In 2006, while pregnant with her first son, Chef Nicole Patel made a batch of chocolate truffles as last-minute holiday gifts. To the delight of her friends and family, truffle-making became an enjoyable pastime for Nicole that relieved the stress of her corporate engineering job. In 2008, a serendipitous trip to the Texas Wine Country led to Nicole being the first person in Texas to make truffles using local wines. Thanks to her dedication and self-taught skills, Delysia Chocolatier quickly rose to become one of the Best Chocolatiers in the Americas, as recognized by the International Chocolate Salon and Taste TV.
Nicole has most recently been named 2023’s Best Chocolatier in the Americas with the highest honor, Six Star Award: Grand Master Chocolatier, an impressive designation she has received a total of ten times. Her most recent accolades comprise over 88 awards in total, among which are 20 gold medals and 22 silver medals. Notably, she has demonstrated unmatched mastery in the Spicy Chocolate, Hot Chocolate, Ruby Chocolate, and White Chocolate competition categories.
Nicole now pairs the process efficiency skills from her Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees from Texas A&M University with unbound creativity in the kitchen to keep Delysia successfully moving forward. Nicole never could have imagined how her experience working at a Fortune 100 company as a supply chain, quality, and business process improvement expert would prime her for distributing her own products across the country.
Nicole lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Rahul and their two sons, Sébastien and Colin.
In this episode we discuss:
- How Nicole made the transition from a corporate career to chocolatier
- Juggling her day job with her chocolate business sideline
- The construction challenges of opening a brick-and-mortar business
- How she cultivates partnerships with other food artisans
- The big pivot: promoting virtual chocolate tastings during the pandemic
- How Nicole develops and maintains her corporate gift-giving accounts
- Nicole’s top tips for cleaning chocolate molds
- And much more!
Episode Sponsored by
Dobla – IRCA
We know pastry chefs are busy. Ordering from Dobla and IRCA means not having to make everything from scratch, and instead spending time assembling final products for sale. It means getting more products in one place, which cuts down on the time spent browsing catalogs, placing orders and visiting with sales representatives. That means you spend less time focused on the business and more time on the thing you love: creating succulent sweets and savories that will keep your customers coming back for seconds. For more information, visit www.dobla.com.