Meet Alain d'Aboville

Meet Alain d'Aboville

Alain d'Abovile

AlainAlain’s chocolate voyage started in Madagascar where he spent his early childhood. After a career in management mostly in Europe, he travelled there again in the early 2000’s and visited the plantation recently acquired by Akesson in the Sambirano valley. The gentle humid warmth of the cacao trees protected by their banana guardians and the soft green scents of the luscious pods triggered in him a strong attraction to aromas. Then the astringent vinegar-like vapors of the fermentation boxes appeared like a challenge to overcome in order to obtain the great chocolate sensations that most humans relish. That was it! He needed to dig deep into this amazing feeling. 

He managed to be posted to cacao producing countries like the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Haiti so that he could investigate and then experiment with the “fruit of the gods”. His first attempts at producing his own chocolate in La Paz (Bolivia) with an Argentinian businessman, turned-out to be a good encyclopedia of “Everything to avoid when making chocolate”. The poorly fermented beans were uneven, the roasting was too strong, the machines were too rough and the result represented the degree zero of chocolate pleasure. This was before the advent of the “Bean to bar” movement and the availability of both equipment and knowledge was very limited. Undeterred, Alain decided to attend a specialized chocolate making course in one of the world “Cacao Mecca”, the island of Trinidad. There, Dr Sukha of the University of the West Indies (UWI) has a cacao department which also takes care of a priceless gemplast storage. The comprehensive course allowed him to grow. Following the lessons acquired there, Alain’s chocolate improved greatly and with newly acquired machines he started producing truly mesmerizing chocolate bars that were easy to sell locally. Simultaneously, he travelled to most of the Caribbean’s islands capable of growing cacao such as Grenada, Jamaica or Puerto Rico.

Using these experiences, Alain started to give conferences and speeches in the three local languages he speaks, English, French and Spanish. His comprehensive understanding of cacao farming and of chocolate was then expanded by various opportunities to travel to Asia where a highly qualitative approach is currently being developper. Vietnam, the Philippines and even Thailand or Myanmar all have big goals regarding cacao farming. This led Alain to write a book detailing the issues of cacao farming and the whole chocolate making process. The resulting publication “CacaoSource - An Emerging Sustainable Chocolate Landscape”, includes on-the- ground interviews of farmers and bean to bar chocolate makers working to make chocolate both tastier and truly sustainable for all. A special place is given to the co-author and International taster Cherrie Lo, to unveil the reality of chocolate competitions and awards.

Alain recently worked at the creation of a Bean to bar chocolate laboratory in Port au Prince and is currently planning the launch of a full size “chocolaterie” in France due to open next year. He is a French and American citizen, is married and has three children, none of them working in chocolate but all of them eating a lot of his production…… 

As a part of our Empowering Chocopreneurs©  series Alain d'Aboville will take us on a journey of learning the intricacies of roasting cocoa beans. Why it is important and the steps to achieving your roasting goals.

Join us Saturday April 17th from 10 am – 12 noon Atlanta time (GMT -5) for Learning the Ropes of Roasting Cocoa Beans -an Empowering Chocopreneurs©  webinar with Alain d'Aboville

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