EVENTS: Chocolate – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly – Conversations Around The Cookery School Table

It’s the second in our new series of insightful monthly panel events on around topics that are close to our hearts at Cookery School.  Conversations Around The Cookery School Table is the place to  enjoy lively discussions, networking with like-minded food lovers, and, as with all events and classes at our school, the opportunity to taste some delicious Cookery School food.

Chocolate Event - Sustainable Chocolate


Our next event takes place on Monday 25th March 2024 from 6pm-8.30pm. In Chocolate, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly along with experts in the field, we will discuss a number of important issues relating to chocolate, We will cover The Good: chocolate that has been well sourced containing varying amounts of coca solids and other acceptable ingredients;  The Bad: chocolate that has very low levels of cocoa solids and is high in sugar and The Ugly: chocolate with issues around deforestation and modern slavery.

For this new discussion we have brought together a fascinating panel of expert speakers including – leading chocolatiers in the UK chocolate industry Chantal Coady & Paul Young. They will be joined by Joanna Brennan, Director & Co-founder of Pump Street Chocolate,  Neil Kelsall – Marketing Director of  Chocolat Madagascar  & Dr Michael Odijie of UCL who studies modern slavery in relation to cocoa & chocolate.

For an alternative view  on “chocolate” we welcome one of our chocolate teachers Jon Hogan who is Head of Chocolate at WNWN Food Labs – the world’s first company to bring cocoa free chocolate to the market.


Chantal Coady

Chantal Coady, founder of British chocolatiers and cocoa growers Rococo, started the business after graduating from art school in 1983.  She has been pivotal in changing the UK chocolate scene, weaning people away from sugary confectionery to single estate dark chocolate. Working with the Grenada Chocolate Company has inspired a radically different approach: ‘Tree to Bar’, adding value all the way back to the place where it grows. In 2021 Chantal launched The Chocolate Detective, a business that works with cocoa farmers in Grenada to highlight sustainable chocolate. Chantal is the first person to be awarded an OBE for “Services to Chocolate Making”.

Paul Young

Paul Young

When Cookery School started twenty years ago, a youthful aspiring chocolatier, Paul Young, had just left working as Head Pâtissier for Marco Pierre White, with ambitions to start a first rate chocolate business, joined us running our chocolate making classes. The rest is history as Paul established himself a chocolatier par excellence with a now very distinguished career and many awards to bear this out.

Joanna Brennan

Joanna Brennan

Pump Street Bakery is an award-winning bakery in the village of Orford on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast. After mastering naturally-leavened bread, Joanna Brennan and her father Chris ventured into making craft chocolate from beans imported directly from single estates and cooperatives around the world, from bean to bar.

Jon Hogan


Jon Hogan

Jon has a background as both a Pastry Chef and eight years as a Chocolatier. He has worked at leading artisan chocolate makers including Paul Young, Rococo and Melt Chocolates.

As well as teaching chocolate classes at Cookery School, Jon is currently working for a food tech start up based in East London – re-defining food systems starting with mass produced chocolates. Win Win Choc are offering  a much needed alternative solution to the mass market “big chocolate” industry to reduce its outsized carbon footprint, and to steer to a brighter future, mitigating forced & child labour and other such mall practices associated with the mass produced chocolate industry.

Neil Kelsall’s ( BEng, MBA) career  is built on a foundation of innovation, strategic sales &  marketing management of electronic products, in the UK, Europe, Americas, Japan & China.

Since 2004, dedicated efforts to assisting and empowering businesses in least developed countries ( Raisetrade model)  in creating exports of value added at source ( ORIGIN+ products), aiming to (reduce poverty) by increasing the gdp per capita at origin responsibly.  Applied actions include pioneering Africa’s ( Madagascar)  global exports of fine Malagasy chocolate, cashew nut processing in Mozambique, coffee & barkcloth in Uganda & leading a 120 hectare South African winery.

Since 2013, in partnership with the Malagasy Ramanandraibe family in Madagascar founded “Chocolat Madagascar”, export brand of fine, fresh chocolate and cacao ingredients, winners of over 60 international chocolate & cacao awards for retail and professional markets.

Michael Odijie

Dr Michael Odijie of UCL is a researcher at University College London (UCL). He conducts research on cocoa farming in West Africa, with a particular focus on issues related to child labour and slavery in cocoa farming.


Chocolate Event Agenda

6pm – 7pm: Enjoy welcome drinks, networking & canapes

7pm – 8pm: Panel Discussion with a Q&A

8pm – 8.30pm: Drinks & networking



Our Chocolate Event: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly will cover topics including:


*  What does good chocolate taste like? Have our tastebuds been altered by over sweetened £1 bars?

*  What is the true cost of chocolate?

*  How as consumers can we support the right brands, i.e. what do we need to know and look out for?

*  Are there regulations coming in to support a move to a more sustainable production process?

*  How is chocolate marketed? Are all of the issues clear? In whose interest is it to hide some of them?


How to book:


Places are limited, so book now to make sure you don’t miss out on this fascinating chocolate event.