Meet the Chef!
After over a decade of tireless confectionary creation at John and Kira's, Chef Angela Sticco is not only the backbone of our operation and our head chocolatier—
—She's the tour de force behind each new collection, exploring unique flavors and advancements in chocolate production to bring exciting innovations to our kitchen year after year!
In her own words:I attended the Culinary Arts program at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in my early 20's after much debate about what I wanted to do with my life. I had a background in art, design, and music but was slowly finding my way toward the food industry. I knew that I was interested in food, but I didn't have a clear direction. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a food writer, a wine critic, a food stylist, restaurant chef, etc. All I knew was that I needed to be in the food world and that I was passionate about learning as much as I could.
After a life changing trip to France with my school I found myself doing an apprenticeship in France thanks to Esther McManus, the lead Pastry Chef and Bread Baker at the iconic Le Bus Bakery in Philadelphia. I lived and worked with a French family in a bakery in Chartres. On my 1 day off a week I took the train to Paris and ate everything I could: pastries, bread, chocolate, cheese, wine, you name it. I returned home with a huge problem- I wanted to eat my way through Europe but family and real life were grounding me in Philly.
Through a series of events I found myself living in Sicily for nearly 2 years working with a small Italian food exporter, once again traveling and soaking up as much of the food culture as I could. After returning home I found myself in a personal and professional rut- unsure of what my next step would be.
I answered an ad for a seasonal worker at John & Kira's. I had a small amount of chocolate knowledge under my sleeve, but soon learned that I loved the work. My seasonal position turned into a full time position, which then turned into a promotion to Head Chocolatier. Now, more than10 years later I'm completely submerged in the chocolate world. I've traveled to plantations, met farmers, and worked with highly regarded Pastry Chefs and Chocolatiers from all over the world. I found the thing I am meant to do- it just took me a little while to get here :)
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