I have really fond memories of cooking as a child, in particular baking with my mum. It was actually in the same family kitchen where I now create all my chocolate in.
My love for cooking reignited when I went flatting and started cooking for myself. I was part way through a fine arts degree when my mum decided to take me into WelTec to have a look around. I saw people furiously chopping veggies in their whites and I knew at that moment this is what I wanted to do.
WelTec is incredibly welcoming. I really enjoyed the small classes and the hands-on content.
I learned a lot of basic industry knowledge that I would have struggled to get anywhere else. The tutors helped me find my first jobs which paved the way for where I am today.
One skill I learned that’s really helped me is the art of tempering chocolate. It’s not as simple as melting chocolate and pouring it into the mould, you have to trigger the crystallisation by cooling it down and then warming it back up to working temperature.
Tempering isn’t taught many places in New Zealand, but we learned it at WelTec and it’s been hugely beneficial for me. Knowing this skill has saved me thousands on tempering machines and added artisanal value to my business.
I worked in two patisseries before working in a chocolate shop. That was when it hit home for me that this is what I wanted to do so I started Lucid Chocolatier.
I think chocolate is an incredibly unique medium to work with. It allows for a lot of self-expression; it’s a simple product but so diverse. There are so many variables to play with, from the roast profile, the origin, the aging, the conching... there’s so much to discover.
If you’ve got the passion for it, follow it. It could take you amazing places.
Lucid Chocolatier focuses on sourcing the best organic beans from Peru, and bringing them to New Zealand to create what we believe is the most unique craft chocolate on the market.
Head Chocolate Maker, Johnty Tatham is extremely passionate about his mission to showcase what artisanal chocolate making is all about.