WELCOME BEYOND // Chris Laugsch, co-founder
THE EDUCATOR: Pam Williams started her first chocolate business in 1981. Captivated by making her own chocolates, she has made her career in the chocolate industry and 10 years ago, opened an online chocolate school, Ecole Chocolat, with its head office in Vancouver, British Columbia. Ecole Chocolat attracts chocolate learners from all corners of the globe as programs are delivered entirely online. In the Master Chocolate Programs, students get to travel to different chocolate countries. ON TASTING CHOCOLATE: First of all, taste with a clean palate. I like mornings myself before my palate gets hit with all the spicy/savory later in the day. But that is purely a personal choice. Be consistent your tasting method so you build up a sensory library of chocolates you have tasted before in exactly the same way. I suggest to our students that they keep a journal of their tastings to refer back to. NUMBER OF CHOCOLATES PER TASTING: No more than six samples, preferably four. The scientific research into sampling indicates that after four taste comparisons, the palate becomes jaded and individual flavors are harder to pick out. ON TRADING UP: When trading up to a higher quality chocolate bar, you’ll discover how much better a bar made with fine chocolate tastes! The best way to test this is to buy a premium bar of chocolate and also your favorite drug/grocery store bar. Taste the premium bar first and then follow with your grocery store bar. I think you will find a very big difference in flavor tasting them in that order. ecolechocolat.com
FAVOURITE CITY: We are based in Berlin and I love the city. There is so much going on, so many interesting people, it can be really peaceful and green but also lively and with a bit of a rough edge. BEST MEAL OF YOUR LIFE: Freshly caught and barbecued Cavalla (fish) with macaxeira frita (fried manioc) served with an ice cold beer on a small, and almost deserted, beach in Brazil with a bunch of friends. It doesn’t get much better than this... COUNTRY THAT HAS INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU ENTERTAIN: Definitely Brazil. The people are so warm and welcoming and meals are often almost like a celebration! I love the simplicity of the food – fresh ingredients and not much chi chi. It is unpretentious, just good food shared on a big table with as many people as possible. UP NEXT FOR TRAVEL: Sicily in June. Oliver and I will be visiting Guido from Monaci delle Terre Nere again this year – definitely one of favourite places on Welcome Beyond. Guido is a wonderful guy who created a really beautiful place full of character and soul!