Happy Summer everyone! I wanted to let you know after quite a bit of consideration, I have decided to close my Etsy Shop. I have enjoyed interacting with other sellers, and selling to fabulous people all around the world, but it is time to refocus. Etsy has been a great platform to connect, showcase and test the market on my work. I will continue to create (as I can’t imagine life without making) but I want to focus on building up Quilt Chocolate and I need the time & mind space to do that. I’m working on a lot of elements to get that going (Licensing, Kitchen rental, recipe development, packaging sourcing, etc.) If you’ve ever wanted something from my Etsy shop, now’s the time to get it before I close it July 30th! I’m offering free domestic shipping with the coupon code FREESHIP. Thank you for all of your support!
The last part of my 2-week trip to France included a little time in Paris and then back to the Rhone-Alpes Valley this time to visit a friend living in Annecy. It was a great weekend visit and again, about a 3-hour train ride south east of Paris. In Paris my classmates and I visited many of the well known chocolate shops mostly in the 7 arrondissement. It was great to sample a variety of tastes and see a variety of brand design. Plus 4 girls running around Paris eating chocolate all day, what’s not to love? In Annecy I stayed with my friend Kayko and we went out for fondue, walked around the lake and went to the cutest antique market I’ve ever seen. It was a really nice visit and I am so glad I got to spend time in both Paris and also Tain l’Hermitage and Annecy. It was a trip I will never forget!
From Paris, our class of 12 took a train about 3 hours south east to the Rhone Alpes Valley and a town called Tain l’Hermitage. This is where the Valrhona school is. Each day we walked to school and spent the day learning techniques, recipes, and making lots of amazing chocolate confections. The class included a diverse group of chocolatiers from around the world and the class was taught in English, though the techniques and recipes we learned were French. Each day for lunch we walked to a darling little house rented by the school to eat a beautifully prepared 5 course lunch, complete with pastry from a class of professional pastry chefs who were also taking a course, wine and of course a cheese plate. The food was amazing. Everything about the experience was magical. and it was also tough work, we moved at a very fast pace and the standards were high. It was tough for people who hadn’t worked in a commercial kitchen, but thankfully my team consisted of 2 experienced pastry chefs and they taught me a lot and we stayed ahead of schedule. I learned so much, and really fell in love with working with chocolate all day. I came back with so many ideas, new techniques, new recipes, and a confidence about working with chocolate. It’s amazing how much you can teach yourself, but even more so, what you can learn from working in a team and having someone there to help you correct your mistakes. I’ve already made a new recipe since returning, basil-infused limoncello white chocolate ganache with milk chocolate. I am working on putting together a plan for a chocolate subscription, much like a CSA where you pay for 3 months or more, and each month receive a mixed box of chocolate. There is so much to research and plan for, I’m doing a lot of costing, visiting commercial kitchens to rent, recipe trials and research, and trying to get as much figured out as possible. Stay tuned!
Well folks, it’s official, I’m now a Master Chocolatier! You can read a little about my journey to this adventure here! Last month I set out for a 2 week trip to France. I spent some time in Paris, some in Tain Hermitage and some time in Annecy (both are in the Rhone-Alpes region in the southeast of France, about a 3 hour train ride from Paris.) I set off on this adventure to immerse myself in chocolate, with the center of the trip focusing on attending a Master Chocolatier course at Valrhona. The trip was everything I hoped for and more. The weather was perfect, I ate amazing food, learned so much about working with chocolate, came away with many new recipes and made some great friends from around the world who are also passionate about chocolate. It may well be the best trip I’ve ever taken. A little bit of city (galleries/museums/chocolate shops) a little bit of learning, a little bit of country, and a lot of great food & wine! If you ever have the chance to go to France, do yourself a favor and of course visit Paris, but make sure to visit a smaller town as well! Because this trip filled me so, I had a hard time editing my inspiration photos. I decided to break out the posts in 3 parts to share photos and some details.
While in Paris I visited the Lanvin Exhibit which inspired me greatly, namely the lovely quilting techniques used in her garments. It solidified my favorite fashion era as the 1930’s, which I was pretty sure was my favorite but am for sure now! I also visited several galleries along St Germaine, tons of chocolate and pastry shops (generally centered in the 7th arrondissement in Paris), took the hop on-hop-off bus using my museum pass (always my favorite thing to do when I get to a new city and feel extremely jet lagged but excited to see some sites.) I took a boat cruise along the Seine (which all but rocked me to sleep on said jet lag day.) I ran up the stairs to the top of the arc de triomphe, & visited lots of lovely shops (clothing/housewares/chocolate and baking supplies) in the Marais district. Here are some photos from my time in Paris, in my next post I’ll post photos of my time at Valrhona.
Where has the time gone? I did not mean to step away for so many months, and life has certainly been busy! February I spent organizing, cleaning, and focusing on the business side of things. March I spent out of commission with a condition called Pericarditis, (a virus causing inflammation around my heart.) It was also an especially busy month at work! April I took a trip to NYC and focused on practicing my chocolate making at home to prepare for my Master Chocolatier class in France (more to come on that!) And now it’s already the end of May and I’m again so busy with work, practicing my new chocolate recipes, and happy to come back to this space and share! In a separate post I’ll be sharing more from my amazing trip to France! Here are a few pictures from my inspiring trip to NYC.
Today is the last day to order for Valentines Day chocolate deliveries! I ship anywhere in the US and all orders placed between now and February 1 will ship out Monday February 9th to arrive in time for Valentines Day! Check out my chocolate shop here. If you are local-Portland, lets arrange a pick up and I’ll throw in an extra chocolate bar to recoup your shipping fee! I will not be making any more chocolate to sell until the end of this year. Thanks for helping me towards my Master chocolate class in France this April!
Over the New year break I took a trip to Astoria and visited the Maritime museum. I love Nautical inspiration, and there were so many beautiful colors and textures and I came away inspired to start my first quilt of 2015. I’m working on designing that now, and will continue to share how it evolves from this inspiration! Here are some of my photos.