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Saturday, November 12 • 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Rescuing Cacao Diversity in Latin America + Presentation of 'Setting The Bar' Documentary trailer

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Steve Bergin has been working for years rescuing origin cacao genetics and working with farmers in the Amazon Basin and elsewhere to raise quality and connect beans to the premium market. Expanded production of shade grown cacao helps preserve the threatened rainforest while unique cacao varieties found on the farm and in the wild provide new origins for great chocolate with unique flavors. In 2016, filmmakers Tim Shepard and Amy Burns followed Steve and a group of craft chocolate makers who collaborate with him to locations in the Peruvian Amazon to document the full circle from discovery and rescue of unique genetics to connection to market. They then followed the harvested cacao up to their factories to witness the process of how it becomes chocolate. Presentation of 'Setting the Bar" trailer and Q&A with Steve Bergin, the filmmakers, and chocolate makers from Raaka, Parliament, Xocolatl and French Broad.

avatar for Steve Bergin

Steve Bergin

Founder, Conservation Cacao
Steve Bergin is a cacao expert and environmentalist who supports cacao farmers across Latin America, helping them to improve quality through the selection of their superior flavor varietals, better post-harvest practices and connection to market. He has conducted extensive research... Read More →
avatar for Ryan Berk

Ryan Berk

Owner, Parliament Chocolate
Ryan Berk has worked most of his life in the food industry, starting in a Thai restaurant in his local town of Redlands at the age of 14. Ryan graduated from Grove, a Montessori based High School, in 2003 and later attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Hollywood. He... Read More →
avatar for Nathan Hodge

Nathan Hodge

Co-Founder, Head Chocolate Maker, Raaka Chocolate
I am the Co-Founder of Raaka Chocolate in Brooklyn. Founded in 2010, Raaka is dedicated to raising the quality of cacao standards for both the economic and environmental sustainability of the specialty cacao trade. In Brooklyn we make our signature brand of Virgin Chocolate, derived... Read More →
avatar for Dan Rattigan

Dan Rattigan

Co Owner, French Broad Chocolate
Dan Rattigan, and his wife and partner Jael, founded French Broad Chocolates in 2007, after returning from two years living and working in Costa Rica. Started as a confectioner, they transitioned the company bean to bar between 2012 and 2014. Dan has been organizing shared purchasing... Read More →
avatar for Tim Shephard

Tim Shephard

Tim is passionate about telling stories to raise awareness of social and environmental issues and inspire people to take action. Mr. Shephard started his career as a video journalist at Australia's largest newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, where he produced, directed, and edited... Read More →
avatar for Elaine Read & Matt Weyandt

Elaine Read & Matt Weyandt

Founders, Owners, Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate
Elaine and Matt met and fell in love in 2004 and soon after decided to get engaged and backpack through Central America together. Having survived that they went on and got married. Then, in 2012, with one kid and another on the way, they got the travel bug again and decided to move... Read More →

Saturday November 12, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm PST
Chocolate Stories Room