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All things chocolate: Culinary artist trying something new for Chocolate Affair

Abbey Peterson, of Dickinson,  is using her training as a culinary artist to try something new for the upcoming Chocolate Affair Plus.

She is making “His and Hers” Flourless Chocolate Cakes -- one with a red wine reduction and topped with a Parmesan crisp, and the other topped with a beer caramel sauce and candied black pepper bacon.

She’s made the flourless cakes before, but the toppings are new. Her creativity helped her to win a previous Chocolate Affair award.

“My first year I did a pulled pork slider with a chocolate red wine barbecue sauce on a chocolate bun -- I think the guys liked that one,” she said.

Abbey, who is the research and development manager at Baker Boy Supply, said the Best Friends Mentoring benefit is an opportunity to get more involved in the community.

“I don’t work with kids, per  se, but I can contribute to their well being,” she said.

Abbey grew up at New Ulm, Minn., and earned a degree in culinology from Southwest Minnesota State University at Marshall.  The college was the first to offer a four-year degree in culinology, which is a combination of food science and culinary arts.

“I was planning to go to school for culinary arts, but I ran across culinology in a brochure I received in the mail,” she said.

She went on to work in the Frito Lay test kitchens at Dallas Texas, and later developed appetizers with  a smaller company in Waco, Texas. When her husband was transferred to Dickinson, she read that Baker Boy had an opening for a research and developer technician. She was accepted and has been there for nearly four years -- recently being promoted as manager.

“We are very customer drive,” she said. “I just did a project for a customer, so we got that out on the market in stores, probably in less than three months.”

Abbey likes to experiment with recipes, even when at home.

“I make a lot of brownies at home -- my husband is the guinea pig,” she said.