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Everything posted by Desiderio

  1. Very good point Teo!! I might face the opposite thing in this case. The chef is the one pushing for a new line, and has been telling the owner he needs to update it. The problem is, the owner might be resistant to changes, even though he says he is passionate about chocolate, but doesn't know enough about. I don't want to get stuck in a factory line, trying to sell a product I don't like. So I went to the kitchen, and one of the lady that runs the kitchen gave me a tour. Their kitchen is in another location, so far away from the main office and bakery, which is a plus. What they do is, dipped pretzels (:-/), chocolate bars with different flavors and this line of truffles, that is made to have a long shelf life, 6 months! She showed me their recipes, it uses fudge base, corn syrup, chocolate, and in the cases of meltaways, coconut oil. They use flavorings, like the Lorann ones. She has a list of numbers for each month, and she is working on finishing August, so can start on September. I tried to ask her about the guys that was in charge before, which left the company right before or while I was contacted. Nothing came out, and when the owner mentioned that he left, he said that he was good, but wasn't engaging enough (or something like that), referring to getting more clients, which was a red flag. I should mention that their products are in large grocery stores, aside corporate, gift baskets etc. So a big change, would impact all of this accounts, I mean we were talking re formulating all of the truffles and make the caramel, which is not made in house right now. Shelf life would be an issue, and large in advance production, might not be feasible. Pastrygirl, always girl at heart! I am there as well, just turned 48. Right there with you on retirement. I think my current job, happens to be more stable, even though you never know! But I am not mircomanaged, quite the opposite, because no one on the "4th" floor wants to have anything to do with managing the cafe (its kinda of a hot potato, or it was in the past, I can say that I have created a better environment, to work in, and my team works well together). Anyway, this are all questions that I have to gather around for them. Money, vacations (I am still fuzzy on that, because they have one week of paid vacation and two weeks that the company closes, but I don't think they are paid), more specifics on the job and that sales part, like Pastrygirl, I am an introverted, highly functional, but still, sales are not my things. Meanwhile, I am very grateful to everyone here, you all are such an incredible and supporting group, Thank you!
  2. Very good points! Thank you for taking the time to chime in! I really appreciate that. I will keep my mind and ears open, hopefully she will be able to clarify few points. But Pastrygirl is on to me, that comfy seat (well stand I guess) its looking every day more appealing, as my energy level is not as once was, maybe its a job for the new generation of chocolatiers :-)
  3. I am wondering if I can reopen this thread. I have closed down my business about 3 years ago (more or less), after taking a job as a cafe manager at a museum. We needed a steady income and I needed to either grown my business and invest money, or go back to infancy, which is what I did, sadly. Anyway, my job allowed me some freedom and I am pretty comfortable, and I even get to bake something fun from time to time (this is a public museum, expectations are pretty low and so are the amount of money that flows in). I have just recently been contacted by the HR of a local company, they do baked goods and fund raises. They have a chocolate line, that is quite outdated and more like old fashion American candy, and it looks like the owner wants to revamp it, to a more modern Artisan line. I have met with them twice, the atmosphere was pleasant, but I have to say, they have a consultant, which is a French pastry chef well renown around and is an instructor to the local culinary institute, and his energy was pretty contagious. Sorry, long story short, I am very excited about the idea to finally be working with chocolate again and to the opportunity of learning again, but I am uncertain about the company (I got a great vibe from the chef, but that always happen when I am around creative professionals, that always have a million of tips to give). They said I would make more than I currently do, but its only because I would be working more hours during the busy months (55-65 weekly). The hourly pay is the same, and I think their schedule is not nearly as flexible as my current one. Ok I forgot to mention, that what makes me uneasy about accepting this position (sounds nuts, I have been looking for something like this for the past 4 years now!!), is that the the owner insisted regarding sales and client retention. Now I don't mind some customer interaction here and there, and there are the trade shows, but I am afraid I will be doing more of the sales than I am comfortable with. That is not an area where I feel comfortable or enjoy. They mentioned potential new sales bonuses, which could be good, but not sure what to expect I guess. And one last thing, I have talked to a friend, which happens to know the company and has a friend that worked for them as a sale rep for many years, and she had nothing good to say about them, how they treated her and some other unpleasant things. That combined with my gut feeling, made me almost turn down the offer right away. I will be meeting the HR lady today (which has been nothing but pleasant to me, as everyone else in the company, to be fair), to visit their chocolate kitchen, which I will be supervising and creating new recipes etc., so I am hoping to get more information on the daily work flow etc, get vibes from the people that are working currently in the kitchen and so on. The problem is that I don't have a clear picture of what I will be doing and that makes me nervous. I should mention that I am no spring chicken and getting older has made me less flexible of uncomfortable situations (not to mention, potentially losing a job that has allowed me freedom of time and schedule, even though has dulled my creativity and my drive, and its hot in the kitchen!!😵) One thing is for sure, after reading this thread, I need to negotiate a better pay, thing that I hate doing, and apparently it is a struggle that 60% of women have in common 😞 I will report back after the visit. Any suggestion, tip, comment, advise 2 cents, are very welcome and encouraged :-) Thank you!
  4. Grazie Teo, I just saw this post (it has been awhile since I posted here), I am loving your blog. wondering if you got to open your own shop?
  5. I am pretty much ready to learn anything at this point. I have been out of real chocolate production (aside the usual holidays production for friends and family), and I am eager to be immerse in chocolate and awesome company! On that note, I have a job offer on the table that I am considering, that will bring me back to the chocolate world. Its exiting and scary at the same time, I feel pretty rusty. But there a few things I have to consider. Meanwhile, i'll dream about the workshop :-)
  6. Ok, I haven't been in a long time, even though I do sneak in from time to time. I am really sad I have missed so much, this is a such great community, and you all give unconditionally!! Is there a room for me, I would love to meet everyone and have some fun in the kitchen!! Happy to be back 🙂
  7. Oh I would have loved to finally meet you!!! I do live in Grand Rapids now which is only 3 hours from Chicago, who knows maybe I can come later in August! I will see if I can attend the next eG get together in 2014 :-) Nice to be back :-)
  8. Hello everyone, long time no see :-) I hope everything is wonderful!! I will be attending a chocolate class in Chicago at the Callebaut academy, August 5-6-7 and I was wondering if anyone is going, it would be lovely to meet someone from the forum after so many years. I am quite excited about this class as it will be my first professional class after many many many years (I was still in my twenties and in Italy :-P) Glad to be back Warmes
  9. Awwww I 've missed you too :-( Thank you so much for your input as always Kerry <3 Ruth I really need to come pay you a visit, we are so close!!! I saw the video of your enrobing machine online, soo cool. I know it is a big investment, I am moving into a slighlty different field with my confections and I need to move faster than I did in the past 6 years, no more waiting, but I really want to grow in sinc with my possibilities. The Perfect enrober look very nice, I will look into and plan a trip to Utah asap :-) Thank you ladies, is good to be back <3
  10. I am also looking to buy a small (possibly used) enrobing machine. I really like the Dedy 220 but with everything and shipping is about 18K. The Hilliard's six inch coater is cheaper but I am not sure how well will it work. Any experience? Thank you. PS: I haven't been on the forum in a long time, sorry and well re-met everyone.
  11. I have my own favorite brownie recipe that i tweked for high altitude, but today I tryed the King Arthur one, since I have never made cocoa powder ones ( I too thought that a brownie should be made only with dark and unsweetned chocolate) anyway, dutch processed cocoa powder is very hard to find in stores ( I need to order some to keep handy) so I got some organic raw cocoa powder at my local Vitamin cottage. The brownie are amazingly chocolaty, very dark rich flavor not too sweet and almost slightly bitter from the cocoa powder, very good recipe wow. I think I did overbaked a bit since the edges are a little bit too hard, I might have to add some more liquid since in high altitude flour tends to absorb more moisture out of the batter ( is an issues also with bread making). Anyway, I was happy with the recipe nice shiny top.
  12. http://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d.html/191-9877...06?a=2353260357 I want this book! I don't think is available on US Amazon.
  13. There should be another thread on this subject, and someone posted 2 recipes for buttercream centers. If I have some time I look for it.
  14. I made a while back some banana peanut butter chocolates, didn't think of Elvis, anyway they are layered chocolate, slabbed and dipped. Now I still have them and taste them yesterday and they are still good, I used fresh banana as well, I didn't noticed any alteration, but the banana flavor is subtle. Since this piece is in my collection, I have been thinking to modify the banana ganache and try frozen banana powder. Since is paired with a Gianduja type a butter ganache would be intersting, no as much water content to worry about, anyway even with fresh banana I think we can have a longer shelf life is treated properly.
  15. Funny I have been thinking about water ganaches as well and saw the post! I will play with you too, I am really intrigued in trying it with Art chocolate, since I would love to preserve the wonderful flavor and depth.
  16. Talking about fine chocolate, today I came home from work to find a nice box full stuffed of Amano chocolate samples!!!!!!! OMG, Art I dont think I can add any more to the other comments, only that I simply love the chocolate ( yes all of them!) even the madagascar that usually isnt my favorite, wow I am in chocolate heaven and overload I think. The ocumare Milk, wow, what to say ( where is the drooling one?). Thank you for the samples and for the care you put into the chocolate, I am looking forward to use your precious chocolate into my production ( I just hope to be worthy of it )
  17. Made some tiramisu ice cream the other day with homemade mascarpone it was fabulous, I swirled it with a mocha fudge sauce, yummy.
  18. I got the book, I cant wait to try everything in it! But I really need to gear up my workout though!! Anyway I have been keeping the fist ( actually second ) dough I made and refreshing it everytime is getting low ( about one loaf left worth) the first time I refresh it I add the ingredients and only 6 gr of yeast, today I didnt add any yeast but just the ingredients and it raised like crazy!!! It smells wonderfully as well. I baked a loaf today and is crusty and light, I am keeping the dough wetter, I was reading that in high altitude the flour absorb more water, and I have noticed everytime I made bread but didnt know, I thought was just the flour, so using more liquid make more sense now.
  19. Ahh the famous bimby, I have several italian friends that use it, I know they make everything with it, I should ask about ganaches and report back. Anyway the prices for the blixers and co are improbable for a small production, at least for me.
  20. I have read about other chocolatiers doing their ganache with the robot coupe, also I found it as a topic in one of the Chocolate Academy class http://www.bcna-chocolateacademy.com/expert they talk about a vacuum robot coupe tecnique, I was wondering if anyone does this ( not that I am thinking of doing it, the prices for these babies are crazy!) like this one? http://www.shopping.com/xPO-R8
  21. Ahh my first batch of ice cream from the book is on the way. I made the Guinnes one, only I used a local Milk Stout instead, because I work with them and I wanted to see if I can make something special for them. Anyway, the custard tasted delicious!!! I cant wait to taste it, I used El rey irapa, which has a malt flavor and is perfect with beer. I love the book, I just got it but the recipes are wonderful, I want to try the olive oil and the pecorino and pear one, wow, what about the fresh figs!!!! Ahh if I only had more time!!
  22. If I could I would add the campari into the ice cream, granita or sorbet, in Italy we usually drink Campari with a slice of orange, oh its yummy!! What about an hibiscus jello?
  23. Thank you so much, I will try with more water inthe dough, like you said I think in the dutch oven wouldnt be as much of a trouble to handle it, will report bak. Thank you
  24. Ok I still need some practice for this bread the results arent quite what I want but it definately had lots of potential, I cant wait to get the book. I made another dough yesterday made with a sourdough I just started a while back, I didnt use any yeast only sour dough, I let it rise for a long time ( actually I forgot it out all night) when I woke up in the morning was just fine and filled up the tub, I then put it back in the fridge, I might try to bake with it tomorrow ( got lots of bread around). I really want to achieve a nice crumb, the crust is very nice but the crumb is still too tight, I think I am not letting the dough get warm enough before I bake. The dutch oven does a very good job I am impressed and its soo easy!!
  25. You know I think once you start making your own food one thing leads to another and you become very demanding with the quality and I have to say here where I live there is a huge lack of good food, plus I love to be able to make my own whenever I want, and its fun, I only wish I didnt have to work, I find that work gets in my way sometimes
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