Chloe is the Research & Development Manager for Marou Chocolate based out of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Above all, she's currently responsible for monitoring the quality of Marou's chocolate, as well as cocoa bean quality, i.e. if the flavors or characteristics of the beans are changing month to month or week over week from the various regions in Vietnam that Marou has farmer partners with. She works closely with the production and development of new Marou chocolate bars as well as with the chefs at Maison Marou to create and perfect successful recipes for the public and cafe space(s). With this comes lots of testing at the Marou factory, through her own ingredient experimentation, or the staff's ideas and influence of local terroir. She even works on special events, for example most recently she made a few hundred s’mores for the US Consulate & Embassy. Marou is growing rapidly, thus Chloe's role could also be shifting in the coming months/years, but for now she's finding joy in being in the thick of it right at the source.
Related themes links from the episode:
- Chloe attended pastry school at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris
- Orlando Lozada in Panama; farm is called Finca La Magnita, mentioned here
- Masters program* through Erasmus Mundus entitled Agris Mundus, one year at the University of Copenhagen, and one year at Montpellier SupAgro, with an internship through the CIRAD (Francois Ruf as supervisor).
- Marou works diligently to source local products so that their chocolate is "...a product that comes from Vietnam, made in Vietnam, with Vietnamese cacao"; their coffee comes from a specialty coffee roaster based in the highlands of Da Lat, and the coconut milk for their chocolate bars is made from fresh coconuts from the Ben Tre province.
- Pomelo, durian, and dragonfruit are popular agricultural crops that diversify the land and selling power of some of the farms that Marou works with
- Sourcing manager is Thuy Nguyen. She is in contact with all the farmers and selects the beans bag by bag on all of her sourcing trips.
*Chloe's research topic for her Masters was analyzing the results of fertilizer field trials conducted over 3 years on over 100 farmer plots across the cacao growing regions of Ivory Coast. Looking at how the different areas, agricultural practices, & soil characteristics affected the response to the fertilizer, as well as farmers' reactions to applying fertilizer.
Maison Marou 'the house that chocolate built' in HCM City
Maison Marou Hanoi has since opened since this podcast airing
More from Lauren Heineck host and creator of Well Tempered & chocolate maker/founder at WKND Chocolate:
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