skill-building for a new generation of chocolate makers.

A map is good, but sometimes a guide helps you navigate a few steps closer. 

In my other life I was a trip leader + river guide in Grand Canyon National Park. And really, rowing a river and crafting chocolate are not all that different. Nice weather helps. The right tools, for sure. A strong back, willing hands, and a nose for adventure do not hurt. Winging it is one way, but a friend to point out the tricky parts and maybe those pokey things beside the path? yes please. 

My livelihood as a chocolate maker started with the help of John Nanci, founder of Chocolate Alchemy. When the New York Times called him "the father of craft chocolate," saying, "all craft chocolate roads led back to John," they were right; and when the Fine Chocolate Industry Association awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award, they could not have given it to a more generous, there-for-every-maker and hope-to-be-maker, soul. I started working for John in 2014, just as I launched Map, and I still work with him 1 day each week, helping to roast + winnow the thousands of pounds of commercial orders he processes, and sampling/test-batch roasting/making chocolate from every single harvest of every single origin he carries (at any given time John offers makers 30-40 different cacao origins). As a fledgling chocolate maker it was a quick dive into a deep pool, and I've been fully immersed in the craft nearly every day, ever since. 

Being a guide is what I love most about making craft chocolate and being the founder of Map; whether it's introducing someone to their first bite of dark chocolate or to the notion of origin=different flavor, helping a new maker take their first steps with roasting or sharing in-the-trenches chocolate maker's wisdom, what I believe is that every bit of the chocolate journey tastes better when it's shared.

Questions about your chocolate making dreams, bumps in the road, or in need of chocolate-making comaraderie? find me at mapchocolate@gmail.com

 

 

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two ways to learn: bean to bar 101 camps and maker's  intensive workshops

Embarking on the journey of learning a craft, building a business, or taking a leap onto a whole new life path can be hard; I know, because I did just that four years ago when I bought a 2-pound bag of cocoa beans and started Map. If you are intrigued by the idea of making chocolate but are unsure where to begin, this is where a Map camp comes in.

 

bean to bar 101 camps

Relaxed, focused, and fun wrapped up in three days of hands-on learning aimed at gaining the skills to make chocolate and foster creativity. Designed for first-time chocolate makers, pastry chefs wanting to add the skill of house-made chocolate to their kitchen, or chocolate enthusiasts with a desire to learn how lowly cocoa beans are transformed into delicious chocolate. Yes, you too can sling lovely chocolate throughout your kitchen and amaze and delight your friends (henceforth they will be serious fans).

>Each camp is three days, from 9am to 2 pm.

>Beans and use of equipment, coffee in the morning, lunch, and a chocolate tasting is included each day.

>Lodging, transportation to/from Eugene, and transport while in Eugene are not included.

>Class size is limited so I can offer my full attention. If you'd like to take the class with a friend (and share a melangeur) email me.

>should you need to cancel, you'll receive 75% of your class cost back up to four weeks before the start of camp. If you can't attend but it's past the 4-week date, let me know if you'd like to send a friend in your place.

Day one we meet at the cacao + chocolate-making equipment warehouse of craft chocolate legend Chocolate Alchemy, where we start at the bean with samples of origins & regions, discuss selecting & sourcing, and have a look at 30+ different origins of cocoa beans, and each participant will choose beans for their project. Next we'll discuss roasting options + goals, take a look at roasting profiles, then roast beans in a small-scale roaster. After lunch we'll learn about methods of cracking & winnowing using the champion juicer with cracker blades, the home-sized sylph winnower + the pro-sized Aether. We'll end the day with a tasting of bars crafted by some of the most beloved craft chocolate makers today.

Day two We meet at Map for coffee, and then it's lessons on how to use + create (and tweak) batch formulations, create recipes, using cocoa butter or not, sugar options, and determining %. We'll get begin batches of chocolate grinding in tabletop small-batch grinders made specially for bean to bar by Premiere and Spectra, and use a small-batch cocoa press. The day ends with a chocolate tasting.

Day three After coffee we discuss determining end-of-grind, conching, aging + storing chocolate, and complete the small batch grind, followed by methods of tempering, seeding, + moulding, use of inclusions, followed with a discussion of packaging. Everyone will take home finished chocolate #seriousyay and a new circle of chocolate-making comrades.

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intensives: refining skills, building knowledge, gaining a deeper understanding of the craft

2018 intensive workshops

Map's intensives come from a deepening love for the art of chocolate making. I believe in craft, am proud to be a cinderella story solopreneurship with Maps on shop tables + shelves in cities large + small around the world, alongside some of the biggest + most beloved chocolate companies. Map's workshops are hands-on, intensive, and chocolate-focused: the aim is to help you build your business, refine techniques, share processes and methods, hone skills, and help you grow your craft.

>workshops vary in number of days; check the listing for details. classes run from 9am to 2 pm.

>Lodging, transportation to/from Eugene, and transport while in Eugene are not included.

>Class size is limited so I can offer my full attention.

>should you need to cancel, you'll receive 75% of your class cost back up to four weeks before the start of camp. If you can't attend but it's past the 4-week date, let me know if you'd like to send a friend in your place.

questions? feel free to reach out mapchocolate@gmail.com