Jiliana Dulaney, owner of Haute Chocolate in Winston Salem, has a great thing going. Her chocolate shop on Burke Street showcases unique flavor combinations, like pumpkin curry. Each truffle is inspired by an experience or person that Jill has encountered. Just as the flavors work together to highlight their best features, Jill and Winston-Salem bring out the best in one another. Jill will offer her perspective on foodie entrepreneurship in part 2 of this interview, but first, she opens up about herself, including her deep dislike of mayonnaise.
Starting with the basics:
Occupation: Chocolatier and Owner of Haute Chocolate in Winston Salem. Where are you from? Chicago, Illinois. When did you move to North Carolina? September 2006. My parents had moved here because my dad took over a new sales territory. They loved it here, and I was like “Oh, I’ll try it out and see what happens.” I thought I was going to hate it, and I gave myself six months to save up money to go back to Chicago. That never happened… I met my husband a week after moving here. He’s the reason I stayed.
What do you love best about North Carolina? Probably the weather, and the fact that you can go to the mountains or the beach within just a few hours, even though I don’t get to enjoy that as much as I used to.
What type of music do you listen to when you’re cooking in the kitchen? It varies. It’s a lot of angry girl music, like Ani DiFranco and Metric. And sometimes I’ll listen to Nicki Minaj or Dead Mouse – it just depends on my mood. But when I’m in the kitchen working, I need music.
Top 5 favorite foods? (anything goes) (1) Number one would be my grandma’s spaghetti sauce. Even though she’s not alive anymore, that would be my number one, hands down, of all time; (2) I love Thai food and Indian Food, like Pad See Ew and Vegetable Korma; (3) Meatloaf. I don’t know why, but there’s something about it; (4) Obviously chocolate; (5) Cupcakes and desserts.
What is your comfort food? Ice cream. I like coffee and chocolate ice cream.
Are there any foods you won’t eat/try? Oh… no insects or brains, for sure. I’m not really into seafood, so probably nothing seafood-related. And I hate mayo, mustard and ketchup. Anything that those three in it, I will throw away.
What is the last memorable meal you’ve eaten recently? I would say it was probably when my sister, my friend, Carla, and I went to Sweet Potatoes for dinner after a cupcake tasting we had here. We just had so much fun. It’s just nice to have good girl friends – and a sister, obviously.
The ingredient you currently can’t stop using is: Probably cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spices. I love cinnamon; I put it in everything.
You have a day with absolutely no obligations. How do you spend it? I would probably waste part of the day sleeping, laying in bed, or watching TV. I recently took up golfing. My husband has been teaching me, so we would probably go out to the driving range. And then we would go out to dinner.
What kind of cooking do you do at home? I don’t do this often, but I’d do a three-course meal. First there would be lettuce wraps, like PF Change’s, for the appetizer. One of my favorite things to cook at home is potatoes des faire (fancy name for scalloped potatoes), and Lemon Chicken Paillard. I’d try to make Crème Brulee for dessert. We used to go to Print Works Bistro a lot, because we got married at Proximity. And they had that [chicken and potatoes], and I was obsessed with it. That dish was actually the inspiration for my Lemon Rosemary Truffle.
What are some cooking challenges or techniques you would like to tackle? Making Crème Brulee. I’ve never even tried it, and I know it’s not the easiest thing in the world to make. And making croissants – I’ve always wanted to know how to make a croissant. I don’t think it’s necessarily hard, but rather it’s the time that it takes to make them. But man, they’re so good.
Who is one person you’d love to cook with? My husband. And we do cook together. I usually do the side dishes and he does the main course.