Interview by Catherine Jang
What was your culinary education?
My educational background is just me working in the industry. I never actually went to college per se. I never went to culinary school. From the time I was a young boy growing up, I worked with food people: my grandmother, who was from Italy, and a lot of different people and influences. I trained and worked with people throughout my life to hone those skills.
How did you get interested in chocolate?
A big inspiration was when Cacao Barry, the chocolate company, moved into the United States. They were trying to bring themselves forward in the U.S. market during the '80s. They opened up a manufacturing warehouse facility and also a classroom, a really beautiful lab. They brought in all these European chocolate specialists and chefs. There was one resident chef, whose name was Jean-Marie Guichard. I would go there and work for free and do whatever they'd like.