Hi Mark, I would love to talk to you in more detail about what you are doing. I so admire it and have been called to do exactly the same and in the Southwest. The historical details I have a personal interest in but don't feel called to give info to public. But, the rest of it is on par. I know the Kakawa Chocolate House and have experienced the elixirs. Wow. My vision I am creating is unveiling a Chocolate Alchemy lounge connected to a Yoga Studio and reintroducing Chocolate Yoga. The lounge is very relaxed with comfie furniture and a small kitchen for creating elixirs and some chocolate truffles and gluten free desserts. Maybe on the desserts. I want to use the yoga studio space for the chocolate ceremonial meditations and healing sessions. This is the vision stuck in my head! LOL I am interested in acquiring ceremonial grown cacao, such as what the Chocolate Shaman in Guatemala has offered. Please contact me. Thank you!
Hello Becky, your vision sound great. If I understand you correctly, you will be in the Southwest with the yoga/chocolate lounge/studio? I see that you are based in WI.
As to Kakawa, I left in June 2009, and I know that my elixirs recipes have been changed. There is a new owner as of Fall 2011 and I have spoken with him several times (although not on the recipes) and he seems to be a nice guy. I cannot vouch for the recipes now at Kakawa as I make my own. I've been giving lectures and presentations on the history of chocolate, continue to do research and development of historic drinking chocolate (I am up to around 30 different kinds).
I encourage you to do the desserts, just use very good ingredients and quality chocolate. You will spend more but you will have unparalleled flavors.
I am in the process of writing my own wheat-free/gluten-free baking book. I have been a pastry chef/baker for over 20 years and went in that direction in 1995. I am available for consulting.
The ceremonial aspects of chocolate are ancient and the uses of chocolate in ceremony are profound. I have been giving chocolate ceremonies in private settings for quite a while now. The responses and feedback are that people have received heart gifts and deep insights, as well as a new appreciation and gratitude for chocolate.
I am interested in speaking with you about your vision and experiences.
You can reach me at my email address.
Thank you so much for your response, Mark. I will email you today! I look forward to learning more from you!