A Q&A With Chantal Coady from The Chocolate Detective Posted on 27 Apr 10:00
The Chocolate Detective is committed to ethically and sustainably sourced chocolate, crafted to perfection. They work with cocoa farmers in Grenada in a ‘tree to bar’ model, keeping value in local economies.
We talked to The Chocolate Detective herself, Chantal Coady OBE - a dedicated chocolate activist with plenty of experience in the industry - and asked her about her experiences as a chocolatier.
Favourite chocolate from childhood?
Crunchy, peppermint Aero, Flake, Quality Street filled bar
How did you become a chocolatier?
By accident really and an unrequited childhood love affair with chocolate.
What is your favourite flavour combination?
Cardamom fennel & sea salt with white chocolate.
What is the most important element in the chocolate making process for you?
The cocoa beans; they’re the star of the show and every bit of the process from the genetic variety, the fermentation, sorting, roasting and grinding will affect the end result and taste profile. Equally important are the people growing the cocoa, if they are able to make the chocolate so much of the economic value can be held in the local community.
How do you find inspiration for your ranges and products?
Nature, gardens, foraging
What do you use to track and plan your work and product development?
I am a proper old fashioned pen ink and notebook person. I also use Trello, Clickup & other web based platforms like Zoom which have been amazing to keep in contact with GCC esp this last couple of years, although never the same as face to face interactions.
What tip would you give to your younger self?
Embrace challenges and learn from them, you are stronger than you think and have the love and support of your family and friends.
What do you like to do when you are not making chocolate?
Cycling gardening visiting museums and galleries, sharing food and doing with family and friends
What are you working on next?
Grenada dove & new solar powered factory plans
First memories of Edinburgh?
Taking kids on a road trip, visiting the castle, the museum, and having a spurious family photo taken which was such fun.
First memories of Paper Tiger?
I’ve been working with Michael for many years, we go back to the early days of Rococo, sadly I am yet to visit Paper Tiger in Edinburgh - its on my road trip list
Favourite places in the city?
The streets generally, Valvona & Crolla, the docks at Leith
What drew you to your current career?
You could say it was fate? I just can’t seem to keep away from chocolate?
What inspires your work?
The people I meet who work in cocoa and chocolate, and the planet we live on - I hope I can do my small bit to make it a better place.
How do you record your ideas/sketches/designs?
Pen, ink, paper - I now also use the iPad and iPencil which is fun, also Whitelines for scannability.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Seeing the joy that chocolate & good design can bring, and how small things can help bring about change.
What are you working on next?
Apart from the Grenada Chocolate Co rebuilding project, I have a series of talks coming up, first is the Penny Lecture on March 8th at Morley College near Waterloo, then at the British Library on April 11th, all of this plus Mother’s day and Easter chocolate of course…
You can see our full range of Chocolate Detective goodies here!