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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Chocolate fantasy: for local chef, image and taste go together

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Daniel Hooberry and his penny farthing bicycle may be seen around the Shelbyville area.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons) [Order this photo]
If the man immediately seems familiar, it might be that he bears an uncanny resemblance to a childhood icon. Dressed always in a jaunty top hat, tuxedo jacket close at hand and wearing cuff links shaped like dollar signs, he brings to mind Rich Uncle Pennybags, the old man in a top hat who has adorned the Monopoly box since 1936.

Daniel Hooberry dresses for the occasion as he rides his penny-farthing bicycle.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)
Daniel Hooberry, a master chocolatier with classical culinary training, is a relative newcomer to Shelbyville yet has begun to charm local foodies with his passion for chocolate and fine cuisine -- as well as his love for the late Victorian era.

He's also been the source of some curiosity -- being likely the only local with a penny farthing on the back of his van.

Penny farthing is the name given to the style of bicycle with a large front wheel and a much smaller rear wheel. The name is derived from a similar comparison in sizes between the British penny and farthing (quarter penny) coins.

Hooberry hasn't always been a larger-than-life character. Prior to pursuing his food dreams, he worked as an electrical engineer for a candy confection manufacturer. When the passage of NAFTA eliminated that position, he obtained a grant for job retraining -- and chose a culinary career path.

Of his fascination with the late 18th century, "It's just an era I enjoy," he says.

An avid collector of antique cookbooks. he enjoys researching an old recipe and making modern adaptations.

"I want people to know what real food tastes like," he says while showing off his dream menu. Rolled Herb Pullet Biases, Yin Yang Pasta and Boeuf de Madeira with Caramel Onion Confit and Watermelon Bisque are among the offerings.

"If you cook the things that God gave you out of the earth, you don't have to give up flavor," he says. For now he caters privately, but hopes to open a 18th century themed restaurant someday.

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