THE MAKING OF THE MAKER
Phil Landers is a no-good sugar addict, passing time between long days in a BBC radio production office by blasting through any cheap chocolate he can get hold of. Seeking change, Phil leaves the BBC and sets out to travel in Central America.
In a cacao field in Guatemala Phil sees the truth of chocolate and realises the chocolate making game is for him.
Back in London he takes life by the beans. Phil hides the secrets of his past and gets work with Paul A. Young. He learns the ways of the chocolatier and re-educates his palette. At home Phil is out of his sugar pit and into the kitchen, making use of an Indian spice grinder and a hairdryer to form his first bars by lamplight.
The Mast Brothers rolled into town, offering Phil a chance to become a maker. In the chef whites and flat-peaked cap of a Mast deck-hand he refines his craft. Phil learns on the job and keeps up the habit of making chocolate at home in the small hours. Another trip to Nicaragua teaches Phil about harvesting and fermentation, whilst introducing him to new cacao varieties.
Phil steps out alone and finds a place in the back streets of East London – an old furniture maker’s workshop in Bethnal Green. Keeping his connection with south and central America, Phil works on a range of single origin and single bean bars. The exciting new complex varieties of bean from Nicaragua take a central role in the first collection – Land Chocolate is born.