The TCHO Pro Initiative teams up like-minded creative movers and shakers in the food and beverage industry to create chocolate-centric recipes, dynamic tutorials, and cross-promotional experiences to inspire the world’s chefs, hobby bakers, brewers, baristas, manufacturers and chocolate enthusiasts. To learn more, visit TCHO's website.

“We have to think about the bigger picture and consider the livelihood and health of farmers. By supporting TCHO, I'm also supporting the cocoa farmers they work with at origin,” explains Russell Jackson, chef and activist based in Harlem, NY, who is bucking the norm with his restaurant Reverence + SubCulture Dining.

Reverence is based on Jackson “telling and honoring the stories and influences of my upbringing. It’s inspired by my time in the kitchens, my love of my hometown, and the chefs, art, and experiences in California. And more than that, it’s about bringing people together in a way that allows them to reconnect in a meaningful way.”

TCHO works directly with cocoa farmers in a symbiotic way, which allows for better flavor profiles and consistency. “And the best part is they're ethical and advocate for small farmers," Jackson shares.

Meet the chefs

Ethel Koh

Pastry Chef, Ittoryu Gozu, San Francisco

Singapore-native Ethel Koh started baking as a hobby while working as a registered nurse. At a crossroads with her career, she took a job at a bakery and soon discovered that baking was her passion. She earned a degree in food business management from the Culinary Institute of America in Singapore, then moved to California to train under Chef Marc Zimmerman at Alexander’s Steakhouse and Pastry Chef Joshua Gaulin at Quince. Koh now incorporates Japanese ingredients with hints of nostalgia into her desserts as pastry chef at Gozu, where she once again works with Chef Zimmerman.

Recipe: Chocolate Coffee Caramel Tart (made with TCHO Natural Cocoa Powder & 68% Dark Chocolate)

Why TCHO? “TCHO cares about the quality of the ingredients and the education of their staff, which are two things I really care about as a chef,” said Koh.

Jessica Craig

Pastry Chef, Almond, New York

After graduating from New York Institute of Technology with a Culinary Arts Degree and a BPS in Hospitality Management, Jessica Craig dove right into pastry. She worked with Belgian Master Chef Steven de Bruyn at Garden City Hotel, then honed her skills at various restaurants on Long Island before finding herself at Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton. Craig began working as a Pastry Sous Chef in 2008 and ran the dessert program for the Honest Man Restaurant Group until 2013. She went on to work for Altamarea Group, an international airline catering company, and Noho Hospitality with Locanda Verde Restaurant at the Greenwich Hotel. In 2017, she became Executive Pastry Chef at L’Artusi Restaurant in New York, where she oversaw the pastry program for Epicurean Group until moving to Almond, a seasonal, market-driven bistro this summer.

Recipe: Chocolate Pudding (made with TCHO 54% Dark Milk Chocolate)

Why TCHO? “I love working with TCHO because they work closely with their partner farmers and producers to make the highest quality chocolate possible and I really appreciate that,” said Craig.

David Rodriguez

Chef, Owner, Büho Bakery, Nevada City, Calif.

Rodriguez was raised in Southern California, where Mexican cuisine was influential in his life. He earned his Patisserie and Baking certificate at The Le Cordon Bleu program at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena. Rodriguez has trained under Chef Michael Cimarusti and Adrian Vasquez at Providence in Los Angeles, Chef Jordan Kahn at XIV by Michael Mina and Michael Mina’s Corporate Chef Lincoln Carson. Rodriguez also helped open Red Medicine with Chef Jordan Kahn, acting as both Pastry and Sous Chef. In 2011, Rodriguez returned to Providence as Executive Pastry Chef, earning a StarChefs Rising Star Pastry Chef Award in 2014. He took a leap of faith and moved to Nevada City in 2019 to open Büho Bakery, where he meticulously makes everything from scratch himself.

Recipe: Chocolate Swirl Bread (made with TCHO Natural Cocoa Powder, 81% Dark Chocolate & Roasted Cacao Nibs)

Why TCHO? “At Büho Bakery, my philosophy is to support local businesses, and TCHO happens to support its local community, too. We use local ingredients, like TCHO, and sell our products to local shops. We just love introducing people to TCHO chocolate," said Rodriquez.

Russell Jackson

Owner, Chef, Reverence, New York

A culinary innovator and a noted African-American chef in California cuisine, Russell Jackson is the owner and chef of Harlem’s fine dining restaurant, Reverence. Following graduation from the California Culinary Academy, Jackson opened his first restaurant, Russell's, in Los Angeles. In 1999, he moved to San Francisco to head James Beard-nominated Black Cat restaurant. Jackson achieved notoriety and amassed a cult following through his seminal restaurant creation, SubCulture Dining, a radical underground supper-club. SubCulture Dining, known by devotees as SCD, broke culinary boundaries and earned Jackson his reputation as the Dissident Chef. Emerging from the underground scene, Jackson would go on to open Lafitte in San Francisco in 2009. He moved to New York City in 2013 and opened the doors to Reverence in 2019. Jackson has appeared on “SF Chefs,” “Iron Chef America” battling Chef Jose Garces, and in the Food Network Kitchens, competing for the title of Food Network Star, and starring in “Off the Menu” on BravoTV.

Recipe: Blue Corn Hot Cocoa (made with TCHO Drinking Chocolate Crumbles)

Why TCHO? "I'm intrigued by the way TCHO practices good ethics by working closely with cocoa farmers who are growing the actual cacao beans that make chocolate,” said Jackson. “It’s important to me to work with vendors who are transparent and are serious about quality.”