Monday, 3 March 2008

Wonky Willie

I was so excited last night to see my favourite chocolate supplier doing his thing on Channel 4. Willie Harcourt-Cooze was one of my first contacts when I set up Choc Star and is responsible for introducing me to a world of chocolate that is...incendiary. It's the only word for it - the stuff seeps into your soul and plays tricks with your mind and, suddenly, makes you feel as though everything is right with the world.

I'm going to be serving up Venezuelan hot chocolate shots and some Super Dark High Energy truffles made with harvests from Willie's finca at Taste East this Friday and Saturday.

If you need a little pick-me-up come and find us by the farm - and if the weather's good we may start shaking some milk!


Calista Lucy said...

I thought the programme was brilliant and only hope he is being paid for it by C4, help reduce that bank loan. Very interesting on the whole harvesting process, I had no idea you get two harvests a year.

Anonymous said...

Choc Star,

It was lovely to meet you and to get a shot of the delicious Venezuelan - certainly warmed up a chilly afternoon in Spittalfields.

Check out a business run by some friends of mine - they make health food snacks using raw cacao.

Good luck on your tour!

Anonymous said...

WoW people Actually think hes ok, well i have only seen a pilock who lives in cuckoo land not cacao land you could see how bitty his choc was and that no one was impressed but he thinks its the best haha,I fell sorry for his wife and kids as its obvious if its not his way then its no way at all, i hope it gets better

Petra Barran said...

But 'anonymous' you need to try this stuff. Refined it ain't - it's rustic and grainy and so far from what most people recognise about chocolate. On its own it's fairly inedible (although I happen to be quite fond of it), but melt that little sucker down and blend it in with other ingredients and you have something so much closer to the fruit - without all the life sucked out of it through endless conching and mixing.

If you really love chocolate you need to come and try one of these truffles and I guarantee you'll be smiling at the mention of W.H-C!

Dawn said...

Hi there

Petra, just watching you on Willys Wonky Chocolate Factory and found your website

Are you still in contact with Willie?
I would really love to work with his chocolate.

Could you please let me know how to get hold of it or him.



Amy said...

I'd really like to try the shots that Tanya was drinking with her breakfast! Do you know how to make them? Can you tell us? I can find plenty of suppliers of cacao on the net, but hasn't Wonky Willie got a website?
Thanks in anticipation......

Anonymous said...

wonky willie's website is

At the moment he isn'ty selling over the internet - no idea why, he just doesn't seem to want to make any money. Tying himself into somewhere like selfridges seems plain daft to me.
It's blocking off 90% of the population.

I suspect that until the final program is broadcast he's probably under some sort of contract not to sell the stuff. Though who knows. Whether you like the man or not you can't help admire his single mindedness.
But if he doesn't sell the stuff online - he'll probably never make a profit.
Most people who've watched the show would buy at least one lump of the stuff just to try it out - that alone would probably pay off most of his debts.

Personally I love the idea of chocolate without sugar, and unadulterated cacao as an ingredient really appeals.
Also love the idea of a chocalatey van pootling round the country selling chocolate.
So petra you going to be in the midlands any time soon ?
Reading your blog you mention gamekeepers - so with luck that means you're booked into the gamekeepers fair at catton park, in which case I'll definitely make a beeline for your van :-)

Petra Barran said...

The Gamekeeper's fair?! This I have to see - got any contacts there Alex?

Keep watching the show people - there 's a lifeline about to be unveiled which should ensure most folks can get their chops round some Venezuelan Black.

And I'll definitely be stocked up with the stuff on my tour - imagine that, it could be brought directly to your door! All you need to do is invite me for dinner...