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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

East15 Acting School: Finance and Contracts Officer

£20,781 to £24,057 per annum: East15 Acting School: The post involves general ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: A mainstream Secondary school in C...

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company provides global satellite communi...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks