From the beauty of Tuscany comes the vision and love of chocolate that inspired one woman to create the most exquisite slabs of heaven on earth. Cecilia Tessieri’s mission to make irresistible Italian chocolate led her to set up Amedei Tuscany. Fuelled by a desire to find the world’s best cocoa beans, Tessieri’s continual search for perfection resulted in her becoming the first woman in the world to hold the renowned title of Maitre Chocolatier, and she has produced the six-time winner of the Academy of Chocolate’s Golden Bean award – “a very important moment in my life.” The Academy of Chocolate was founded in 2005 by five of Britain’s leading chocolate professionals (including Patron Michel Roux OBE), united in the belief that eating fine chocolate is one of life’s great pleasures. Today, it has become one of the most prestigious awards for elite chocolate producers. This year marked the Academy’s Eighth Golden Bean Awards, awarding the best “bean to bar” chocolate in the world.
A true family affair, Amedei carries the surname of Tessieri’s maternal grandmother (“a very important woman in my family”) and after seven years of research and work, the first chocolate bar carrying the name Amedei became available to purchase in 1998. Tessieri creates every recipe after having selected the perfect beans, re-adjusting the recipes like a skilled perfumer. “Chocolate is my life and my passion,” she says of her dedication to her craft.
“I am Tuscan,” Tessieri says. “I put my Tuscan creativity into my work, like Leonardo.” However, she considers herself at the helm of an international company. “I buy beans from South America to Jamaica, nuts from Piedmont, almonds from Sicily. I gather all the best ingredients in the world in Tuscany,” she reveals. “Whatever I buy and wherever I buy it from, I have the same approach. We work directly with the farmers and they are the people who know and understand the importance of the fruit they grow. The only difference is the fruit itself, because I work with everyone with the same approach – to produce the best quality chocolate.”
Tessieri has created something of a revolution in the chocolate business, by breaking through the barrier in a male-dominated industry and adding a feminine touch into the chocolate, the recipes and the award winning packaging. Amedei Tuscany seeks to bring joy to its consumers, with each magical bite delighting the palate, and the products are as healthy as chocolate can be – they don’t contain palm oil, soy lecithin or conservatives, and are Kosher certificated. Amedei also ensures the plantation farmers don’t use pesticides on their crops.
Amedei has just launched the new Christmas range, which can be personalised or monogrammed to create a truly unforgettable gift. Individual products from the Amedei range can be personalized with corporate branding and co-branded with Amedei. Personalised packaging can also be created as a bespoke service to customise the Amedei presentation boxes for celebrations, Christmas gifts, a landmark occasion or of course, to make an exceptional gift for a bride and bridegroom on their wedding day.
Of course, the big question on the tip of everyone’s tongue – what is the right temperature for eating chocolate? “It depends on the room. I think 18 degrees, maximum 22 degrees, is perfect,” Tessieri says. She adds, “I don’t change my recipe – it remains the same in summer and winter.” But what is the recipe that Tessieri uses? “It is the same question that many, many people ask me!” she laughs, “but mine is a secret recipe.” However, she does share one insight into how her chocolate is created. “The blend of the chocolate is like champagne,” she reveals. “Every year, I adjust the recipe because the cocoa changes. Every year, the cocoa is completely different. So it is not easy to maintain the same quality, but it is very important that you do!” Meaning you can bet every more-ish mouthful of Amedei Tuscany chocolate will be as satisfying as the last one….and the one before that….and the one before that….
Amedei Tuscany is available online and at Fortnum & Mason, Liberty’s, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. For more information, go to www.amedei.it.