As a chocolate sommelier, my primary objective is to unveil the vast and intricate world that lies beneath the surface of what people commonly perceive as chocolate. Through carefully curated events, my aim is to ignite a sense of inspiration among the audience, propelling them to delve deeper into the multifaceted realm of chocolate. I provide participants with valuable tools that empower them to discern not only what they're tasting but also where and how to continue their exciting journey of exploration in the world of chocolate. By expanding their understanding and appreciation, I aspire to transform their perspective, revealing that chocolate is an art form with endless possibilities waiting to be discovered.
Hello, I'm Michelle Zimmerman, and I've been in the culinary industry for 25 years. I graduated from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 1999 with a focus on pastries. After working in restaurants and bakeries, I ran a successful wedding cake business for 18 years. Recently, my passion shifted to the world of chocolate. I earned two certificates from the International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting and completed a Chocolate course through Stanford. I now teach others about this beloved treat.
I've also served as a judge for the International Chocolate Awards in 2022 and 2023, evaluating hundreds of chocolates and contributing to industry excellence. As a proud member of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, I stay connected with fellow enthusiasts and the latest developments in fine chocolate.
My dedication to culinary arts, specializing in pastries, has evolved into a profound commitment to the art of chocolate. I share my passion and knowledge nationally and internationally through tastings, education, and industry recognition.
KARLA SCHADE of Opening Chocolate is a botanist, a chocolate sommelier, an IICCT Certified Level 2 chocolate taster, an Ecole Chocolat Mastering Chocolate Flavour graduate, and an international chocolate judge. She has been educating and leading chocolate tastings all over the world since 2007. Not only can she help people develop their palates and abilities to taste fine foods, but she can also discuss the science and history behind the Theobroma cacao plant and its human uses. All while having fun enjoying some of the best craft chocolate in the world! She is located in Utah. Please visit her Instagram or Youtube pages.
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Monday - Saturday: 9am - 5pm