I arrived on the scene with chocolate on my mind.
Seeing as how, when she was pregnant with me, she was given a due date of May 1st. I did not actually arrive until May 15th, which is, in fact, National Chocolate Chip Day (go ahead and Google it).
From the very beginning, chocolate was destined to play a big role in my life.
Since that time, I’ve spent a lot of time researching, or, shall we say, “engaging in professional development.”
Always with my guests in mind, of course! 😉
I’ve eaten chocolate in and from many different countries—the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, England, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Japan, China, and more.
I once walked 11 miles through San Francisco—yes, with all those hills… in one day… in order to visit all of their chocolate shops.
I’ve worked as a consultant for local chocolatiers, chocolate shop owners, hotels, restaurants, bake shops, and even a chocolate shop in Heidelberg, Germany, helping to brainstorm and conceive of new products and chocolate-related ventures.
I’ve written about chocolate for international companies like Hotel Chocolat and Lindt.
I’ve presented at M.I.T. and Harvard on the subject.
I’ve told stories and personal anecdotes about my chocolate adventures on the same stage that was once graced by the likes of Joan Baez, Shawn Colvin, Bob Dylan, and Jimmy Buffett.
I even once sold $50 worth of chocolate to celebrity fitness personality Jillian Michaels, and taught acclaimed chef (and Julia Child’s favorite chicken roaster) Gordon Hamersley about the history of chocolate in Boston.
In June of 2019 I was fortunate to be personally invited by the first American woman to win at the International Chocolate Awards to join her along with a small group of chocolate professionals from around the world on a trip to Colombia organized by Uncommon Cacao, to visit cacao farms throughout the Sierra Nevada region. Along with our farm visits, we also were able to tour the Cacao Hunters chocolate factory, experience a guided chocolate and local fruit pairing class, tour cacao bean processing facilities, and were granted a visit with the Arhuacos, an indigenous tribe who has been farming cacao for over 500 years, including the rare white cacao varietal.
I also can’t remember the last day I went without having any chocolate.
I love writing about, talking about, teaching, tasting, and sharing my love of chocolate, it’s past and present, with all sorts of people in all sorts of situations. For over a decade, I’ve been doing exactly that with folks from across the country and multiple continents through our virtual programming. Whether it’s taking folks around my other great love, Boston, to show them different dessert highlights in the city, teaching classes about the history of this amazing bean, or hosting tastings with groups of friends who want to learn how to appreciate this fine food in a deeper, more sophisticated way, I truly believe there is no end to what chocolate can do.
It can bring smiles to faces in an instant, it can make friends out of strangers, and it can create happy memories that last a lifetime.
Chocolate really does make everything better.