They say it’s never too late to follow your dreams, and that’s exactly what Chuao Chocolatier founder Chef Michael Antonorsi did. In his mid-thirties, Chef Michael decided to stop chasing his ego and start following his heart, leaving behind a successful tech career in Venezuela to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a chef. Chef Michael uprooted his wife and small children to move to Paris where he would attend culinary school, and ultimately, fall in love with art of pastry and chocolate making. Armed with European chocolate-making techniques and his own culinary creativity, it soon became clear that Chef Michael had a recipe for success.
From there it was off to San Diego, where he and his brother Richard co-founded Chuao Chocolatier (chew-WOW) in 2002 just a stone’s throw from the beach. What began as an artisan chocolate boutique, with Chef Michael’s wife running the cash register in the front while he hand-rolled truffles in the back, soon gained a reputation for innovation. Chocolate lovers swarmed to taste his spicy drinking chocolate and cabernet-infused caramels with a joy that was simply contagious. That joy became Chuao’s mission – quite literally. The company exists to share joy with the world through deliciously engaging chocolate experiences. According to Chuao’s fans, they’re doing just that.
Chuao Chocolatier has since grown into an internationally award winning operation with acclaim from Food Network to Oprah.com to Vogue for their ultra-premium chocolate bars, available in over two dozen flavors, as well as their decadent bonbons and truffles, drinking chocolate and seasonal confections. Named Top Ten Chocolatier in the US by Dessert Professional in 2016, Chuao’s distribution has grown across the United States at fine specialty retailers including Whole Foods Market, CVS, Target, Cost Plus World Market, Bed Bath and Beyond, and REI.
A pioneer of fusion chocolate, Chuao Chocolatier crafts their coveted confections with rich, premium, Fair Trade Certified chocolate; it’s free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, and trans fats. Layering flavors and textures is Chef Michael’s specialty, noted in goodies like Salted Chocolate Crunch, dark chocolate layered with breadcrumbs and sea salt, and Totally Tangy Mango, crafted with dark chocolate, dried mango, lime and sultry spices. The results are truly drool-worthy, living up to Chef Michael’s favorite saying: “if it’s not a wow, it’s not chew-WOW”.
Some of Chuao’s most popular chocolates include:
- Potato Chip chocolate bar: Creamy milk chocolate with crushed, kettle-cooked potato chips and sea salt.
- Firecracker chocolate bar: Rich dark chocolate with chipotle, a dash of sea salt, and popping candy.
- Oh My S’mores! chocolate bar: Sweet milk chocolate with crushed graham crackers and vegan mini marshmallows.
Kosher certification has become a symbol of quality to customers and quality is of utmost importance to Chuao. So, becoming OU Kosher certified was done with those customers in mind – to give them the confidence that Chuao’s delectable treats are crafted with the highest food production standards.
“Sharing joy with the world is simply why we exist. Now that our chocolate is Kosher certified, we are ecstatic to celebrate our commitment to quality, meet this dietary restriction and share our joy with the Kosher community.” – Chef Michael Antonorsi
As of 2017, all* of Chuao’s chocolate bars have been OU Kosher certified. Their bonbons and truffles, drinking chocolate and mini chocolate bars will soon be certified as well. Chuao is dedicated to achieving its joyful mission, one Kosher chocolate at a time.
*This excludes Baconluxious Chocolate bar.