I am writing this in the chocolate factory I have been helping to build for Fine & Raw Chocolate. I am getting ready to leave for London - I leave for the airport in less than six hours. There is still much to do and I am going away for two weeks at a critical juncture. Sigh. Construction projects do tend to stretch, but this has taken longer than even a stretch schedule.
It's less than four hours before I head to the airport and my Heritage Radio Network program streams live at 3pm. Crunch time.
The basic itinerary has not changed.
I will be in London for four days, speaking at the Academy of Chocolate meeting on Friday and giving a presentation at Chocolate Unwrapped on Sunday. There is very little downtime with events (already) scheduled for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
On Monday morning I head to Amsterdam to speak at the Origin Chocolate conference on Tuesday and Wednesday. After the conference is over I am heading to Kortrijk with ChocolateLife member Geert Vercruysse before heading to Brussels, where on Thursday I will be getting a guided tour of Pierre Marcolini's workshop, given my Mr Marcolini.
On Friday it's off to Turin where I will be visiting Domori, and then spending Saturday in Turin doing some chocolate sightseeing - the must-stop destination is the master of gianduja, Guido Gubino.
On Sunday it's off to Milan where I will be spending all day Monday and Tuesday at FBM getting training on their machines and troubleshooting some chocolate tempering challenges. I return to NYC on Wednesday the 24th.
I do plan to be blogging every day of the trip and you will find those reports here in the blog section of TheChocolateLife. Photos, first-hand anecdotes, shameless name dropping (!) and more will be posted, along with tasting notes and impressions.
I would like to thank all of the ChocolateLife members who graciously donated to my trip fund. I really do appreciate your support. I will be bringing chocolate back for you, and probably throw in a few surprises.
Yours in the pursuit of chocolate,