The Chocolate Life

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Geraldine Sim
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  • NY
  • United States
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Dark, Milk, White?
Dark, White
Most memorable chocolate experience:
Hawaiian chocolate with pineapple and macadamia tones in it. Delicious...thank you Guittard.
My favorite chocolate is:
usually in a mousse but really I love Manjari. Guanaja is a close second for me.

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At 8:58pm on January 27, 2009, James Gallo said…
Hello Geraldine,
First of please accept my deepest apology for it taking over two months to get back to you. This is one of the first times I have been on my computer at home since the competition.
Second, thank you for the comments, it is very kind of you. That was the longest eight hours of my career, and probably the hardest. I was running a 102 degree fever that day, it was something I came down with on the wednesday before the competition, and I just couldnt break it.
The gears on top.......well lets say they were there to add height, and were in a sense used to add dimension and to the top of the piece, but it really was meant to represent thought. Chef Torres like them too, he loved the mold and its shape.
Advice for anyone getting into this industry. Well I'll give you my top five.
1-Be ready to work long and hard, push yourself to the limit everyday.
2-Experience comes before money. You cant be worried about making a lot of money right away. The greatest of chefs want someone that is willing to for go money, to gain experience. Money comes later.
3-PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE......I used to pull sugar in my home kitchen.
4-Read as much as you possibly can.....there are so many amazing books out there. Some arevery costly.
I will outright say that right now I believe the absolute best chocolate book on the market is "Ramon Morato-Chocolate" its the most expensive book I own, but he detail that he put into that book.
I have read it three times, and every time, I learn something else. Even the basic information about the ingredients that we use, isnt so basic.
5-Be willing to work on your time, if your company will allow you to work off the clock, and you can stay and learn, then do so. Your Chef will admire your eagerness to learn and willingness to do it for free.

This is a hard life, its 12+ hours a day, six or seven days a week. Be willing to sacrifice whatever you need to to get to the pinnacle. You can be an Executive Pastry Chef in a matter of 5 years if you push hard enough.

Again thank you for the kind words, and I wish you all the best and much success in your pastry career. PLease dont hesitate if you have any more questions and again I my sincerest apologies for taking so long to get back to you.

James Gallo

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