Although not the first to go after the Mast Brothers, a food blogger at DallasFood.org has been stirring up the mixing pot with a four part take down of the Williamsburg chocolatiers this week. From Eater:
the blogger behind a site called DallasFood.org — known only to readers as Scott — has just published an obsessive four-part series with the goal of exposing the Mast Brothers as frauds. Scott alleges that while the company claims it has been “bean-to-bar” (i.e., making its chocolate completely from scratch) from the beginning, in the early years they were in fact melting down pre-made chocolate, molding it into bars and re-packaging it. He argues that given the company’s very limited equipment setup in the early years, it would have been literally impossible for it to produce the large quantities of chocolate it was selling.
DallasFood.org has also been posting some amusing before and after pictures of the brothers on their tumblr like the one of Rick Mast looking like Chris Martin of Coldplay seen below:
The comparisons to Milli Vanilli in part four of the series are pretty entertaining as well:
Rick and Michael Mast were the Milli Vanilli of chocolate. They costumed themselves with quaint clothing and showy beards. (In the fall of 2008, Michael Mast even dyed his hair and beard red to better match his brother in photographs.) They talked the talk of authenticity and “reconnecting” the public to lost foodways. By May of 2008, they publicly proclaimed themselves the “Leaders of the Chocolate Revolution.” They won over celebrity chefs, then piggybacked on their credibility. Packaging trumped product. They crafted their public image magnificently. To this day, you can’t read an article about the Masts that doesn’t effuse about the beards and the paper. (When they calculate optimal media-ripeness, count on the beards to be shaven, generating more Mast mania!)