Brain Food: We'd love that job - Chocolatier - Chantal Coady, Rococo Chocolates, London

Chantal Coady, Rococo Chocolates, London What do you do?

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

What do you do?

I taste the base chocolate to make sure it's really good. It comes in huge blocks, from Belgium and France mainly. A lot of them are single-origin, which gives them a distinctive flavour. I love chocolate that is fruity rather than bitter. I look for intensity and balance. Then I mix it with other flavours like cardamom - each flavour should complement the other rather than one dominating. I develop the flavours and come up with ideas and make a little batch. It's as much about the design and the look. There should be joy, love, excitement and fantasy there. We've created Art Eggs for Easter. They're hand-painted after the style of certain artists and have been given silly names like Jackman Bollocks and Monk Rothkoff.

How did you get the job?

I've had the shop since 1983. It was a childhood fantasy to have my own chocolate shop, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I finished my degree, went to business school for 10 weeks, found the shop and opened up.

Does reality match the dream?

Yes, but underneath the wonderful satisfaction of working with chocolate, there's a huge amount of grind. I have overdosed on chocolate - I once had to taste 50 boxes of chocolate within two weeks. I felt so sick by the end of it, it put me off for months.

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