Every other Monday, we’ll introduce you to a member of the Dandelion community through a Q & A. Stay tuned to meet our chocolate makers, café staff, kitchen team, producers, partners, importers, mentors, and everyone who helps make our chocolate possible. This week, we’d like you to meet Trevor, one of our lead chocolate makers who has an endless supply of corny jokes and puns that we never hesitate to steal and use as our own.
Name: Trevor Fast
Hometown: Walnut Creek, CA
Favorite Chocolate: Butuo, Liberia 70%
Worked at Dandelion since: July 2014
Position: Lead Chocolate Maker
Q: What does a Lead Chocolate Maker do?
A: It means I am in charge of making sure things get done on a day-to-day basis on the production floor.
Q: What do your friends think a lead chocolate maker does?
A: They think I play with chocolate all day. But what I really do is more seriously play around with chocolate all day.
Q: What did (or do) you want to be when you grew up?
A: Two things. When I was in elementary school I wanted to make video games, but according to some of my friends, in my junior year of high school I said I wanted to make chocolate. So I guess I’m where I said I’d be.
Q: What is your favorite part of the process?
A: It’s a close call between tempering chocolate and flavor testing. With tempering you’re actually manipulating the cocoa butter to form crystals. I think the science behind what we do is really interesting.
Q: What did you do before you came to Dandelion?
A: I studied Food Science at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, working at Cal Poly Chocolates, a student-run chocolatier project. We had a professor who supervised it, but we pretty much got to run things. We got fair trade milk chocolate and dark chocolate drops, melted and tempered them, and then added things to make them into chocolate bars.
In part, it was science-based, because we tempered, but at Dandelion it’s more about manipulating the natural flavors of different beans from different places, and we’re bringing out different flavors without adding stuff. At Cal Poly, we were chocolatiers and the process was ingredient-based. I like them both. But there I was a chocolatier and here I’m a chocolate maker.
Q: What is your superpower?
A: The ability to tell jokes.
Q: Tell me your best joke.
A: How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh?
Q: How many?
A: Ten tickles.
Q: (pause) That’s your best joke?
A: No. It’s one of my best jokes.
Q: How many do you have?
Q: That’s a lot of jokes.
A: Have you ever seen an elephant hiding in a tree?
A: That’s because they’re so good at it.
Q: Do you have any other superpowers?
A: I haven’t tested this out yet but I’m confident that I have the ability to detect poisons. I’m very sensitive to bitter, and poisons tend to be very bitter.
Q: That sounds useful. Okay, last question. If you could be an animal, what would you be?
A: I’m definitely an indoor cat, because I don’t like to go outdoors. But I like the outdoors. I like watching other people be outdoors, like through a window. Like a cat.
I’d also like to be a bear. I could do whatever I want and people would let me do it, and I’d be at the top of the food chain.
Q: So you’re an indoor cat who secretly wants to be a bear?
Q: Thanks for your time, Trevor.