When Cheesecake was Born in Dallas
Chunky cookies crumble away into a food processor, creating a smooth brown crunchy mix. Butter is added and the mix becomes even smoother. Later, he grinds up a few more cookies and mixes them into a creamy batter that my eyes salivate over. Sprinkling a few of the crushed cookies into the mix, he continues to stir. Before long, the cheesecake blend will make its way inside tiny jars, around 3.5 ounces, just enough to satiate the sweet tooth, even if you are watching your figure. The mastermind behind the mixer is Valery Jean-Bart, one of the founders of Val’s Cheesecake. Val, uses a tiny wooden spoon to taste the batter, his eyes flash a look of satisfaction.
Talking to Jean-Bart and his business partner, Christopher Reece, you have to wonder how they do it. It should be noted that besides running a successful business they both work full time jobs, maintain their physical fitness, have a good time, and are great foodie supporters of local restaurants. After ending one job, they make their way to the basement kitchen of the historical St. Paul Methodist Church and get started on greatness. Chris handles the logistics and often makes deliveries while Val concocts the goodies. Together they are a dynamic duo. “You make the time. I have this thing, about just suck it up and just do it. If you like something you just do it,” Val explained.
The idea behind Val’s came from Jean-Bart’s late mother’s love of cheesecake. After moving from Haiti to NYC, her first job was in a cheesecakery in Manhattan. His mother’s affinity for desserts stuck with him and two years ago, Val’s Cheesecake was born.
“People get kind of nervous around cheesecake they expect it to be heavy, rich, and to put them to sleep. But during the Taste of Dallas they were eating it saying, oh, that’s so light that’s so fluffy, and still very flavorful,” Chris said. Both Chris and Val explain how unlike other cheesecakes, they use a reduced amount of sugar to eliminate density. Though they are tasting cheesecakes all day, each of them reiterate, portion control is important.
Portion control was the idea behind their most popular items, the cheesecake jars. Cute and perfect, the jars are their top sellers. Jars of the cheesecakes come in a variety of flavors. Get your chocolate fix and then some with the Cookies-N-Cream, or the Oh Nutella! Cheesecake which features a hazelnut ganache and hazelnut graham cracker crust. If peanut butter is what you crave, try The Elvis, a unique blend of banana cheesecake filling, peanut butter cookie crust and a top secret peanut butter sauce.
In case you were wondering, my personal loves are the R.E.D. Cheesecake and the Lemon Ave Cheesecake. The R.E.D. is a beautiful concoction of moist red velvet cake, espresso and vanilla cheesecake. Upon first bite you are in awakened to every flavor used to create this masterpiece. It is a must for any soul that calls themselves a red velvet connoisseur. The Lemon Ave marries lush and zesty lemon poppy seed cake with a smooth lemon cheesecake. Divine does not begin to describe either of them.
Currently, Val is working on adding his Savory Cheesecakes to the jar line. The three flavors include Cheddar Bacon Cheese Cheesecake, Brisket Cheesecake, and Smoked Salmon Cheesecake. No doubt you pull either of these delectable doozies out during a party you’ll become known as the epic one. Other treats offered are the oatmeal bacon cranberry cookie, sweet potato pie and a chipotle pepper brownie. You can currently find a variety of their cheesecakes and treats at Ascension, Opening Bell, Dish Restaurant and Skewers Kabob House in Addison.
Chris and Val have turned the world of cheesecake on its crust and made it lemon poppy seed, red velvet cake, brisket and so much more. In 2015 they plan on perfecting their guiltless protein cheesecake in a jar and their cheesecake ice cream. And in June they will officially open their storefront. Yet, with each step the two masterminds continue to remain humble. Making each order from scratch and serving customers with a taste of love gives Val’s Cheesecake a uniquely sweet disposition. TXmB
Where to find them-1816 Routh Street, Dallas, TX 75201
That whole parking thing- Remember, Val’s is currently in the basement of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. More than likely you are just running in to make a pick up in which case parking should not be an issue. Side note, you can always order online @ http://www.valscheesecakes.com/