Hello, I'm Paul!
AFTER 3 YEARS IN THE MAKING, COCOA LUXURY IS LIVE TO THE NATION!
What or who is Cocoa Luxury, you may be asking yourself?
Well, that's easy to answer. Cocoa Luxury is me: Paul Lacey.
Why Cocoa Luxury?
Again, another easy question to answer. I wanted a trading name that wasn't too generic; that would catch the eye. And that would reflect the chocolate confections that I make.
As you may have gathered, I am a chocolatier. Self-taught, as many chocolatiers are due to there being no official qualification within the catering industry for chocolate work. Now, I'm not going to dazzle you with tales of how my obsession with chocolate began as a child. Or how I have circumnavigated the globe in search of the planet's finest cocoa. No. None of that. To be brutally honest, my fascination with chocolate began five years ago. I rediscovered my enthusiasm for baking after watch series two of The Great British Bake Off. I embarked on a quest to bake a different cake every weekend from then on. But it was baking chocolate cakes that I revelled in making. Thus, began my journey into the world of chocolate.
I've lost count of how many hours I have spent watching YouTube videos of chocolatiers, fascinated, stunned at their skills, but what entranced me more was the versatility and complexity of chocolate. I never imagined how diverse it was.
Inspired, I would go into my kitchen and try and recreate what I had just watched...and would get very frustrated.
Such was my thirst for chocolate knowledge, I began to look for a chocolatiers course at any local colleges. Something in the evenings. But there was nothing. Then, at The Cake and Bake Show in Harrogate, my wife and I came across the York Cocoa House who was offering free chocolate workshops throughout the day. So, not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, we signed up to do a couple of their workshops. They were a revelation! After spending hours struggling to understand the art of tempering chocolate, all I needed was a hairdryer! Success every time.
I promptly booked onto four of their masterclasses, where I met the fantastic Sophie Jewett (owner and founder of York Cocoa House, and York Cocoa Works), and have never looked back. I was also lucky to be invited by Sophie to do some work experience at the Cocoa House, too. A time I still remember fondly, and very inspiring. It was from those experiences that Cocoa Luxury was born.
Yes, I'm still learning, as I know all chocolatiers and chocolate maker are. So many times, I've been told: "Chocolate is lifelong learning." But it's so true.
It’s also a little known fact to people - apart from family and friends - that I also work at Bullion Craft Chocolate in Sheffield as a Freelance Chocolate Maker. After working there for nearly two and a half years, and learning the other side of the chocolate industry - making bean to bar chocolate - I was recently made fully responsible for all of the chocolate-making processes at Bullion by Owner Max Scotford. It was a massive responsibility to undertake, but one which I was incredibly proud, humbled and privileged to accept. The task now is to maintain the standards that Max has set at Bullion, whilst trying to take my own little chocolate business - Cocoa Luxury - forward, too.
So not only am I a Chocolatier, I’m a Chocolate Maker, too! This was not something I could have ever imagined happening when I embarked on my chocolate journey. A journey that is still in motion. So come along with me, and enjoy the ride and the chocolates that we create between each stop!!
Events & Workshops
FOR THE SWEETEST MOMENTS IN LIFE
Aside from creating luxurious truffles and caramels, I enjoy hosting events and workshops for fellow chocoholics across the United Kingdom.
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