Meet The Chef - Ramon Perez of Puur Chocolat
When I first met Ramon Perez, Chef and co-owner of Puur Chocolat in Sacramento, California, I immediately sensed he was an athlete. He speaks almost as fast as he moves. When my husband and I visited Ramon and his wife Nicole at Puur Chocolat in their kitchen in North Sacramento, he was in the midst of making his highly desirable cream puffs for a pop-up that night at Origami Asian Grill. (That may sound like an odd pairing, but someday I will write about Origami's as there is much, much more to them than fast casual Asian bowls.) Ramon bounces around the kitchen whisking, pouring and baking while he chats with us – no move or words are wasted.
Puur Chocolat is a small operation, but produces incredible concoctions and flavor combinations that are as tasty as they are beautiful. Ramon was raised in the Sacramento area by parents that are both chefs and restaurant owners—so he has known how to navigate a professional kitchen since he was a little kid. In fact, he was working in the kitchen of one of the world's most prestigious resorts, Napa's Auberge du Soleil at the age of 12. He has a truly impressive resume that includes culinary training at the New England Culinary Institute, stints in three Michelin Star restaurants and being named Executive Pastry Chef at David Meyer's Group. That position allowed him to travel around the world consulting and implementing the pastry programs in restaurants in that group.
As an avid cyclist and marathon runner, the draw of Sacramento was too great, and he and his wife Nicole moved back to the area in 2012 to open Puur Chocolat. The abundance of local farms and organic ingredients also played a role. Ramon says he gets his inspiration from Sacramento's diverse community, the farms, ranches and purveyors in the area, but his creations often surface while cycling, running or surfing. The day of our visit he made cream puffs with K&J Orchards' Blenheim Apricots with Freddy Guys Hazelnuts that included a white chocolate praline mousse, an apricot jelly, semi candied apricot, Del Rio Botanicals honey sponge cake, and a red miso caramel. Need I say more?
SacTown Bites is super excited to partner with Ramon and Nicole Perez, and feature their hand-crafted creations in our June Box. You can also find their products at specialty stores and on Puur Chocolat's website.
Watch our video to meet the chef!