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The Secret Chocolatier Thanks Twenty Degrees

By February 6, 2012Chocolate Business

In Charlotte the chocolate community is still in its infancy.  There is good and bad to that. The good side is of course first mover advantage. We path find for the rest of the community to come in behind the wake as we set the bar higher for chocolates (and confections.)  The downside is as we grow we need to keep an eye out for new equipment options and sometimes we have to travel far to see just what this or that machine can do for us.

Enter the Sweet Casey Hickey of Twenty Degrees

I’ve known Casey for at least a few years now. We both ran into each other on our chocolate peer network, The Chocolate Life, and I’ve visited her on a number of occassions to just talk shop and ideate about the future.  She’s a wonderful lady and I can say hands down I respect her chocolate creations above many.  Someone who understands what a real ganache should be is King, or in this case Queen in my book.

Chef Bill Dietz of The Secret Chocolatier and Casey Hickey of 21 Degrees

Guitar for Chocolate, Isn’t that an Instrument?

For our recent visit Chef Bill and Robin visited Casey to experiment on her guitar cutter.  A guitar is often misunderstood as the playing instrument, and while it does have a lot of “strings” they aren’t for playing, they are for cutting that sultry sweet soft chocolate ganache.

As many know we’ve done everything by hand for years.  However we have to become more efficient or we run the risk of injury.  Scooping so many truffles started leading to carpel tunnel in the shop, we cut our squares by hand and that can lead to accidents of their own.  I’m trying to introduce new tools which allow us to keep our artisan creations without sacrificing on the quality.  A guitar would allow us to cut our ganache quicker allowing for us to produce more without working harder.  As always work smarter, not harder.

At the end of the day Chef was impressed by the tool and added it to one of my many “to-purchase” lists. If he’s good maybe we’ll be able to get one after Valentines day. *grin*

Thanks to Casey for lending her time and shop a moment for us to play. If you’re in the Selwyn area in Charlotte stop by her shop for some great chocolates and pair it with a glass of wine while you’re there.  You will not be disappointed.


Andy is a jack-of-all trades. Technologist, designer, super palate enabled crazy individual. He is like a madman helping The Secret Chocolatier reach new heights and when he's not doing that, or entertaining his new son, he might be falling out of nearly perfect airplanes.