Owner, Mast Brothers Chocolates, Brooklyn, NY
Culinary Management, 2006, and Culinary Arts, 2007
Rick Mast grew up in Iowa. He moved to New York City and found himself pursuing a culinary career. When he graduated from ICE, Mast went the usual restaurant route, taking kitchen jobs at Gramercy Tavern and Soho House. But he found himself thinking about chocolate so he went to work at the Brooklyn shop of boutique chocolatier Jacques Torres. He and his brother Michael decided to walk away from their respective careers in film and music to start a company dedicated to craft chocolate. After doing a few experiments at home, they felt ready to dive into small batch chocolate making. In 2009, they opened Mast Brothers Chocolates, a bean to bar business in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They make their handcrafted chocolate bars from organic beans sourced from Brazil, Venezuela, Madagascar and the Dominican Republic. In 2011, they sailed The Black Seal, a 70-foot schooner, down to the Dominican Republic to pick up 20 tons of organic cacao beans they were purchasing from small cacao farmers there and sailed it back to Brooklyn to make environmentally friendly, low-impact chocolate.