Opportunities come in all shapes and forms. I signed up for a Chocolate class where I would be learning more about where the ingredient I love to eat comes from and how it is harvested. That is how I met the owners of Madre Chocolate. The day we met, they were in a bit of a jam with the class and I offered to help prepare the tasting samples. Being nice can take you places. Their way of saying thanks: offering me an internship in the chocolate shop for the remainder of my stay. I accepted, of course.
At first you wonder how two individuals so different from each other could possibly be running the same company, but you learn quickly that they both bring something different yet completely necessary to the table. Enter Nat Bletter. Ethnobotanist and traveler extraordinaire is soft-spoken, generous and wonderfully quirky. David Elliot the cofounder of Madre Chocolate is someone who I like to think of as a Willy ‘Macgyver’ Wonka; his hand always in chocolate or altering chocolate related equipment. They both took me under their wing and taught me lovely things I did not know.
Admittedly, working in the chocolate factory I had to fight a very I Love Lucy moment and remind myself that it was unnecessary to stuff my mouth with chocolate, as they allow the staff to sample all the chocolates. Some of my favorite parts about getting in-touch with my inner Wonka was learning how they choose additions for each bar, watching them develop a unique Earl Gray tea bar and watching people who love what they do make incredible things happen.
Madre Chocolate was a lovely addition to my Hawaiian culinary experiences… Between the Mactella made by Nat and the ghetto rap provided by David, there were many smiles among the time spent preparing chocolate additions. I loved that all of the bars were dark chocolate (my absolute favorite and the best one to like, according to my chocolate personality theory). My two personal favorite bars, in no particular order, Lilikoi (passionfruit to non-hawaiians) and Ginger Coconut.
I know in the future one of my friends from Aloha land will be mailing me Madre Chocolate chocolate goodies! Also, in other exciting news, a very special chocolate bar from Madre Chocolate, the Rosita de Cacao to be exact, came in at #4 on the Saveur 100 list.
So in summary I would like to send a special message to David and Nat:
Guys, go get your chocolate on!