Thanks for the compliment. I am freelance artist. My business is called Eat Your Art Out and I am in So. Cal. . I was working with Tracey Downey at Downey's Chocolates until she decided to go strictly wholesale and close her retail doors in late December 08. I am actually looking for a place to display my work. I am making contacts with event planners, and anyone who is looking for something different. I am NOT Martha Stewart and love to do the unusual request. I did some more "production" type work for Thanksgiving and Christmas (masses of truffles that looked like turkeys and snowmen) and realized that is just not my love. It is the art. The show pieces or sculpture pieces. Chocolate just happens to be my medium. I have TONS to learn about chocolate. Hand tempering still evades me. Tracey taught me that is a science to work with chocolate. I have spent many an hour cussing out molds that wouldn't either come out or the coco butter paint peeled when I un-molded them. This is the only art I know where you have to make your medium and that is where my frustration lies. I am looking for the perfect chocolate clay, modeling chocolate or chocolate paste (all depending on what you call it) recipe. I have made many variations on the standard corn syrup and melted chocolate. It's too hard or too soft, and breaks if you over mix..... I didn't even know what "broken" WAS until about 45 days ago. So I need classes on all that is Chocolate and then I can perfect my medium. ANY suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I want to learn. Thanks so much for posting my photos. BTW, I did a 7 foot long by 3 foot tall totally kosher chocolate Menorah for a synagogue in Oceanside that I will be posting the photos from shortly. It was a great experience and now I know a LOT more about kosher!
Hey Clay...GREAT to hear from you and what a GREAT book so far! Multi tasking at the time and clicked the wrong .jpg tp post...sorry. That's now been corrected.
I too look forward to learning a tremendous amount of information from you.
In short, I had a need to lose weight but DID NOT want to give up chocolate. After much research, Isagenix provided the cleansing and fat burning system needed for me to reach my goal...AND...they offer an outstanding dietary supplement known as IsaDelight.
Please feel free to visit my website: www.cleansedandbalanced.com and learn more about IsaDelight.
Lastly, I'm very interested in Home Tastings and learning all I can about the world of chocolate.
Thank you again for the time, energy and effort you've put into your passion!!!
Hi Clay, yes that is the what I am looking for the Gianuja from Callebaut, my distributor does not carry it, so I need to find a place that sells other flavors wholesale. Right now I just want to try it, so I want to buy one brick and then hopefully more later. Thanks for the sources, I will check into them asap. I'm looking forward to joining one of the groups, I'm thinking about the Start-up Central. It's nice to talk to other people on what works for them and ideas on chocolate.
I was looking for another source to buy Callebaut chocolate the Hazelnut and I found " World Wide Chocolate ". They seemed to ask alot of very personal questions that no other company has asked. Is that common? Can you recommend another source, being so small I always have to order so much.
Hey Clay, my wife unknowingly bought me your book for Christmas and I tore through it in just a couple days. The book was very approachable for any level of person and it gave me some great ideas going forward on how to do tastings and pairing concepts that might have eluded me.
Coming from a coffee background I am always amazed at how similar the processes are from bean to bar or bean to cup and would love to try some terroir parings of a chocolate and coffee farm together.
Anyhow, lovely book, good form factor. Recommended reading. :))
Oh yea, I saw in it talk about how you sold chocolate paring kits, or flights, do you still do that? I saw Chocophile now redirects here.
Appreciate the welcome and look forward to digging through the knowledge you've got housed here for help in our growing endeavor. I love to think that if I can find help early I can avoid some caveats and the bruises associated with them. Must wisdom be so painful? ;-)
Hallo Clay, the chocolate scene here in Czech republic is not so sweet. We miss some special shops focused on chocolate and usually the best, what you can get around is Lindt. But I'm trying, searching, tasting etc., so I don't feel this so much. Czech chocolate is fine, but in the past it was better.
I was at the Cacao Symposium in 2005 but don't think we met. I'm the scientists in our ag college assigned to cacao. I'm propagating 10 varieties / selections for a state-wide evaluation. We had a Future of Cacao in Hawaii meeting on Oct 23 2008, and may form a state organization. Clearly for growers a market for their wet and fermented beans is of concern.
The flight is to Santa Cruz with AA. I have a local travel program for 4 or 6 days, that we have to organize from here as it involves flights with small planes. I can send the program to you later as I have to translate it first.
The idea I have to build "the most sophisticated cacao farm" is a bit bigger. This is why I mentioned "Opus One" where Mondavi and Rothchild designed their wine world in California. It is a dream I have, but maybe someday I might be able to get the financing behind it. Interest from chocolate industry I have already. The concept is in my mind and I still have to write it down
We are celebrating the 300 anniversary of Baures with the first Chocolate Fair ever in this remote place. Have you had a look lately at the web site from Felchlin news. There is an article from the Magazine Cocoaroma about the Cru Sauvage. How can I get this known to our community here. regards - Volker
I am just starting my chocolat business Chocolat Des Arts in São Paulo after have worked as a marketing professional for a spanish telecomunication company for almost 10 years. I had the ultimate pleasure to taste at first hand Valrhonas' s brazilian chocolate. It has indeed an exquisite note of north brazilian fruits cajá and carambola. Very tropical, very brazilian! Thanks for welcoming me.
It was great meeting you the other day. I look forward to staying in contact and sharing information about the wonderful world of chocolate. It appears that there are many small niche chocolate manufacturers throughout the world but what about US based custom blend manufacturers?
On another note, I noticed your blog on the Starbucks chocolate from earlier this year. Not sure if you are aware but we use to supply Starbucks with all of their panned chocolates before Hershey. What are your thoughts on the current line and are you aware of how it is performing?
by the way - the family loved the 75% Kallari!!! - my son who is 13 said its the shiznit!!
I'm delighted to be a new member of The Chocolate Life, and am looking forward to exchanging information with all of you. I read that you are planning a chocolate tour to Mexico. Have you set a date yet? I've been leading chocolate study tours to Mexico since the early 90's. My last one was in May, which coincided with the San Isidro celebration in Tabasco, Mexico. It was an amazing experience. I wish you well on yours and would be happy to help you in any way I can.
At 10:37pm on September 30, 2008, Joel Eliaz said…
by any chance, do you have an idea of how many fine chocolate producers work with venezuelan cacao nibs as their main ingredient?
The question comes because I was at a chocolate workshop recently and there was this woman I met who worked for the local representatives (a law firm) of one of the world top brands, and she told me that the brand signed an exclusive contract with a producer in Chuao to purchase all its production each year for ten years in order to guarantee the quality they were going to work with, and to offer single origin taste to their customers. Is this common elsewhere?