Chocolate Truffle Whoopi!—Sept. 2008

In Renaissance times, artisans would jostle to get the attention of wealthy families for lucrative commissions. These days, a whisper from Oprah's lips can make or break a career.

Although neither a nod from a Medici nor Winfrey, William Dean Chocolates of Largo got a nonetheless significant nod earlier this month when Whoopi Goldberg gave the line of hand-painted designer treats a mention as one of her "favorite things" on the ABC talk show "The View."

The line is available nationally through the gourmet chain Dean & Deluca and several Bay area retailers. Brown also is a semifinalist for the Next Generation Chocolatiers Awards in New York. The results will be announced in November.

Brown's chocolates will be featured Sept. 27 at the "All That Glitters" wine and food tasting at the Pepin Hospitality Center in Tampa in support of MacDonald Training Center, which helps adults with disabilities. More than two dozen other restaurants and caterers will participate in the event.

Tickets are $75 for general admission and $100 for VIP passes. They can be ordered at www.macdonaldcenter.org and will be available at the door on the night of the event.