Last week, food and music nerds gathered in the Austin Convention Center at South by Southwest to discuss whether the indie food scene is becoming more and more like the indie music scene. Representing food were Brooklyn’s bean-to-bar chocolate-making pioneers Rick and Michael Mast, a.k.a. the Mast Brothers. Here, five facts gleaned from the brothers during the panel.
1. Rick Mast studied classical music in college, and for a time worked at the famous Fingerprints record store in Long Beach, California, where he was in charge of the classical music section.
2. Every year, the brothers reevaluate their entire line of chocolates and change the packaging—like a band changes album covers.
3. The Mast Brothers are trying to see if it’s worthwhile to age chocolates right now. Some of their experiments are more than two years old.
4. Thomas Keller asking to use their chocolate on his menus at Per Se and the French Laundry was a bigger moment for them than getting to be on Jimmy Kimmel.
5. Phoenix has Mast Brothers chocolate in its contract rider. The guys in the band are big fans, and even invited the Masts backstage at one of their shows.