Tell us about your path to becoming a pastry chef and the evolution to chocolatier.
Well, they say as a kid you shouldn’t play with your food. I always played with my food. It started at a very young age and by the time I was in high school I was completely certain I wanted to go to culinary school. Any kid who grew up near the Hershey factory spent their summers as I did, going to the factory and theme park. My curiosity about chocolate truly started there. By early high school I was convinced that I would come up with the perfect chocolate sauce, this was way before I had any clue what I was doing. I have to laugh now because there were some awful messes. I landed my first apprenticeship at the age of 18 via a scholarship, I went to work in a traditional bakeshop in a town outside of Dresden, Germany. My perspective changed entirely after this experience. The bakeshop was so much a part of everyday life for the people who lived there. It was incredible. After my time in Germany I returned to the states to attend the culinary program at CIA in Hyde Park, NY. I spent the next 2 years further honing my skills in the culinary field. From there I went on to work in some amazing 4 star restaurants in New York City. I learned so much working at Danube (an Austrian restaurant owned by David Bouley), Jean George, and Areol (a Charley Palmer restaurant). It was working in these places I was reaffirmed that my place was truly in the pastry and dessert arena. Visiting family, I came to Boulder and about four months later I was moving out here. I love Manhattan but I was ready to enjoy Boulder. When I moved to Boulder I met Hugo Matheson from The Kitchen, and he offered me a job. I helped them design a dessert and chocolate program and was the pastry chef for 6 ½ years. After that I started Nathan Miller Chocolate and did collaborations in between to get my business off the ground. Today I’m doing what I love.
What kinds of chocolate do you sell?
My current flavor for my Holiday Bar is gingerbread eggnog. I am going to introduce my Everything Bar back up for grabs in January, which involves almonds, sea salt, coffee, nutmeg and toffee. It’s a unique bar because you get a different taste in every bite. I also make ginger, nutmeg, mint julep, and buttermilk truffles that are for sale (2 flavors at a time) at The Kitchen. I will be launching truffle packages to retail locations as well as direct online sales before Valentine’s Day, 2013. Anyone who knows me would tell you I am always experimenting with new flavors, expect the unexpected as I develop new products this spring. I am also making a chocolate sauce for Mcdevitt Taco Supply for his breakfast tacos. I enjoy partnering with other local businesses to create something different.
How do you want people to eat your chocolate and appreciate all the care that goes into it?
Buying a chocolate bar is a treat we give ourselves and those we love. I like to think that when someone chooses my chocolate it’s either because it’s local or they’ve heard something good about it. When they try it for themselves I hope they truly enjoy it. I like to make high quality products that reflect the real ingredient’s true flavors at their best.