and tell us first off are you single?

      Oh yes, I’m Single….90% of the time I’m single haha

So what some of the things you’re looking for in a girl?

      Someone who cares about you as much as they do themselves….she’s gotta be pretty…no ratchet hoes around me…. and a big must, they gotta be able to cook.

 You are in a demanding sport both mentally and physically….what is something that pushes you to keep racing and training as hard as you do?

      I want to be one of the best guys out there on a dirt bike, so I know if I want that to happen I have to work harder and harder everyday.

 As equally demanding as your sport is there must be a lot of rewards that can’t be beat? (noooo we don’t mean the girls asking you to sign their boobs)

      Nothing quite beats the feeling that you get when a little kid asks you for a picture, a pair of goggles, piece of plastic from your bike, or an autograph, and you are able to put a huge smile on their face. Just being able to be a role model and seeing a kid with a smile is awesome.

If you could tell your fans one thing what would it be?

      When I started racing I wasn’t the greatest, and I learned that you have to trust the people around you who are trying to teach you. Believe in your self. I started with not a lot and with the support of my family and sponsors I got a lot better…you just work hard and stick with it and always be willing to learn!

20140612-153815-56295173.jpgThe future is bright for this good-looking guy and we cant wait to see him hold the throttle wide wide open (check out the moto lingo) this weekend in Pennsylvania.

 

Check out some racing live on NBC Sports here: http://bit.ly/Uu0y31

 

 

Crush Brands Dallas must dos of Summer 2k14

Alright, this ones for our Dallas people! Whether you are in Dallas for the summer or your a seasoned Dallas veteran, we have found everything from concerts to the best brunch places to cure a hangover from a badass night out on the town. So, without further ado ladies and gentlemen, your Crush Brands Dallas must dos of Summer 2014: 

We shall start off with some scrumptious restaurants: 

  • BACKYARD AT THE SOCIAL HOUSE in Uptown: if you’ve lived in Dallas for awhile you have heard of the social house…but you might not know about the backyard an “adult outdoor playground” yup it’s as fun as it sounds….There’s giant jenga, beer pong, cornhole, twister, and new for summer is the Jelly Bean Beer on tap..sounds pretty sweet huh?
  • THE TRUCK YARD in Greenville: There are patios which make up shaded outdoor perfection that is a pretty sweet Truck Yard (tons of food trucks). There’s also an indoor bar with 24 taps (including four draft cocktails), and even a treehouse bar! Live music on the weekend and food wise they have pizza to sliders to cheesesteaks. All in all its a great laid back atmosphere, perfect for summer shenanigans. 

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  • PECAN LODGE in Deep Ellum: Arguably the best brisket in Dallas Proper, they recently moved from the Farmers Market into a bigger location at Pryor and Main because the lines were reminding people of Six Flags. If you love BBQ and a southern good time you need to go here period. 
  • LIBARY BAR in Uptown: “Jay Gatsby himself couldn’t resist a night at this library, and even he’d need to make a reservation if he he wanted a table.” With a statement like that by Dallas Luxury who wouldn’t want to hit the stacks in this bar 😉 #Fancy #Sheik #Young&Beautiful

Moving on from food…. to of course, some cool concerts and other adventures….

  • Grab your passport….just kidding…head down to Meadows Museum for a night of spanish culture. Browse Picassos, then move to Sangria for snacks, tappas, and cocktails. Then end the night at the Wild Detectives where you might as well be in madrid. This indie lounge is the perfect spot to end your “stay-cation” #WorldCup #TeamSpain
  • If your like us, and love a good 90s throwback, your gonna need to check out Granada Theaters Mockbusters starting on June 21st. The summer series will kick off with Space Jam and it will be like a big sleepover with friends, plus a bonus feature, live on the big screen you can share all your humorously weird thoughts on Twitter and Facebook. So charge up your phones and be sure to come with your best witty comments. #90sBaby
  • Flavors of Dallas June 25th at the Hyatt Regency: The price tag for this first-time-in-Dallas event is steep but it benefits the American Liver Foundation… (write off), and you’ll get to be cooked for by dozens of top Dallas chefs who’re preparing you a five-course meal — table side — paired with plenty of wine. Give to charity and feast on some of the best food made in Dallas. #FlavorsOfDallas #AmericanLiverFoundation
  • Taste of Dallas at the fair park…July 11th…..you will catch us stuffing our faces with food from 75 different restaurants and singing Ice Ice Baby since Vanilla Ice is performing…. well see ya there (insert fist pump here) #TasteOfDallas 

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  • The queen is coming to Dallas….Queen B and JAY Z that is…hopefully they will avoid the elevators in At&T stadium and make it to their concert July 22nd…..belt it out from the nose bleeds who cares …guaranteed night that wont disappoint. #RunTour

If your looking for something simpler to stumble into or get some step in to your pedometer:

  • Local Motion Yoga is giving free yoga classes every saturday morning in June at Sammons Park. So grab your yoga mat and get it twisty.
  • If your looking to kick it up a notch you can try Piyo (when pilates and yoga get together) on the wet deck at the W hotel. Saturdays at 9am all through the summer the class is free. So get downwards dog. 
  • The Buzz Bike …skip the gym and burn those cals while boozing…two hours of bike riding while literally pedaling the bar with you and your pals. You should also know the pedaling is optional….

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Next we have experiences prince charming himself couldn’t dream up….

  • Doesn’t get any more romantic than Epic Helicopters….we are talking The Notebook kind of romance here people….imagine getting picked up on a rooftop in Uptown and transported by uhhhh HELICOPTER to dinner at the Gaylord and then back to Uptown for drinks and desert…now talk about being swept away….prices starting at $1,500 for personal rooftop to backyard pickups, plus multiple other routes for helicopter rides ranging from $450 and up. For this option you get a 20 min ride…and just saying we left a voicemail for them and have yet to hear back so plan ahead, looks like it could be a memorable night. We would die!!!

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  • Chocolate Cheese & Bubbles….now that we have you hooked…Scardello’s Artisan Cheese is going to be just as good as the name describes. For $35 a person you can grab a group of friends or a hot date and go through over 150 handcrafted wines and cheeses…oh and truffles, on truffles, and it does get better when the bottle of Champagne pops.

Dallas, its no secret we love our BRUNCH. We need to meet up with our besties and talk about the awesome night we just had and maybe the one or two bad decisions we made (no judgements here.) Gossip + food is an indispensable part of the brunch phenomena. Otherwise that booze before noon might cause problems. Anyways fellow brunch lovers you have to hit these spots this summer: 

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  • CHICKEN SCRATCH in Oak Cliff: This is the place for those of you who really need some good soul food after a great night. Their biscuits piled high with everything you can imagine (eggs, bacon,chicken,) you name it. You can sit outside and enjoy a brunch full of juicy gossip, equally as good as the food. 
  • KOZY 2 DAY previously known as Kozy Kitchen in Uptown: I mean to put it simply…they have a breakfast called the hangover and they are the original gluten free restaurant in Dallas, need we say more?
  • THE RUSTIC in Uptown: Outdoor music, mason jars, picnic tables all under the big Texas sky. A place with live music that can make anyone feel at home. Plus having Pat Green as a partial owner gives them a leg up on their talent booking. Get ready to jam. 

 

We all use uber….duh….however there are a few other options:

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  • Driven DFW: Make a reservation via the app or website for a professional driver to come to your home and drive your own car. Avg. about $35 an hour. 
  • Lyft: An app similar to Uber that a driver can show up in anything from a Prius to a mac daddy escalade. Avg. about $20. 
  • My Private Driver: Solving the “should I leave my car here over night problem” also avoiding a very expensive DUI charge. A driver will come to you and drive you and your car home.  Avg. cost $35.
  • Uber: If you live in Dallas and haven’t downloaded the Uber app you might be living under a rock. We mention these other drivers but we have not yet successfully used them, so for now Uber remains our favorite and lets be real cabs are for the birds.
    • P.S- be sure to follow them on twitter @Uber for special offers like this amazing valentines day special, skywriting: Image

 

Cheers to the best Dallas summer yet!