Today, I’m celebrating my two-year anniversary as the Executive Pastry Chef at Dandelion Chocolate! I never imagined that a quick, introductory meeting with Todd while en route to the Jay Z and Justin Timberlake concert (while gainfully employed) could change my career path. I was deep into the throes of restaurant life: long grueling days, dinner out of plastic quart containers, two obligatory post-dinner-service tequila gimlets, and blistered fingers from quenelling ice cream for six straight hours every night. I thought that was just the norm. At first, the cultural difference was a shock. WordPress, All Hands (our monthly company-wide meeting) and weekly “one-on-one” meetings were all foreign terms to me. A “one-on-one” in restaurant culture meant you were ordering a shot of Jameson with a beer chaser. Speaking in the common/pirate-esque kitchen terminology I was accustomed to was like speaking a different language here. However, over time, I have settled in to what has been the best adventure in the most supportive environment (I often receive applause for putting brownie scraps on the factory staircase). I am fortunate to have the creative responsibility along with my kitchen team to take this delicious ingredient and make it into unique drinks and pastries while also teaching our customers about the charm of single origin chocolate. I have consumed chocolate every day for the last two years, and some of my personal favorites (my “Camino Verde greatest hits”) are the nibby horchata, frozen hot chocolate, and dulce de leche bar. I can’t wait for all that the future has in store: the Ferry Building hot chocolate and pastry stand, and a book that will include our kitchen recipes. Until then, I’ll be holding down the kitchen in our continually bustling cafe on Valencia Street, where I end my work week on Saturdays around 5pm when there is always still a line out the door for chocolate!
Thanks for all the chocolate love,
*This letter also appeared in our September newsletter. To sign up for monthly updates, visit our Contact Us page.