The Commons at The Cannon Center has made Chocolate Week a Valentine’s Day tradition since it opened five years ago.
After a successful week and Valentine’s Day dinner, they expect next year will be no different. Brian K. Hooper, sous chef at The Commons, shared that management and chefs collaborate to create a special menu ahead of time.
“After this year’s Valentine’s Day dinner we’ll start planning for next year,” Hooper said. “We’ll be coming up with new ideas, we’ll get to see how we did things and see which items were good and which were not.”
It takes around a year to brainstorm the food that could be presented on special dates and about two to three months of serious planning for each chocolate feature.
Valentine’s Day is all about love, friendship and according to The Commons, chocolate. With a week-long chocolate menu and a different chocolate feature every day, Valentine’s Day was the most anticipated day of the week for students in the dorms.
Chocolate week kicked off on Feb.11, featuring a shredded chicken burrito with mole sauce for dinner. It was followed by the chocolate bar on Feb.12, which was available all day.
Ruth Stone, assistant manager at The Commons, said that the hot chocolate bar was so popular during Christmas, that it had to be incorporated into chocolate week. The hot chocolate bar included marshmallows and other ingredients to create a personalized hot chocolate.
Hooper says chocolate holds a special place in his heart. His favorite chocolate specialty this week was the Valentine’s chocolate fountain.
“I like the chocolate fountain,” Hooper said. “I’m just a chocolate freak.”
The Commons created a perfect Valentine’s Day atmosphere for friends, families and everything in between. The chocolate fountain was placed in the grainery section and the display included marshmallows, strawberries, cookies and even more chocolate.
“Everything in the grainery is chocolate and we do have non-chocolate items, but those items are so customers can dip them in the chocolate,” Stone said. “We wanted to add the chocolate fountain to make Valentine’s a little extra special.”
Even though Kendal Ianuzi and Nathan Poulson, both BYU students, didn’t know there would be a chocolate fountain, they didn’t hesitate to make The Commons a part of their Valentine’s Day celebration.
“We didn’t know there was going to be a chocolate fountain, but we did know it was going to be nicer,” Poulson said.
Maida Rasmussen, William Budge Hall’s advisor, and her husband David decided to treat their little ones with a chocolate fountain dinner.
“The girls have been really excited for the chocolate fountain,” Maida said.
Jacqueline MacIsaac and Allison Cadwell celebrated Valentine’s Day in the company of their friends and chocolate covered strawberries.
“The fountain looks great now,” Cadwell said, “just wait until everyone gets to it.”
Over 900 people had dinner at The Commons on Valentine’s Day, making chocolate week and the fountain a success.