Mott Green 1966-2013

June 4, 2013

My interview with Mott from late April, published now in his memory.

Categories:
  • Grenada Chocolate 82

    David Friedman, known to all as Mott Green, was one of a kind, that rare individual who through his purity of vision and dynamism, created something quite exceptional. Both with his chocolate and in his person Mott touched and inspired all who met him.

    It is with shock and deep sadness that I learnt of his untimely death. Waking on Sunday to the news was surreal, and the absolute tragedy of his loss is profound. His family are in all our thoughts, as are his close colleagues and co-workers. His influence is now worldwide and his passing is sending shockwaves throughout.

    Just over a month ago, on April 22nd, I spent time with Mott and interviewed him for this site. The best and only thing I can do now is to bring his words unedited to you. You will easily see in them the sheer vitality he embodied.  His words speak for themselves. His legacy, his chocolate, will from now on have to speak for him. In the glory of what he created it will do so with eloquence.

    With action and an uncommon force of nature he quietly revolutionised chocolate making. With his determination to keep production of chocolate and cocoa at home in Grenada he rethought the old model of chocolate making. No longer would cocoa farmers and their community and country merely wave their precious bounty goodbye, underpaid for it and divorced from the final product. Mott changed everything, building a factory and developing chocolate of excellence. From its beginnings in the Grenadian market the chocolate has now taken its place on the world stage, where this deep fruity chocolate, rich in the fine cacao of which he was so proud, is appreciated and celebrated.

    Cat Black: Mott, what took you to Grenada in the first place?

    Mott Green: I was quite young at the time and I had fairly recently dropped out of engineering school at the University of Pennsylvania. When I dropped out I kind of dropped out of society in general.

    CB: When you dropped out you dropped out in style?

    MG: Serious full style! Within a few weeks I was a squatter and running soup kitchens and doing all kinds of activism in the neighbourhood, opening up buildings and living with friends. We were the good squatter types, helping homeless people, and with this anarchistic political feeling and idea. That was my life for a while, for about 10 to 12 years I did that. But after about the first year of it I decided that the winters were too cold.

    CB: I imagine so, if you were squatting in an unheated building. 

    MG: Exactly, it was in New York. I did a few winters in New York. That was hard for me, I was much skinnier at the time.

    CB: You are pretty skinny now Mott, and New York Winters are harsh!

    MG: Well then I was skin and bone. So I decided to travel, and I grew up intrigued by the Caribbean, as so many people are. Probably more about Jamaica, I heard more about it because it was famous, and I liked reggae. But I had friend who was Grenadian, who moved to New York too, and he had a reggae band, of whom I was the sort of unofficial manager. We became great friends and he used to tell me how great Grenada is, that I should go to Grenada, because it was just how you imagine Jamaica to be but better and safer and calmer and cooler. So I went, on a whim, and travelled around a few islands that first time including Grenada, that southern part of the Caribbean. I’ve never really explored the Northern part like the Virgin Islands and so forth. I went to St Lucia and a few other places, and I immediately fell in love with the vibe in Grenada, more than the other islands. I was in Grenada for about a week, hanging out.

    CB: So it began as a holiday, but more than a holiday because you were in a traveller frame of mind.

    MG: Exactly, little backpack, very little money. Adventure travelling, no destination or place to stay, not enough money for hotel. Just figuring that people sounded so friendly there, that I could just travel and meet people. And sure enough people took me in to their houses, I slept on people’s floors. I did that for about a month the first trip. Then I did that again the next year, and then I’ve ended up going back every year since until I moved there full time in 2000. But all through the nineties, all through my 20s and the first part of my 30s I was back and forth from the US, squatting and travelling around learning different things. I spent a certain amount of time in California and Oregon studying organic farming and things like that. And all those things I would sort of apply in Grenada, Grenada became my kind of workshop. In a couple of years I built my own bamboo house.

    CB: Because it was wide open you were able actually do things there, have a go at things. 

    MG: Yes but at that time I didn’t do anything official, I was under the radar. I was just living in a little bamboo house that the Rasta friends I had showed me how to build, up in the woods above the village where no one else was living. A little bit like Henry David Thoreau, that influence and style, to live in nature. It was one of the anarchist dreams, apart from the urban, to live in nature with the possibility of self-sufficiency. I tried to grow my own food and build all kinds of contraptions. I ended up helping a lot of people with solar energy, because I got into alternative energy. I would bring a lot of solar panels and share them with people. So I was doing that every year, and then over those years I got this idea of the chocolate factory.

    CB: So you were going back and forth, learning from both cultures, bringing things from one to the other. 

    MG: Definitely. And I would tinker and build things like steam engines and water pumps and bring them to Grenada and teach other people to build them. The chocolate project came out of that. I was living around cocoa trees, and I fell in love with a beverage they make there called cocoa tea, which is their way of saying hot chocolate.

    CB: Is that made with water?

    MG: No they make it with milk. I make it with water (Mott was vegan), but even though they make it with milk it is called cocoa tea. There is this very simple style of processing that is done all over Latin America, in Jamaica they call it cocoa balls, in Trinidad they call it cocoa sticks, in Mexico they call it something else. It is what I call kitchen style processing, it takes no equipment. You just roast the beans in the oven, take the shells off by hand, and use a mortar and pestle or some kind of hand grinder. People still do it in Grenada, although it has become more of a tourist product than anything else. At that time in the late 80s and 90s it was still a real staple in Grenada, so every shop had them. So I started buying them and drinking them, and before I knew it I was making my own. I was hanging out with cocoa farmers, learning to pick cocoa and they would give me the dried beans, and before I knew it I was carrying dried cocoa beans with me everywhere I went. Not just in Grenada but everywhere I travelled. And I would whip this concoction up in people’s kitchens, using coffee grinders or whatever. So I was a cocoa hobbyist, but only to make this drink.

    CB: Also the trees are really magical. 

    MG: Yes they are amazing. They are very intriguing, they are just really beautiful. Hold that thought…(at this point Mott hopped up to collect a cocoa pod to show me that he had picked on the Grococo farm that morning before travelling to London. It was the most glorious purple object, bright and heavy, full of life, quite unlike the dried up specimens I had seen before.)

    It is an amazing thing being on the farm, when you are on the farm with these beautiful things growing right out of the trunk of the trees everywhere you look. Even in one farm we have all different types, some ripen like this, some ripen yellow, some ripen orange and the colours are just saturated.

    CB: I would love to paint it!

    So what was the catalyst to get serious, or did it happen organically?

    MG: It was like that; it became an increasingly vivid dream, for five or six years. I was living my life, but I was always thinking about bigger and better projects and I had sort of a handful of projects I thought would be interesting. But increasingly the chocolate started to seem more exciting, and then it even got to the point when I looked into it a bit in ’97, ’98. The Internet was fresh and I couldn’t find an example of anybody making chocolate on a cocoa farm. That got me increasingly intrigued, the political part of that, it almost seemed like a weird conspiracy, that the knowledge was so guarded.

    CB: I don’t think it is an accident that you and Santiago Peralta (of Pacari chocolate) have got this incredible sense of justice about what you are doing. You have to have been driven by that, because it has not been happened before, it is very far outside the box. 

    MG: It is so far from the status quo. So that encouraged me, and then there was a catalyst. Because in ‘99 a friend, who sadly died a few years ago of cancer, my age, called Doug came to visit, He was an old friend of mine from Oregon, and we would go and hang out. He was independently wealthy and had a farm out in Oregon where I used to go and camp in the summers. It is really beautiful there. In the summer it becomes almost desert like, perfect sunshine, then in the winters it is much like the UK. The sun doesn’t peek out for about five months. We became friends and we used to do all these projects together. Then finally he visited Grenada in ’98, he stayed up in my bamboo house and I told him about this chocolate project idea, a lot. And when he left he said; “That is a great idea, I have some money saved and I want to do something philanthropic but hands on and exciting and I think this is it. So how about this, I will put the money up to start research.” At that time there were no bean to bars, so we had no idea how to make chocolate, there was no information. So I worked hard to be able to go and visit a chocolate factory, this one factory, but I didn’t learn anything that was useful.

    CB: The knowledge is so young. 

    MG: For micro-chocolate. It is young in the sense that it is 150 or so years old, but for micro-chocolate it is only a couple of years. So we set out to reinvent the wheel and didn’t really know what we were doing. We just got bits of advice from the big factories and then started making our own machines. Then very consciously, because we realised we weren’t going to be able to buy any machines for a small scale. So we said okay fine, we will be fine, we will make all our own machines. It will be a homemade chocolate factory and we will design and make every machine ourselves. We also planned to make it solar powered. We began the research stage, which took about a year, and as we got close to making good chocolate, we figured we would eventually get there. So in ’99 we went and registered the company, The Grenada Chocolate Company. Then we went back to Oregon to make things better and in 2000 we took all of our contraptions down. It took until almost two years after that, September 2001, to actually get in business.

    CB: To get it all in place. 

    MG: And everything did just sort of fall into place. In the one little village where I had been living, where I knew everyone and they knew me, there happened to be this one house that had been abandoned for many years that is sort of big, the perfect size.

    CB: So that is the factory?

    MG: That is the factory. We rented it and fixed it up, and continue there.

    CB: At Chocolate Unwrapped where you were doing your talk and you showed pictures, I was mesmerised by it. It looks just as you imagine it should, the colours are so fantastic, the place and the people. 

    MG: Everybody and everything is beautiful, it is amazing! So then we made our start.

    CB: When did you have your first chocolate bars?

    MG: Well we were making them experimentally all the way along. We even practiced wrapping them a little bit. But the moment when we cut the ribbon and sold the first bars was September 29th 2001. The original vision was to make cocoa powder for the Grenadian culture, as they love cocoa powder, and the chocolate was an internal market. But we were thinking also about tourists and cruise ships, we could help cocoa farmers and create jobs, we can make this product and sell it for high value to tourists and cruise ship passengers. That was the original idea and that’s what we did and it worked really well. We just slowly got into exporting.

    CB: How did that happen? Because it is quite a leap to think you were going to send this elsewhere. The logistics are quite complicated aren’t they?

    MG: True, but most of those logistics and that leap happened later. Because for years our exporting was very limited. It was me taking bars in suitcases to one single health food store in Greenwich Village that I knew anyhow. Then it became sending them on an aeroplane to an old squat friend who bicycled them to about three or four natural food stores.

    CB: The whole thing is utterly human at every stage. 

    MG: And on the UK side I sent the bar randomly to Rococo Chocolates, having no idea about Rococo Chocolates. It was on a whim because it was suggested by a tourist visitor from London. They said “I know their shop, I go there, they seem to be pretty quirky and interested in different things.” Actually I went to their website then and a picture of their little three wheel vehicle with the tiny little engine, this little Italian vehicle with a 70 or 80 horsepower engine, the size of a little scooter. They said that once they got it up to 20 miles per hour but that was going downhill on the Vauxhall Road, and something just resonated.

    CB: It was meant to be. I grew up near the Kings Road, and I remember the shop back then well. There was nowhere like it, an utterly magical place. 

    MG: Chantal wrote back a little while later, and said they would like to carry it. I started sending little air shipments. Actually I started getting these emails from someone called James Booth, I had no idea they were a couple, I thought maybe he was the business guy, I didn’t know any of them at all. That went on for two years, sending the chocolate without knowing them. I had read about Chantal online because she had written the books. And then in 2004 they came to visit and then that started the whole friendship off. They have been coming about once a year, and I come here sometimes more than once a year.

    CB: It is incredibly important, if you are doing something a bit outside the box, which can be a bit isolated in some ways, to find people with whom you have an effective dialogue, who mentor aspects of what you do and also whom you teach too, it just invaluable. You probably wouldn’t be where you are without that. 

    MG: Everything has been like that, from the people who helped us build machines to the people in Grenada, to the marketing people. In the end it did get complicated and I did have to find a bigger importer in the UK and one in the US. There were quite a few years of struggling. Between say five years ago and four years ago we tripled production from about five tonnes to fifteen tonnes a year. I did that by starting a sort of cooperative, before that we were working with one farmer. We also got some new machines, same building, and we tweaked everything and started cranking out much more chocolate. I was very optimistic, overly optimistic in terms of marketing. At that time the Internet was starting to thrive and there were articles being written about us. People would see the bars on location in Grenada.

    CB: And when did that big film come out? (Nothing Like Chocolate).

    MG: The big film was just last year, but there have been all kinds of other things.

    CB: Somebody doesn’t make a film like that out of the blue. 

    MG: People would just write us out of the blue and tell us they had a shop here or there, so for years we were writing back saying no, that we didn’t have enough supply. So we made a giant leap of faith. It turns out it is fine. But at the time I rather irrationally expected it all to sell, without really thinking about who is going to make the massive marketing effort. So that was kind of a slow process. Even after we found the importers we were overly ambitious, we sent a whole container of chocolate to the UK and the US, about 50,000 bars each. They went out of date even. At that time, which was maybe four years ago, I just decided I have to get really into travel. So then I sort of single handedly built enough of a market that within the last year demand is exceeding supply again.

    CB: You are talking about supply and logistics, tell me a bit about the boat. How did that come about, because obviously not all the chocolate is brought over by boat? (Mott sailed with a large shipment of bars this year on the Tres Hombres sailing boat from Grenada to the UK and Amsterdam. This was underway when we met up.)

    MG: One-day maybe. I see it at as first step to having all our chocolate brought over sustainably. The second trip is happening now, we just sailed into Portsmouth, the first trip happened a year and half ago. Less than two years ago I ran into this company travelling in Holland. I went to visit them straight away. I knew it had to happen. Here was this beautiful looking square rigged ship, with the vision of moving cargo back and forth across the Atlantic, pollution free, no engine. I really hit it off with the three guys that started the company.

    CB: How many chocolate bars did you bring on the ship?

    MG: Last year it was 24,000, and right now, as we speak there are 50,000, going 8 knots, 600 miles from the English Channel, I am going to meet them in Portsmouth in May 10th or so. Before I met the Tres Hombres I had this dream of sailing chocolate across the ocean and I didn’t really imagine ever meeting a boat like that. My dream was more of a PR idea. I had this idea that one day I would come with a yacht that wanted to take four or five thousand bars and I would sail with it. It would be a great publicity stunt.

    CB: But this is much more real. 

    MG: Yes it is real, it is good for publicity but it is a whole different order of magnitude.

    CB: It really does contribute. 

    MG: Sure it does, this year it is maybe about half the chocolate we are sending to the UK. It is good, and we are growing all the time. This whole movement of fair transport is also growing and I am hoping there will be other boats and bigger boats, and we will be able to do it more efficiently. Hopefully this is just the beginning. What is interesting is the context of all of this. Before I met this boat, and part of why I was developing this vision is that I am a pretty avid sailor. For years I had this vision of sailing chocolate around the islands on a sailboat, only wind powered. For many years! I tried to fix up a yacht to do that, an old piranha, a wooden boat, and I got it very cheap and I put a lot of money into trying to fix it one weekend at a time in Grenada. Until the hurricane came in 2004 and that set the whole project back, we lost our whole crop, we had to rebuild the factory a lot. We almost lost the business, so I didn’t have time to pursue the boat any more. It needed so much work that I had to cut my losses. I ended up forgetting about that whole project and selling it to a local guy. Then about three years ago I got a Hobbiecat, these are these little mini boats that they mostly rent at the beach. It’s just a boat made for lakes and inshore and bays. I got this boat not knowing at first that it would be anything to do with my whole chocolate sustainable delivery idea. The idea was just to have fun on the giant waves. But then, as I got more confident on it, I started to go further and further. Then the big goal was one day to go to Carriacou, which is 20 miles away over open sea. I did that one-day and it was fine. I realised if I can do this I can bring chocolate up to Carriacou. Carriacou is another island owned by Grenada. 13,000 people live there, they always want our chocolate, it is always hard to get it there. We send it on a ferry sometimes.

    CB: So if you can bring it to them that is perfect.

    MG: I got a waterproof box, I strap it to the Hobbiecat and we get smashed by waves the whole time.

    CB: So you get battered but the chocolate doesn’t.

    MG: The chocolate box gets battered but the chocolate doesn’t. I don’t much either because I am wearing protective clothing from the sun. There was an article in the website that was in a Caribbean sailing journal called “Special Delivery”. So I got kind famous doing that. I kept doing it, every time the wind was going in the right direction and there was enough of it I would put aside everything else and go. I have done it hundreds of times now. I have created this whole market there now, just a hundred bars at a time.

    CB: But also, how much more exciting if you know that is how your chocolate arrived. 

    MG: Exactly, and I was doing all that already when I met the Tres Hombres. They even gave me these fair transport stickers, which are on the corner of every bar that was on the Tres Hombres. They give them to every customer who makes a product that they ship, to show that this particular bar was shipped with no pollution. When I first met them, at the tip of Holland where their base is, they gave me a roll of these stickers and said we give you permission to put these on your Hobbiecat deliveries. There could be a whole new twist to this thing. I am right now working on a new project, with a bigger cat, really simple like the Hobbiecat, in that there’s no caverns, no accommodations. But it is thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide. It was designed to do charters, to take people out on rides, at extremely high speeds. It is the fastest catamaran I have ever been on. You can go in the hull, you can’t walk there like you can in a big catamaran, but you can crawl into the hatch and crawl though it, there is even probably just enough space for one person to sleep each side. And we have also just finished these cooling chambers, in each hull, powered by one solar panel.

    CB: So where will you be able to get your chocolate to?

    MG: All over the islands, it is going to be Caribbean delivery. Camping out on the trampoline at night, high speed sailing in the day. In theory if this whole cooling system works we are hoping to keep as much as 600kilos of chocolate, 300 on each side, indefinitely cool.

    CB: You have made this travelling idealistic life. It is highly ethical, there are new projects and it’s exciting, it is commercially successful and also the chocolate is fantastic!

    MG: And that it the biggest point.

    CB: So it has been over a decade since you have started. Your own journey has been most exciting, but what have you seen in the chocolate world around you?

    MG: When we first started doing the hardcore research in 1999, there were no bean to bar chocolate makers. But it was very clear that we were riding a wave of the new popularity of dark chocolate. In the United States and England and places other than Western Europe, that was just really getting going. The natural food store in New York just started to have really big selections of good dark chocolate. So we realised, this was a good time from that point of view. Once we got going it seemed like we were the only bean to bar chocolate maker. Willie Harcourt-Cooze was the first one in the UK, Scharffen Berger in the United States started at around the same time as us. But basically, we were getting a lot of attention, not just because we were in the tropics, but because there weren’t many other people doing it. But since then, specially the last 4 or 5 years, everything has changed. Now there are hundreds in the US probably.

    CB: In the US it seems to have mushroomed more than anywhere else. 

    MG: It is like micro-beers. I have a friend called Brian, in Seattle, and he does a thing called the North West Chocolate Festival. Last year was the third one and I went to it. It is getting bigger and bigger. It is a fantastic trade show, with lots of workshops and things, but really centred around the bean to bar community of the US. It is their first big gathering.

    CB: A bit like Chocolate Unwrapped?

    MG: Yes, and Chocolate Unwrapped has some new bean to bar makers. But because there are so many in the US, there were so many there. Brian was asking me about the show for next year. This time they had a thing after it finished, talks about tasting and things. It was interesting, it was kind of techie and mostly we just ended up chatting about chocolate making. So he asked me if he should do the same for next year, and I said that no, after the conference he should have a two day colloquium, I have always liked word. Chocolate makers colloquium, mostly just little informal chat sessions, with some lectures.

    CB: Everybody able to learn from one another, and see where they are at. 

    MG: It is in September this year, if you get the chance. The knowledge is still so new, and it is quite sublime. Doing what you were doing today (I had been judging the selection round of the European semi-finals of the International Chocolate Awards) or even harder cocoa liquor, which is just ground up cocoa. I have done that at this research lab in Trinidad when I happened to be passing through there, and they happened to be doing it. It is incredibly difficult, and much more sublime even than tasting wines.

    CB: But chocolate doesn’t have the history of connoisseurship, so it is much more open. 

    MG: And it is interesting what comes out of that, like for example the whole raw chocolate movement. But there is a thing called Maillard reactions, it is why toast tastes better than bread, it is why we roast things.

    CB: Caramelisation.

    MG: Caramelisation is when we take the Maillard reactions even further. To me you work so hard to grow this good cocoa. You ferment it, which makes it probably not raw if it is fermented really well. Why would you want to lose the possibility to get 90% of the good flavours? You don’t have to roast heavy, and create a caramelised flavour like the Swiss, or a coffee-like heavy roast, but some roasting is what brings out all those potential flavours.

    CB: I love your 60% bar because it is so gloriously chocolatey. 

    MG: To me there is something special about Caribbean cocoa, Jamaica and Trinidad, perhaps less than Grenadian. For me it is where the most chocolatey cocoa comes from. More than say Venezuela or Madagascar, which are really lovely too, but there is something about the depth of the flavour. In our chocolate part of it is intentional, stylistic. Partly it is to do with having the fresh beans there to work with. This is the whole thing with the bean to bar movement, as you said it is completely open, old styles are changing. People are trying every kind of thing, such as light roasts. Traditionally the chocolate making from Western Europe, very snobby, very much like wine, was all about the subtlety. Our chocolate when we started was over the top, more acidic than it is now. A lot of people love that but I would give it to a French traditional bean to bar chocolate maker, and they were like urgh!

    CB: So where do you think chocolate is going?

    MG: What is interesting about it for me, from the point of view of having made machines, and designed machines for all these years, I think we are just right at the beginning of a whole era of micro chocolate-making machines being made. Now there’s one called Cocoa Town from India, it is a tabletop melanger. They made a first one and now they have a slightly bigger one. It is way too small for our size company. But every bean to bar maker in the US, except for two that I know of, are using those very same machines. The machine is called the Grinder. It is made in India but the guy who runs the company lives in Miami, so they have a distribution out of Florida. People like Willie Harcourt Cooze, Scharffen Berger and when we all started, these machines didn’t exist.

    CB: So this is facilitating everything. 

    MG: Yes, as there was very little out there. Now there is another company that just started. Cacao Cucina, in Florida, are making a whole line of mini-chocolate makers. It is happening. What I think will happen is more and more of that. Like the microbrewery industry I think there will be stores all around it, selling cocoa beans, there will be a whole industry around it.

    CB: Like a really great wine shop, all about looking at multiple different labels, and who is doing what well. 

    MG: Yes, that is another side of it, apart from the machine side, that is really interesting. You see Germany is the only place I know of where every town has a proper chocolate shop. Meaning not a bonbon shop, like you see in France and Belgium and all over Europe, the opposite. Germany is a place that has these shops that are like wine shops, and they have had them for a long time.  And now there is one in New York, there is one in Portland I know, they are sort of popping up.

    I would never go and work for a big corporation, but after all I have created one.  An egalitarian cooperative, but still working like I never have done and never thought I would do, in the mainstream capitalist world.

    CB: But making a difference.

    MG: Making a difference you can’t make otherwise.

    CB: For you personally, what are your plans? 

    MG: To grow and develop this project until the point where it is really sustainable, not just from an environmental point of view of but financially. If I am trying to make something a permanent fixture in Grenada I am not there yet, because it is still too dependent on me. So simplifying, training more local people to fix machines. I can be here and the chocolate is being made. We have got to that point. But if anything breaks we get into trouble. I may have to jump on a plane and find out what it is. So that is the goal, to make something permanent and bigger and better. As far as machines go we get an enormous amount of requests every year from cocoa farmer groups and micro chocolatiers, for help. All the different cocoa farmer groups that have asked for help, Nigeria, Bali, Mexico, other parts of the Caribbean, other parts of Africa, Philippines. People writing wanting us to teach them to make chocolate, “Will we help, will we open a subsidiary with them. Can I come and visit them?” I felt a calling for a while, before I started to realise about all the new micro making machines. My advice to a small start up cocoa farmer/chocolate maker would be to get one of these new machines, as it is so much easier. So I feel a little bit less of a calling.

    CB: Now that those exist you feel less that you need to fill a gap; the gap is starting to fill itself?

    MG: Exactly. Although that isn’t really true. People are still clueless. A machine is just a machine, and many people still don’t even know the machines exist at this point. But making chocolate in the tropics and all the tricks I have learnt. I don’t know if I will pursue it, and I am not as sure that it is my calling as I was a few years ago. But I did think about micro-chocolate consultancy, specialising in cocoa farmer groups. I fantasised about living in London, having my main office here, and travelling all over the world helping cocoa farmer groups.

    CB: What an amazing idea. 

    MG: It could be something in the future. Our importer, Tony at HB Ingredients, he and I have this neat idea of putting everything you need to make a chocolate factory in one 40 ft container, and then buying the container too, and then sending it somewhere and converting the container itself into the chocolate factory. You could put windows in it and all that.

    CB: A chocolate factory sent on a boat!

    MG: That is another weird fantasy of mine. I also have a fantasy of making chocolate on a square-rigger like the Tres Hombres, but actually making it on the boat. So the crew would be chocolate makers and sailors. You would sail to where the beans were.

    CB: I want to write novels about all of these ideas!

    MG: You would make the chocolate on the way to the market. Some of these chocolate machines that are now made could be bolted onto the hold of the Tres Hombres.

    CB: My vision here is of Mott Green as the modern day Leonardo. 

    What is your desert island chocolate, is there one you cannot live without?

    MG: Tricky question, because probably our most popular bar, and the most successful thing we have done, which I really love too, is the Nib-a-licious. Having said that though, living in the factory and working around the chocolate all of the time, most of us in the factory have sort of evolved into eating mostly 82%, because you get sicker of the sugar than you do of the cocoa. So possibly, if you were going to be on a desert island and only have one type of chocolate you might be better off with a higher cocoa content.

    CB: I love the 60%, I am working with Andrew Scott, Head Chef of Michelin starred restaurant The Curlew, who is going to use it in a chocolate dessert there. So that one is really on my mind. 

    MG: And the 60% has gotten better and better. The trick is to make a sweeter chocolate that doesn’t give you a sugar burn.

     

    Rest in Peace – Mott Green 1966-2013