Alison Roberts is one of that tiny handful of people, working with food in Ireland, who are quietly changing the world.
Ms Roberts is doing this, firstly, by revealing to people exactly what chocolate is. Her Clonakilty Chocolate Company is showing food lovers that chocolate is a cooking tool, a narcotic, a sublime pleasure, and a tool of good health. In other words, Clonakilty Chocolate is the opposite of what Irish people understand chocolate to be.
Secondly, Clonakilty Chocolate works with growers to ensure fair trade and fair prices and respect. No point changing the world if you don’t do it for everyone
Being a disrupter like this – a real disrupter – suits Ms Robert’s personality, for she is someone who is simply radical: she has radicalism like other people have freckles, or green eyes. And her quest links her to the other great disruptors of Ireland’s artisan food culture – the farmhouse cheesemakers, the sourdough bread bakers, the craft brewers, the coffee roasters, the rare breed animal specialists – in that she opens our eyes, she helps us to understand that bean to bar chocolate represents not just a food product, but a civilisation, a history, a culture, a way of thinking.
All that from a bar of chocolate?
Yes. All that. And a narcotic deliciousness that is not to be found in any other food.
Clonakilty Chocolate: they do radical.
More along the Cork coast
Megabites Blog Sign Up
Sign up for our Megabites Newsletter, a blog which brings you all the latest contemporary news of the best food and food people in Ireland, including all that’s new on the Wild Atlantic Way.