Oh, how I wish Ginger Elizabeth Hahn could provide me with endless chocolate treats every time I’m craving them (which is most of the time). Ginger has been professionally working with chocolate for over ten years. She has also studied under big names in the chocolate world such as Jacques Torres and Daniel Budd. Now, Ginger has returned to California to open her own chocolate business, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates. Since opening, Ginger has been featured on TLC’s “Chocolate Wars” and, she was also named a top chocolatier in North America. Ginger took some time to answer some questions about Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates and her passion for the world of chocolate.
It’s not every day that you hear about chocolatiers in the U.S.! Why are you specifically interested in chocolate rather than other pastries and desserts?
Chocolate is a very mysterious food, and I have been drawn to it from a very young age. I really fell in love with chocolate because there are so many things to learn about this beautiful food. I could learn something every day until I am 80 and still not know all there is to know about chocolate.
You have worked for some top names such as Jacques Torres, MOF, and Daniel Budd. What an experience! How did these types of people influence your work with chocolate today?
Every chef that I have worked under has influenced the way I work and think about chocolate. It is important to appreciate different styles, and eventually you come up with your own.
Being a chocolatier, you have had some exciting opportunities to travel to places like Belize and Italy. What were you learning while in these places? Did traveling to these places influence how you approach chocolate today?
Yes, traveling is always good to do in order to open your eyes and see what else is going on in the world. Belize was a trip that made the most impact on how I view chocolate. In my shop, chocolate is a very sacred ingredient that we must never take for granted because we have enough money to afford this luxury. Even the chocolate I use for centerpieces never gets thrown away. I reuse the pieces to make other centerpieces.
In 2010, you were named one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in North America. Wow! How did it feel to achieve this?
I was so pleased to put Sacramento on the map because I am so proud to have my shop here. The amount of beautiful organic agriculture is stunning. It makes for great casual eateries focusing on what is important…great food.
For me, personally, I love learning about the science behind baking. From your studies, it looks like you enjoy learning about the science of chocolate! What have you learned in your studies?
Well, at this point, I could write book (and I probably will someday). In general, I have learned that putting in 100% effort and being 100% precise with chocolate is the only way to move forward with my daily education.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of owning your own chocolate shop in Sacramento?
My employees are amazing. I look forward to seeing them every day and creating a very inviting atmosphere for everyone to work in. Secondly, I love my customers who thank me on a daily basis for opening up in Sacramento and being part of a very special community.
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