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A ‘Risky, Controversial’ Chocolate Tasting

At last night's "Taste of TED," an event at Joe's Pub, attendees — after being warned of potential controversy — were instructed to open their Vosges Haut-Chocolat "Groove" boxes. (TED, which stands for "technology entertainment design," is an idea-sharing conference.) There were twelve truffles inside, each inspired by a genre of African-American music and meant to be eaten to songs on an accompanying CD. To the tune of Skip James's "Hard Time the Killing Floor," chocolatier Katrina Markoff told how best to appreciate the Field Songs truffle, which contains yams (first cultivated in Africa) and is topped with African grains of paradise: "Close your eyes and take three deep yoga breaths." A few eaters later burst into applause after tasting the salty-sweet Blues truffle made from slow-roasted bacon from Neuske's of Wisconsin (admittedly, not exactly the Deep South). Markoff said that when blingy caviar didn't pan out for the hip-hop truffle, she combined white chocolate with champagne from a $200 bottle of Krug and dusted the truffle with gold leaf. At least she didn't use Cristal. — Daniel Maurer Vosges Haut-Chocolat Groove Truffle Collection

Sandra Bernhard Nibbles on Vegan Hors D'Oeuvre and Chows Down on Cheese Grits

As an actress, comedian, political activist, and singer-songwriter who's slated to perform six nights at Joe's Pub leading up to this New Year's Eve, Sandra Bernhard is a versatile woman. We wondered if her diet was equally wide-ranging. She drew a cup of one of her favorite teas — Kukicha; "it's made from twigs" — and told us about her obsession with omega-3 eggs, her occasional kosher-steak splurge, and how many sips she'll take from a vodka tonic.