My Week: Willie Harcourt-Cooze, Chocolatier

The Devon-based chocolatier continues his mission to convert the British public to the taste of pure chocolate


Monday


I'm at work in my chocolate factory in Devon at 6.30am. I finish off roasting a Peruvian chocolate that I am making. I have an apprentice worker but other than that, I make all the chocolate myself. I work until 5pm, go home to have a quick dinner, change and then jump on a train to London. I stay with my sister in Shepherd's Bush.



Tuesday

I do publicity all day for my TV show, starting with BBC Breakfast, then on to This Morning. I go to my publishers, Hodder & Stoughton, and sign hundreds of books and do a radio interview from a studio there. Then it's into a car and another interview with Five, then more radio. It's interesting doing all the publicity. I don't see myself as a celebrity, but as Willie the Chocolate Man it's a bit strange. I can't imagine how people do this as part of their daily routine; it's exhausting to be so chirpy and get your mission statement across. In the evening I go to Euston and catch a train to Liverpool. My TV show, Willie's Chocolate Revolution, airs on Channel 4 tonight but I miss it because I'm on a train.



Wednesday

I'm doing a four-day event at Liverpool ONE. There's a chocolate fair, and I'm doing two talks a day taking people through the process of making chocolate, from the bean to the bar. I take people through the flavour and introduce them to those forgotten flavours of pure chocolate. It's interesting: people have never tasted a raw cocoa bean. Most people slightly wince; some like it. I miss lunch in favour of a quick power nap and then back to do another talk. I watch my TV show tonight. It's almost depressing as it's all about the bean disaster, when I had to resource all my beans and it reminds me of the worst week of my life.



Thursday

I have my first lie-in for a while then go for a nice walk all around Liverpool. It's really a beautiful city. I do the chocolate fair again. Later on I meet some of the chocolate people of Liverpool, which is nice as we're all so passionate. People don't know what real chocolate tastes like any more; even some 70 per cent chocolate still has milk fat in it. Chocolate is like wine: if you're using the best ingredients, you get a better flavour. My chocolate probably tastes like what the huge multinational chocolate companies tasted like 100 years ago.



Friday

I'm going back to spend Easter with my family. It's hard being away but we have a mission to do here. Recently my time has been overtaken completely but it should quieten down a little soon. I might make some chocolate eggs for the kids when I get home, although it's like Easter at our house every week.





'Willie's Chocolate Factory Cookbook' by Willie Harcourt-Cooze is out now, published by Hodder & Stoughton

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices