Moyaka hosts chocolate dinner


Mokaya prepares for guests to arrive at their chocolate dinner. Photo courtesy Leigh Ann Cobb Photography.

Mokaya held their second chocolate dinner in the event space of Lamb Bride on this past Monday, Oct. 23.

Mokaya is a confectionary shop and family-owned business located on Wealthy St. in Eastown, Grand Rapids. Most of the time they create delicate and colorful chocolates to shell in their shop or cater to events. The chocolate dinner is a new development for the chocolate shop.

They hosted their first chocolate dinner in September with American-style food, then proceeded to plan the French chocolate dinner for October.

Mokaya plans to continue holding chocolate dinners on a monthly basis as well as to keep switching up the theme. However, the next chocolate dinner will pick up after a hiatus during the busy holiday season.

We love all food and always want to change things up,” said Mokaya chocolatier Max Golczynski. “We’re always trying new things, constantly pushing ourselves, so doing savory food was kind of a natural progression.”

The dinner adopted a French style of food, with each dish incorporating a chocolate twist for five courses. The appetizer was a flakey fig and chocolate goat cheese tart. For the soup, the chef presented a creamy cremini soup with white chocolate. Next, the salad was a cocoa butter roasted beet salad. The main course was a beef bourguignon with a bittersweet chocolate sauce. And, finally, the desert was a chocolate crème brûlée.

Calvin junior Sarah Naatz loved the mushroom soup as well as the company.

“They helped with making us feel super welcome,” said Naatz. “It felt like we were at a wedding, it was so family orientated.”

While the chocolate shop has only been in Eastown since the spring of 2016, Mokaya head chef and chocolatier Charles Golczynski, father of Max Golczynski, has been a head chef for the last 30 years. For 20 of those years, Golczynski has made chocolates as a side business with his wife, Tamra Crampton.

“We’re all obsessed with details, there’s not a single aspect of anything we do that we don’t look over … and that might be why we’re so committed to this style of chocolates,” said Golczynski. “The color and presentation adds another level of detail and, overall, adds to the experience here. Leaving out the designs and color would be just like leaving out any other part of the chocolate.”

Mokaya derives its name from a Central American indigenous group called the Mokaya, who are one of the earliest documented people to use cacao as a currency and resource. The chocolate shop chose their logo from a design on a Mokaya bowl archaeologists found in Utah. This logo shows their respect to the heritage of chocolate that dates back thousands of years.