David Castellan and Cynthia Leung of Soma Chocolatemaker at Slow Move Picnic
Soma Chocolatemaker is a craft chocolate maker located in Toronto, Canada that was founded by David Castellan and Cynthia Leung. This interview focuses on answers given by Cynthia Leung.
I’ve had the pleasure of devouring many of Soma Chocolatemaker bars. I first discovered Soma when Ecole Chocolat posted a picture of Soma’s Dark Side of the Mug drinking chocolate on instagram (https://www.instagram.com/ecolechocolat/?hl=en) and I knew I had to have it! So I placed my first Soma order, and the rest is history.
Throughout this interview you will find pictures of just a few of the Soma bars I’ve had concluding with their Milk Old School bar which (spoiler alert) tied for first place in the 2016 Dark Matters Chocolate Awards.
Chocolate makers are extremely busy people, so a huge thank you to Cynthia for taking the time from her busy schedule to answer my questions. I am truly grateful, and look forward to seeking out all of Soma’s future creations!
Soma Chocolatemaker Dark Side of the Mug Drinking Chocolate
Victoria Cooksey: What was your first experience with fine chocolate, and what made you decided to turn your passion for chocolate into a full time career?
Cynthia Leung: We were reading Maricel’s first edition of her book, “Taste of Chocolate” at home and eating a bar of Domori’s Madagascar. In combination this was our portal into the world of cacao. Continue reading “Interview of Cynthia Leung of Soma Chocolatemaker with Victoria Cooksey”
Note: This interview was first published in my original Blogspot site on 3-24-17.
I’m excited to be sharing another interview with all of you chocoholics out there. This time I interview Lauren Heineck who makes bean to bar chocolates called WKND Chocolate out of Denver, Colorado. She also produces a podcast celebrating women in chocolate titled Well Tempered which may be found on both her website, and now on iTunes. Lauren also promotes strong community ties with those in all aspects of the chocolate industry from farmers, chocolate makers, suppliers, and chocolate reviewers (like yours truly), and more. Needless to say, she is one busy, and creative lady!
Continue reading “Interview with Lauren Heineck of WKND Chocolate, and Well Tempered Podcast with Victoria Cooksey”
Note: This interview first appeared in my original Blogspot blog on 3-2-17.
Estelle Tracy of 37 Chocolates
I’m very excited to bring you this interview with Estelle Tracy of 37 Chocolates. Estelle is a food writer, a chocolate educator, and so much more. She is a wonderful supporter of small craft chocolate makers, a valuable resource of chocolate information delivered in an approachable way, and always has encouraging words for people in all aspects of the craft chocolate world.
In 2015 Estelle decided to try 37 US-made craft chocolate bars by her 37th birthday, and the rest is chocolate history. Continue reading “Interview with Estelle Tracy of 37 Chocolates with Victoria Cooksey”
Note: This interview was first published in my original Blogspot site on 2-3-17.
I’m very please to bring you this interview with Josef Zotter of Zotter Chocolate.
A special thank you to Barbara Dolleschal of Zotter Chocolates US LLC for facilitating this interview, providing some of the information for the interview, and for the translation work!
Note: My questions had to be translated, and then the answers were translated back, so please keep that in mind when reading this post.
Zotter Chocolates is a bean to bar, organic, fair trade chocolate manufacture located in Austria. I purchased Zotter Chocolate for the very first time at The Chocolate Project in Victoria, B.C. in September of 2016, and then I re-stocked my supply at the NW Chocolate Festival in Seattle, WA last November 2016 where I was also lucky enough to meet Barbara Dolleschal of Zotter Chocolates US LLC, and thus the idea for an interview was born!
Josef Zotter, Zotter Chocolate Photo Credit: (c) Zotter Chocolate
Continue reading “Interview with Josef Zotter of Zotter Chocolate with Victoria Cooksey”
Note: This interview first appeared on 11-4-16 on my original Blogspot site.
This week’s interview is with Pam Williams. Pam is the founder of Ecole Chocolat, lead instructor, and co-author of Raising The Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate. (Did I mention I got both my chocolate certifications from Ecole Chocolat?).
I want to thank Pam for taking time out of her busy work schedule to answer these questions.
Pam Williams, Ecole Chocolat Founder & Lead Instructor Continue reading “Interview with Pam Williams, Ecole Chocolat Founder, and Lead Instructor by Victoria Cooksey”
Note: This interview was original published on 9-30-16 on my Dark Matters Fine Chocolate Reviews blogspot site.
Richard Tango-Lowy, Dancing Lion Chocolate
Today I am so pleased to bring you this interview with Richard Tango-Lowy, a physicist turned chocolatier, who is the owner, and master chocolatier of Dancing Lion Chocolate. Richard also teaches the Mastering Chocolate Flavor course with Ecole Chocolat. (I learned so much from him when I recently took the course). Oh, and did I mention he was named one of the top 10 chocolatiers in America by Dessert Professional magazine in 2016. Congrats Richard!!!
Continue reading “Interview with Richard Tango-Lowy Owner, and Master Chocolatier of Dancing Lion Chocolate with Victoria Cooksey”
Note: This blog post was originally published on 9-2-16 on my blog Dark Matters Fine Chocolate Reviews on blogspot.
I first talked with Jasmine Lukuku during a live chat on tasting chocolate while earning my Mastering Chocolate Flavor Certificate from Ecole Chocolat. Jasmine is so delightful, up beat, and informative! Continue reading “Interview with The Blenderist, Chocolate Codex, Jasmine Lukuku with Victoria Cooksey”
Note: This interview originally appeared on my Dark Matters Fine Chocolate blog on blogspot on 10-21-16.
I’m so pleased to bring you this interview with Hazel Lee! Hazel is a bean to bar chocolate maker, chocolate consultant, social media director for the NW Chocolate Festival, is a tour guide with Chocolate Ecstasy Tours in England, a judge for both the Academy of Chocolate, and Quality Food Awards, and more! Wow! She is clearly a very busy lady, so I’m very grateful she made time to answer questions for my blog. Thank you Hazel! (She also gets my vote for best smile in the chocolate industry! Her smile will make you smile too, and it’s so clear she loves what she does).
Victoria Cooksey: What was your first experience with fine chocolate?
Hazel Lee: I walked into a Hotel Chocolat store in 2008 and tried a free sample of chocolate-enrobed rum-soaked raisins and instantly tasted the difference in their chocolate compared with high street confectionery. The quality was a whole new level and from that moment I was hooked!
Continue reading “Interview with Hazel Lee, Bean to Bar Maker & Consultant, NW Chocolate Festival, Chocolate Ecstasy Tours with Victoria Cooksey”
Note: This interview was originally published on 8-7-16 on my Dark Matters Fine Chocolate Reviews blogspot site.
The chocolate Journalist, Sharon Terenzi
I’m extremely pleased to bring you this interview with The Chocolate Journalist, Sharon Terenzi. Sharon is a chocolate blogger, a member of the FCIA (Fine Chocolate Industry Association), and does a fantastic job at promoting fine chocolate in all it’s luscious forms.
Victoria Cooksey: What does chocolate mean to you, both as a food, and as it is presented in the world?
The Chocolate Journalist: To me chocolate means humanity. It is the end product of a long line involving people in different countries, from different backgrounds, with different expertise, coming together to realize one of the most enjoyable foods in the World. A chocolate bar is the sum of races, places, faces. Every time I try a chocolate bar, I like to visualize the care of the cacao farmers, the challenges of the middlemen and the determination of the chocolate makers. Chocolate is a highly “human” product and to me that is the most fascinating aspect of all. Continue reading “Interview with The Chocolate Journalist, Sharon Terenzi with Victoria Cooksey”