My name is Andrea Smith. I love it every time I get to say “I am a Chocolatier.” I use wonderful bulk chocolate to make creations like ganache center truffles, toffees, caramels, and shapes. It is my art. It is my passion. I learn something new about it everyday, wether it is through error or reading and experimenting.
I have always been a fan of chocolate. I had been looking online for something when I came across a website that was selling really cute chocolates. I ordered some. When they arrived, I opened the box and was in awe. They were like little works of art. Some had little prints on them, some looked airbrushed with vibrant colors. The thought came to mind, that maybe I could do this, and make the designs into things that I enjoyed.
I had gone to school for Special Effects Make-up. There I had learned sculpting and mold making. I did a bit of research and found out that I could use an FDA approved silicon to make molds and be able to use food product in them! From there the ideas were limitless… still are. I could make chocolates with imagery that I loved, Monsters, Tattoos, Sci-Fi, and other goofy stuff. I immediately fell in love. My goal was to make these creations in my own way, while respecting the teachings and following Chocolate Masters from all around the world.
I played Roller Derby at the time, and got injured. I was told I could not play unless I had surgery or got a brace. This brace was extremely expensive. I then offered everyone I knew a pre-ordered bag of Toffee, for a certain amount of $. I ended up getting ordered for 100 bags of toffee. I got REALLY good at making this stuff, and it tasted better every time I did it. It was a big hit, so big that I ended up winning Best Chocolate in Atlanta’s AJC.com Best of 2011. From there I couldn’t stop, I had done a lot of airbrushing in art school as well and learned it was pretty much the same, only the paint was replaced with colored cocoa butter. That made it easier for me to learn as well. I found a job as head chocolatier and manager at a small chocolate shop in Atlanta, and worked there sharpening my skills for the last 3 years.
I have competed in 2 pastry competitions for Chocolatier of the Year against other chefs from all around the world and my placement has moved up each time! I have now moved to Nashville, TN. and just 5 weeks ago opened my own chocolate shop. Where I showcase my works of art and sell to the public. The response has been incredible. It only motivates me more to up my game and try new and exciting techniques and recipes.
Being a part of the chocolate industry is amazing, it is bigger than you would ever think. I have only to scratch the surface, but plan on making a name for Chocolate F/X real soon. I only want to dive in more and more everyday. I cannot wait to someday travel and meet chocolatiers in France and Belgium.
Rad Gal, Rad Gig is a new feature on The Clueless Girl's Guide where I invite really neat gals to share their really cool stories. Whether your gig is a full-time job or just a hobby, I want to hear from you! If you think you'd be perfect for Rad Gal, Rad Gig, feel free to get in touch or view the information on the Submissions page! Just submit a short description of what you do and why you think it's rad!