Why You’ve Never Heard of the Best Chocolate Maker in America

He’s won more chocolate awards than you can count. Famed pastry chef David Lebovitz loves the stuff. The Chocolate Life’s Clay Gordon told me, “Colin is probably the best chocolate maker in the country right now. He’s the future of American craft chocolate.” Even Martha Stewart has dedicated a whole segment of Martha to this guy.

So why have you never heard of Colin Gasko?

In a word, control. This dude works by himself in his tiny factory in rural Massachusetts to create some of the highest-quality chocolate you’ve ever tasted. His company is called Rogue Chocolatier, and when I can find it in stock at stores — well, those are good days.

Colin makes what’s called bean-to-bar chocolate, which means instead of buying chocolate in bulk from a third party and melting it down into his own bars, he starts with the beans and roasts, grinds, and transforms them into silky smooth tablets of chocolate that taste unbelievable. A normal one-man operation could turn out only so much product, but Colin limits it even further by sticking to his convictions about quality. That means obsessing, tinkering, and often going back to the drawing board without sending out chocolate.

Not surprisingly, stores around the country regularly beg Colin for more bars. “He won’t send out anything that he doesn’t think is perfect, and he feels like everything he does is a compromise,” Lindley said. “Colin will stop at no end,” remarked the Chocolate Garage’s Sunita de Tourreil.

As a result, you’ll find Colin, his girlfriend, and their daughter living in his parents’ house. “When you’ve been in business for six years and can’t pay rent, you have a problem,” he said, laughing nervously.

The thirtysomething intellectual claims that his chocolate is a reflection of him not just as a maker but who he is. Existentially. He believes that his chocolate and his personality grow in tandem, that the dark stuff is a reflection of his life. He said, “I obsess about this 24 hours a day. My job is my life and creating meaning.” At the same time, chocolate makes Colin “suicidally depressed,” to the point that he tries to avoid eating a lot of the stuff (in the chocolate maker’s world, that’s somewhere between half a pound and a pound at one time).

So how do you get your hands on his chocolate bars? Read the full story at ChocolateNoise.com to find out!