November 2017 Magazines 89128 - Page 53

Local Artisan Precision: the quality of being exact… accurate…perfect. These are the characteristics necessary for making chocolate, and the very expecta- tions that drew Master Chocolatier and founder of JinJu Chocolates, Jin Caldwell, into the world of confectionary magic. Focused, detail oriented and demanding of the finest quality, Jin lives and breathes this temperamental ingredient, fashioning it into award winning, artisanal cre- ations for hotels, specialty clients and now, local foodies who appreciate the very best money can buy. We spoke to Jin about her passion for chocolate, what it takes to become a Master Chocolatier, and how life has changed with the opening of her celebrated retail locations. What led you to the kitchen? I’m from South Korea originally and my parents sent me to the United States to become a doctor. After working in a restaurant while going to school, I quickly realized that becoming a physician wasn’t what I wanted. To the disappointment of my family, I left ASU for culinary classes at Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale. My father didn’t speak to me for months! Perhaps because they owned restaurants and knew how hard the business was, they wanted something different for me, but I had always been inter- ested in the culinary world and its fast paced environment. Once you graduated from culinary school you set your sights on chocolate. What’s the attraction? Growing up I had a very precise work ethic and was a perfection- ist, yet also enjoyed art. These traits fit perfectly into the world of pastry and chocolate making because of the need to visualize the finished project while understanding the science of working with specific protocols and ingredients. Studying to become a chocolatier fulfilled a niche within the pastry industry that many had not accomplished. I recognized this distinction and wanted to set myself apart from the average pastry chef. Because choco- latier’s not only craft bonbons but fashion large structures from chocolate, you need to possess layers of skills to construct them. This appealed to me as I knew I would need to constantly learn and continue to perfect my abilities in order to be the best. Once looked back. November/December 2017 I got into chocolate I knew it was my passion, and I’ve never 53