I grew up on milk chocolate Hershey bars and kisses in my mother’s house. I’ve had M&Ms and other chocolate coated confections—they’re not the same. Valentine’s Day and Easter in the U.S usually brings out the worst in chocolates. Too artificially sweet, lacking in chocolate flavor, and ending with that mysterious mild burn in the back of your throat, a signal that what you just ate probably wasn't good for you. If I was feeling indulgent, I had a Symphony bar or Ghiradelli chocolate chips in my brownies as a kid. They tasted richer and probably had a ratio of more cacao to artificial ingredients in the final product. Little did I know how good real chocolate could actually be and how few ingredients it really needed.
Personal Joy: I love telling stories, whether it's through a series of photos or words penned on paper. I enjoy being surrounded by nature; in the woods, mountains or beachside, preferably barefoot in the grass or sand. Cooking for friends and family is deeply satisfying, especially when I can end the meal with a bite of my homemade chocolate.
Connecticut born and raised. Goes by the name of Monster. Lives for travel and adventure and of course good food and chocolate.
BIG ISLAND BEGINNINGS
I ditched the corporate life in 2017 and set out following my heart around the world. A woman I met in Iceland filled me in on WWOOFing, a global farm work exchange program. When I made it back to the States, I started inquiring with different farms and Kuaiwi on the Big Island of Hawaii had an immediate opening. A week later I was on a plane, with my snorkel fins hanging out of the top of my backpack. Kuaiwi's cash crops are coffee, chocolate, and macadamia nuts, and luckily for me, it wasn't coffee season. With cacao trees growing right outside my door, I was in for a full-on chocolate immersion experience. Tasting the pure chocolate, freshly made, was pivotal. It's how chocolate was supposed to taste.
BEHIND THE NAME
Devil's Den Confections is a nod to my home in the Weston woods. The hiking trails of Devil's Den State Park are a hop, skip, and a jump away.