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Below you will find thirteen interviews featuring world-renowned chocolate experts, opinion leaders, and innovators in the chocolate world. These interviews were conducted from July to November 2012 and these individuals were selected for their notable contributions and dedication to the promotion of fine, plain dark chocolate. The purpose was to select individuals not currently known as chocolate makers. The primary goals were to generate discussion regarding quality, flavor and labeling of plain dark chocolate. In doing so, their wisdom and personal stories speak to both consumers and chocolate makers alike.

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Interview Questions

1. When did you start reviewing/studying plain fine dark chocolate and what is it about chocolate that gives you the passion to make it such a big part of your life?

2. Do you have a standard review process that you follow and can you share it here? What makes your reviews different compared to other reviews you have seen? 

3. When reviewing chocolate, how do you rank the different aspects in order of  importance. 

4. What is your ideal ingredient list and what do you consider acceptable when you are referring to fine plain dark chocolate?

5. What aspects in the chain of chocolate making  do you think have the biggest impact on flavor?

6. If you could standardize how fine chocolate is labeled, what information do you think should be included on every package? 

7. Is there a person in the chocolate world whom you especially admire?  Who and why?

8. “Bean to Bar” is often used as a quality indicator for fine chocolate even though there are many bean-to-bar makers with no real intuition or understanding for flavor or quality development.  Are there other models or examples of companies who are not fully bean to bar that interest you and why?

9. Who are your top five favorite chocolate makers/brands?

10. Magic wand question.  If you could order the production of any plain dark chocolate bar(s), what would you like to see made and who would make it for you?