Juergen Rausch celebrates winning the European Candy Kettle Club Award with close friends and family.

Mike Dalby (left), president of the European Candy Kettle Club, presents Jürgen Rausch with the 2008 Kettle Award.

Chocolate crowns the menu, kettle caps the evening

The menu at the famed Rassbender & Rausch restaurant in Berlin accents every item with some element of chocolate in the recipe. On October 10, this year, the chefs made sure the menu had a special crowning touch, since the evening had been reserved for the European Candy Kettle Club’s annual award presentation.

The preparations took a special meaning since Jürgen Rausch, president and ceo of Rausch Chocolates based in Peine, Germany, as well as owner of the famed Fassbender & Rausch “Chocolate House” retail shop and restaurant, was tonight’s award recipient.

Suffice it to say, the chefs at Fassbender and Rausch outdid themselves, marinating goat cheese with El Cuador plantation chocolate, serving up potato soup with fresh ginger and Puerto Cabello plantation chocolate and roasting up a saddle of lamb with pepper filling, cocoa nibs and an a jus sauce made from El Cuador fine cocoa. The meal ended with a mousse of Amacado plantation chocolate that featured a mango puree.

The true star of the evening, however, was Jürgen Rausch, who, in addition to graciously accepting the prestigious award, went on to perform for the audience and his family, wife Petra and son Robert, singing his rendition of  “I did it my way.”

Naturally, he brought the “Chocolate House” down, setting the stage for an evening of dancing and camaraderie.

An elated Biki Khurana, managing director of Rausch Chocolate’s Plantagenkakao, opens the evening festivities as emcee.

Necdet Buzbas, representing Murat Ulker, chairman of the Ulker Group and winner of the 2004 European Candy Kettle Club award, congratulates Jürgen Rausch on his accomplishment.

The European Candy Kettle Club Committee is greeted by music and applause as they are introduced to guests in attendance.

Jürgen Rausch captivates the audience with his rendition of “I did it my way.”

Members of the European Candy Kettle Club and their partners, all wearing Rausch Chocolate T-shirts and caps, wave a farewell to their hosts.

A proud Jürgen Rausch holds the European Candy Kettle Club award accompanied by wife, Petra, and son, Robert, as well as officers of the European Candy Kettle Club, President Mike Dalby (second from left) and Vice President Dee Wakefield (far left), and Jim Heinz (far right), former chairman of Candy Industry’s Candy Kettle Committee in the United States.