I have been working with chocolate for 15 years; I am a chocolatier, chocolate maker, chocolate consultant/teacher, and farmers daughter. I travel through Latin America to work with cacao growers, chocolate makers, chocolatiers, and to teach indigenous women to make chocolate. I have worked with Zapotec women in Oaxaca, Maya women in Guatemala and Belize, and Ngäbe women in Panama. I also love making desserts and create dessert menus for São Paulo restaurants.
I have traveled to 23 countries to study chocolate and cacao; from boutique chocolatiers in Paris to isolated communities in the jungles of the Brazilian Amazon.
I make small batch chocolate in Sao Paulo and love adding local fruits, nuts, and flavors to my bars. I have met and visited every farmer that I work with, even my sugar supplier. Each one of my chocolate bars has a story that you can find on my travel blog.
My goals are to work at origin, with the communities that grow cacao, and to use that cacao to make great tasting chocolate. The flavor of chocolate is affected by everyone in the value chain. It begins with the farmer. I help them access the resources they need and want. This ranges from teaching them how to make chocolate, connecting them to chocolate makers, helping them grow and process high quality cacao, or bringing them equipment, packaging, tools, or books.
I currently live in São Paulo, Brazil and I teach chocolate making, chocolate tastings, and produce small batches of chocolate. I am also the president of the Associação Bean to Bar Brasil.
I am Californian- born in Los Angeles, raised on a peach/plum/chicken farm in Central California and attended university in Berkeley where Alice Waters and ScharffenBerger Chocolate were my weekend muses. The birth of the craft chocolate movement happened in my neighborhood while I studied Business and Latin American Literature. My first job was at the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school where I was exposed to the the world of chocolate. I honed my chocolatier skills with Ewald Notter,Andrew Shotts, and Shawn Williams. In Los Angeles I was a chef instructor at the Summer Cooking Academy, and in 2005 I founded a confection workshop which featured flavors of Latin America blended with Guittard Chocolate. I moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area and in 2011 established my retail location in Berkeley which was immediately featured as one of the best sweet shops in the world by Travel and Leisure Magazine. Later, I was named “Most Gifted Chocolatier” by the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon in 2013. I sold the retail location in 2013 to pursue a more intimate relationship with cacao growers, to become a chocolate maker with the amazing bean to bar artisans at Dandelion Chocolate, and to move to Brazil.
Mission Chocolate available at the following locations:
Chocolate Covered, 4069 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA +1-415-641-8123Roni-Sue's Chocolates, 148 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002, USA +1 212-677-1216The Meadow NYC,523 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014, USAMuCho Mundo Chocolates, Milan 45, Ciudad de Mexico, MEXICO
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São Paulo Chocolate tastings: May 8 + 15 and June 5 **** Chocolate Making Class: August 1-3