Q & A with Peter Alcroft from Artisan Chocolates

We got together with Peter from Artisan Chocolates to find out what inspired him to start creating the amazing chocolates that are now becoming a South Hams delicacy.

Q1. When did you first start cooking?

I first started cooking in my teens with my mother who was a Home Economics Teacher then I applied to college for a three year course straight after leaving school.

Q2. Who influenced the way you cook today?

I was lucky enough to work at The Dorchester Hotel early on in my career with a fantastic Head Chef named Willie Elsner. I spent three years there doing my training on each section which was a steep learning curve but definitely set my standards for my future career.

Q3. Do you have a particular style/type of food?

My style of food is modern British.

Q4. What inspired you to make chocolate?

I always love to learn. Even when you've been a Chef and having worked in fantastic places around the world its always good to keep the mind active!  My love of chocolate has always been there but over the last couple of years I have enjoyed marrying flavours together and the tempering process requires patience and skill - very similar to my Head Chef role.  I went on a Cocoa Barry chocolate course a couple of years ago and was hooked.

Q5. If you were to eat any of the chocolates you make which would you choose?

What a dilemma! I particularly love the Lime and Cardammon as it's unexpectedly fabulous but my children would argue that the hazelnut truffles and caramel truffles are the best.  With regards to the chocolates my favourite and also the best sellers are the honeycomb bars and the pebble bags.

Q6. Do the family get involved with the chocolate making?

My children are great helpers and chief tasters of course.  They package the products and also help out at the food festivals we go to - great sales people!

Q7. What are your future plans for Artisan chocolates?

To continue to grow and supply more farm shops and deli's within the South West but maintain that quality and luxury.  We are just launching our new single origin bars which are delicious, the truffle flavours change each season along with our core ones and we are exhibiting at a few food festivals again this year.  The first one is the Exeter Food Festival beginning of May and Dartington Food Fair at the end of May and others that are in the pipeline for the end of the year.  We are also upgrading our website so all of our customers will be able to order their favourite products on-line

Q8. When your not cooking what do you like to do?

I love to spend time with the family going to the beach, cycling, and I enjoy playing the guitar.

Q9. On a night out in the South Hams where would you like to eat? Apart from the Royal Dart Marina!

A night out is a rarity with two young children but I would like to go Lympstone Manor, Michael Caine’s new place and we love the new Green Table Café at Dartington for a light lunch.

For anyone that hasn't yet tried the wonderful chocolates that Peter makes then you really must! They make wonderful gifts as well as a really lovely treat for yourself!

Artisan Chocolates