Roots of Cacao is a one-day conference hosted by the Institute of Culinary Education's Chocolate Lab. Through a series of talks, demonstrations, tastings and panel discussions, the program will gather chocolate makers, pastry chefs, industry insiders and historians to share their expertise on the ‘roots’ of our favorite product.
Chocolate is a complex product with a deep history that can be traced over millennia to its wild origin in the rainforests of South America. As its popularity spread and its use evolved from simple beverage to artful confection, chocolate has woven itself into the culture of our daily lives. Chocolate is also a formidable global business whose foundation ultimately lies upon the efforts of smallholder farms throughout the world’s tropical zones. The exponential growth of ‘craft’ chocolate in recent years has created a whole new market for connoisseurs in pursuit of nuanced flavor. This symposium will explore an array of these topics, from historical and social aspects to contemporary applications of chocolate and the science behind the manufacturing process and its alluring flavors. As we look back to where cacao came from, we will also contemplate its future.
Admission is open to professionals, students, and the general public. Click here to register.
Featured presenters include:
Bill Yosses – Perfect Pie Company, former White House Pastry Chef
Maricel Presilla – restaurateur, author of The New Taste of Chocolate, co-founder of International Chocolate Awards
Clay Gordon – author of Discover Chocolate, founder of The Chocolate Life
Roger Rodriguez – pastry chef, partner Cacao Prieto and ICE alum
Megan Giller – journalist, author of Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution
Tim McCollum – founder, Madecasse
Daniel Domingo – Atlantic Cocoa Company
Carla Martin – founder and executive director of the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute, anthropologist and lecturer at Harvard University
Rick Scobey – president of World Cocoa Foundation
Marc Aumont – pastry chef and chocolatier of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolates and Gabriel Kreuther
Nick Cardoni – chocolate buyer of The Meadow
Alexandra Leaf – chocolate expert, historian, Manhattan Chocolate Society
Michael Laiskonis – creative director of the Insitute of Culinary Education
General Admission: $100
Student Admission: $60
Location: 225 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281
About ICE's Chocolate Lab
The Chocolate Lab was created in 2015 to expand the educational opportunities of chocolate with a full bean-to-bar manufacturing perspective. At its helm is ICE's Creative Director Michael Laiskonis, James Beard Award winner and former executive pastry chef at Le Bernardin. Its programs are accessible to professionals, ICE career students, and recreational enthusiasts alike. A core objective from its founding has been to serve as a hub for discussion and the exchange of ideas within the diverse chocolate community.
About the Institute of Culinary Education
Named the “Best Culinary School in America” by The Daily Meal in 2016, ICE has helped thousands of students to find their culinary voice. ICE is dedicated to inspiring students to follow their passions and reach their full career potential. That’s why ICE has helped launch more than 13,000 culinary and hospitality careers, beginning with first-rate training in our award-winning career programs: Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts, Restaurant & Culinary Management, Hospitality Management, Bread Baking and Cake Decorating. What's more, ICE runs the largest recreational cooking, baking and wine education program in the world, and hosts more than 700 culinary special events each year, welcoming more than 20,000 guests into its facilities.
For more information, email Michael Laiskonis or call (800) 777-2433.