Kansas City's iconic Christopher Elbow considers himself an 'accidental chocolatier'
Christopher Elbow opened Christopher Elbow Chocolates in 2003. After two decades, he's producing 25 tons of chocolate per year and shows no signs of slowing down.
If you talk about chocolate in Kansas City, there’s a good chance Christopher Elbow's name will come to mind.
The renowned chef and chocolatier is a Kansas City native and owner of Christopher Elbow Chocolates.
Elbow says he considers himself an "accidental chocolatier." He started as a line cook at a country club in his hometown Liberty, Missouri. In 1999, he moved to Las Vegas to work under chef Emeril Lagasse in Delmonico Steakhouse’s pastry department.
“I kind of said, 'Well, this gets my foot in the door, so sure I'll put some time in there,’” Elbow says. “But, I ended up never going back to cooking savory food. I fell in love with desserts, pastries, baking and, of course, chocolate.”
Now, people all around the world can purchase Elbow’s chocolates online or at locations in Kansas City and San Francisco. As of March, his chocolates can be found in Kansas City’s new airport terminal — a project he says he’s been thrilled about.
“I was very excited about this for Kansas City, not just for the opportunity that we have to have our product there, but what it means to Kansas City in the business community,” Elbow says.
Many chocolate lovers don't know how chocolate is actually made, but Elbow hopes to change that. He's making plans for "The Christopher Elbow Cacao Experience," where people can get a deeper look into the origins of chocolate and see the chocolate-making process starting with raw cacao beans.
Elbow joined KCUR's Up To Date to discuss responsible sourcing of cacao beans, his approach to combining other flavors with his favorite ingredient, and how non-experts can steer clear of junk when shopping for something to satisfy a chocolate craving.
- Christopher Elbow, owner of Christopher Elbow Chocolates