When I was about five, I remember sitting on a ladder, propped against the wall in the spare bedroom of my grandparents' house, watching my grandpa stirring a big copper vat full of chocolate. It was mesmerising; round and round he would stir and the beautiful molten soft brown mass would glug and gloop and give off a warm, cosy smell. And with any luck, I'd get a cat's tongue chocolate as a reward for keeping him company. He was a lovely, lovely man anyway but the fact that he also made chocolate made him super-special.
I began chocolatiering when I was about 26, when I bought back all the equipment my grandpa had sold with his shop premises, 20 years earlier. A chocolatier is someone who makes things out of chocolate, whereas a chocolate maker is someone who actually makes the chocolate. I was so glad my grandpa was around to show me how to temper and to mould figures but the best thing ever was when he told me I had bettered his skills.
Almost 25 years on, I am still making chocolates and never tire of trying new flavours, new ideas and improving on what I have already done. I will be writing a lot about chocolates!