The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

Chocolate Love: what first drew you to a life saturated with chocolate?

The Chocolate Tourist is all about the stories behind chocolate makers and what motivates an artisan's passion to work with beans.

For me, it all started with an atypical northern Virginia snowstorm that kept me housebound for two days. I started experimenting with hot chocolate recipes and was suddenly seized with a burning desire to know all about chocolate - where it comes from and its cultural significance and what goes into the bean to bar process.

It's a rabbit hole that so far has not presented a bottom!

I'd love to find out where my fellow Chocolate Lifers are coming from. What's your story?

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For me, I have always been a foodie but chocolate was just something I quickly grabbed while waiting at the check out isle at the grocery store. Until of course I did a winery tour and they offered me a tasting of ice wine in a chocolate cup. I loved the combination and of course wanted to share the experience with friends at home but couldn't find the cups anywhere. That lead me to trying to make my own and that's where I starting playing with chocolate, quickly finding it very interesting with the desire to learn more.

As I played with chocolate and discovered new combinations while learning the science behind it all, I found it a natural fit. I was so intrigued by it that I bought and read endless books about it and eventually went to school for it. My friends (aka guinea pigs) loved what I made and wanted to buy them, so I eventually built a business around it.  I am lucky to have found something I am so passion about other then my family. But I am also fortunate enough to have a family that supports my crazy ways. I am a chocolatier, I love what I do. There is much more to this story but this is the general gist of it. 


Dirke! That is awesome! I love this stuff - it's so true of the way chocolate works, isn't it? We're just living our lives, minding our own business and suddenly we're swept away with a seemingly innocent taste.

Which turns into an idea, which turns into a fascination, which turns into a lifestyle. Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'd love to taste your chocolate sometime! Is it a wine/chocolate combo?

You can find some brief details here.

Observing a tree at our farm during an partially immobilizing injury and reading all about theobroma cacao got me hooked on it... now I propagate high yield clones and naturalized trees at my own nursery/farm. I do micro batches for my own consumption as roasted nibs. No chocolate yet. :)


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