Chocolatier and sommelier Geoseph Domenichiello will be hosting workshops on chocolate tasting July 29 and Aug. 20 in order to offer Vancouverites a new perspective on chocolate.
Domenichiello has worked as a sommelier since 2007, trying to bridge the gap between good quality chocolate and consumer. While developing his styles as a sommelier, he noticed much more information out there that is not known to consumers.
“There is so much great research out there, but it doesn’t reach the consumer. People read articles in the news, but when you boil it down, there is no substance,” he says.
Domenichiello wants everyone knows what the good chocolate really is.
“I focus on learning how to taste chocolate, because there are so many types of chocolate out there, that we get overwhelmed and confused. Informed tasting allows people to discern quality chocolate,” he says.
The chocolate sommelier wants to offer workshops as a way for people to understand and appreciate the real taste of chocolate.
“These workshops encourage you to use tools to construct your own judgements. This allows [people] to have a say in the industry, and hopefully push chocolate makers to improve their products,” says Domenichiello.
A lesson in chocolate
The workshops are open to everyone with any interest in chocolate or history.
“People have a chance to interact and ask questions when we are doing the actual tasting and describing the flavors… Everyone who takes all three workshops will get a certificate at the end that help them to feel more confident,” says Domenichiello.
In the workshops, participants taste different chocolate samples while they are learning the history of chocolate.
“I focus on local and Canadian chocolate, but also top international brands to compare to. The History Workshop includes chocolate drinks that reflect the recipes of the Mayans and 17th Century Europe. It continues as we compare chocolate today with how it changed throughout history,” says Domenichiello.
Domenichiello also plans to open a club with a yearly subscription for all chocolate lovers. He hopes to have this up and running in a couple months if the interest is there.
“I’m actually in the process of starting a chocolate club. So, there’ll be the yearly subscription, once-a-month get-togethers and try at least 3 product samples,” says Domenichiello.
Domenichiello wants to create awareness about chocolate for everyone involved: growers, producers and consumers.
“Fine chocolate makers choose specific fine flavoured cacao, which is different than the cacao used to produce the majority of the chocolate that is available to us, which tends to be flat and “watered down” in comparison to fine flavoured chocolate,” he says.
Domenichiello wants to create consumer awareness, which will in turn encourage makers and chocolatiers to be skillful and do a better job, not only for consumers but also for farmers .
According to Domenichiello, attending these workshops and participating in the chocolate club, people start to learn more about chocolate and think fairly for both parties.
“Knowing more about chocolate gives you the motivation to make changes that will increase your satisfaction, and helps combat misconceptions, making you a smarter consumer,” says Domenichiello.
In addition to hosting his own chocolate tasting workshops, Domenichiello continues to work at a pastry shop in Burnaby, Mon Paris, as a chocolatier.
For more information and to register for the workshops, please visit www.geoseph.com.