My life in food: Amelia Rope, chocolatier

'Cooking is about trial and error – that's the way to success '

Despite her reputation as one of Britain's best chocolatiers, Rope is self-taught. Her career as a chocolate-maker began after applying on a whim to MasterChef.

Although she left after the first round, John Torode recognised her skill and encouraged her to start her own chocolate business in 2007.

Today, her bars are on sale in Britain, the US, Dubai and Malaysia, and she has created an edible art installation for Bailey's Chocolat Luxe pop-up, Bar Chocolat, which is open until Monday in Covent Garden, London (

What are your most- and least-used pieces of kitchen kit?

My most used are my knives. I bought them as a treat for myself before I went on the first show of MasterChef – and, my goodness, they get a lot of use. Least used is my colander. How could you use a colander when you're making chocolate?

If you only had £10 to spend on food, where would you spend it and on what?

I would go to Brixton market and I would buy some fresh vegetables and a piece of fish or meat. Cheap and delicious.

What do you eat for comfort?

Chocolate. I eat a lot of chocolate. For comfort, I go for white chocolate. My other weakness is cheese. I like goat's or sheep's cheese the best. They couldn't really be much more different, could they, cheese and chocolate?

If you could eat only bread or potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

I really don't eat either. The only way I really eat potatoes is as chips with mayonnaise, which is a particular favourite. But I don't even have that very often. Between bread and potatoes, I would choose neither. I think I might starve, actually.

What's your desert island recipe?

It would have to be white chocolate with pistachio nut and sea salt. I live off that at the moment. It is my comfort and my nutrition all in one fix. You've got the sweetness of the white chocolate, and then you've got the salt, which cuts up the sweetness. And then you've got the nut, which adds another dimension, and the texture.

What's your favourite restaurant?

I had steak the other day from Medlar, on the King's Road, London, which was absolutely incredible. My taste buds just came alive, and I really want to go back there. So that would be my favourite place at the moment.

What's your favourite cookbook?

Exploring Taste and Flavour by Tom Kime. He opened my mind to Thai food: all the delicate flavours, the spices, the presentation. I find myself reaching for it over and over.

Who taught you to cook?

Absolutely no one. I am self-taught. I've never been trained. I just had something inside me that wanted to make chocolate. My father's mother was an incredible cook. My palate, I think, I get from her. But really, learning about food is trial and error. You do a lot wrong and take risks that other people probably wouldn't – that is the way to success. How nice, though, it would have been to have been trained.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own