Premium, and sometimes local and artisanal blends make for memorable treats

Operators are raising the chocolate bar on dessert menus as they respond to their customers’ growing demand for premium ingredients.

The secrets to the hot chocolate at Everest, a fine-dining restaurant located on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, are in the prep and the premium ingredients.

Each cup of $12 hot chocolate is made to order with a custom blend of dark chocolate combined with milk that is carefully whipped to just the right consistency.

“The Everest hot chocolate is creamier, more flavorful, and has a richer taste than most other hot chocolates,” Everest chef and owner Jean Joho said.

Joho attributes that singular taste to the custom blend of dark chocolate made by his friend and fellow Frenchman Jaques Torres, who is known for his commitment to premium ingredients and quality sourcing.

“Jacques, who is based in NYC, sources his cacao to make his high-end chocolate from a group of small-batch producers, mostly located in the Americas,” Joho said.