The challenge of chocolate
Out of all the foods I’ve worked with over my time as a chef, I’ve always been drawn to chocolate. I love the challenge; the creations that are possible; the mixture of science and creativity. Chocolate is a food that requires an in-depth understanding of the elements and techniques to create a perfect temper.
My career started when I was fifteen and I wanted to learn how to cook. I’ve always had an interest in food, and I feel pretty lucky to have been around fresh ingredients and good cooks in my family. I started my commercial cookery apprenticeship working in a local Gold Coast a la carte restaurant while still finishing school. I also decided to study Patisserie so I would finish with a dual-qualification. That’s how I started as a pastry chef.
Since then, I’ve worked in different establishments across Melbourne and during my latest adventure – living and working in Germany. I came across this little shop in Berlin that makes ‘bean to bar’ chocolate – sourcing the cacao beans themselves and turning it into chocolate unlike anything I had tasted before. I’d never tried ‘bean to bar’ before and that was probably the epiphany for me. I needed to learn how to make it so I spent some time learning the basics at a chocolate school in Cologne.
I’ve recently moved back to the Gold Coast to start a business that could help share the amazing chocolate that I had tasted overseas. With the help of family and friends, it was possible to make this dream a reality.
Little Cocoa is starting small, first specialising in chocolate pralines, but ultimately I want to be making ‘bean to bar’ chocolate. There’s a lot of room to play with chocolate and I can’t wait to create the many lovely possibilities with it. Hopefully, this is just what Queensland is waiting for.