On a recent visit to the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory I interviewed Jin Caldwell, who is their head pastry chef. She was nice enough to give me a tour of the factory and picked out some great chocolates that she created.
For Caldwell, the art of creating chocolate confections is the realization of a lifelong culinary passion. as the former chocolatier and pastry chef for Wynn-Las Vegas and the Bellagio Hotel, Chef Jin has worked under the direction of world renowned pastry chefs such as Jean-Phillipe Maury and Frederic Robert. A graduate of Le Cordon Blue Culinary School-Scottsdale, Arizona, Chef Jin has had a life long passion to create great cuisine.
Chef Jins’ culinary skills have earned her numerous awards and worldwide recognition. In 2003, she won the grand championship of the American Culinary Federation Culinary Challenge, with two “gold” and one “silver” medal. She has been featured in numerous national venues, including the Food Network and Rachel Ray programs Chef Jin also represented the United States at the 2006 World Ice Cream Cup in Rimini, Italy, where her chocolate-raspberry ice cream cake was judged to be among the world’s best.
In 2007, Chef Jin was invited to be one of 12 team captains selected for the prestigious national pastry team championships held in Nashville, Tenn. her 3-person “Team Caldwell” was also the first all-female pastry team to ever compete at this high level of culinary expertise, and earned a silver medal overall in the 13-hour competition. Team Caldwell also took first place in the chocolate entremet, frozen entremet & chocolate bon-bon categories.
Chef Jin sat down with me after our tour and talked about what probably is the best job in the world, creating great chocolates!