The people behind Boston Chocolate Tours and Taste of Chocolate come from backgrounds as varied as chocolate itself, but all of us are seriously passionate about the food of the gods.
Before any of us had an inkling that someday we’d be spending our days sharing this passion with others, we routinely devoured every tidbit of our favorite bean’s history and lore.
We’d travel far and wide in search of new cacao-based experiences… tracking down tiny boutique chocolatiers based on a wisp of a rumor… and seeking out high-profile experts to answer increasingly arcane questions.
Along the way, of course, were endless tastings.
Eventually, it dawned on us that among friends and relatives, we ourselves were now considered the chocolate experts. The fact that all of us loved meeting new people and had rich experience in culinary event planning certainly didn’t hurt.
Then, in early 2009, it seemed a lot of stars began to align. You could say that we founded a business. But it’s probably more accurate to say this business found us.
Remember that old saying about following your dreams? In our case, Boston Chocolate Tours is the delicious result.
DAVID - Founder, Ringleader, and Chief Taster
David Goldstein is a born entrepreneur.
Dreaming up fun new business ventures is in his blood – just like chocolate.
Fortunately for all of us, David’s wife Wendy and their three children wholeheartedly support the cacao addiction.
The path to Boston Chocolate Tours began with a stint as program director for Learning Adventure, a Boston-based education/recreation center. There, David organized ski and rafting tours, then went on to create a Boston bar tour that captured loads of attention (including that of The Wall Street Journal).
Hopelessly irrepressible, David next founded the acclaimed Mystery Café, America’s Original Murder Mystery Dinner Theater.
His next startup, Teambonding, quickly became a leader in the intensely creative world of corporate team building. Teambonding has made the Inc. 5000 for the past three years running, and now has divisions focused on philanthropic team building and culinary team building (Recipe For Success).
Chocolate historians will no doubt trace Boston Chocolate Tours origins back to David’s popular Chocolate Team Building events, which have now been enjoyed by literally hundreds of corporate groups across the U.S.
He and his family have always been avid travelers and big fans of well-planed food tours, so this latest business idea came naturally. Of all the companies David has launched, he fondly refers to this one as his passion business. Anyone who knows him at all, knows he isn’t kidding.
For the record, our founder’s current favorite chocolate indulgence is Fran’s Salt Caramels from the Seattle Tour de Chocolat (this happens to be President Obama’s favorite as well).
But then, David steadfastly reserves the right to have more than one favorite.
KAREN - Chief Chocolate Experience Maker, Director of All Things Fun
Karen’s love affair with sweets started the first time she bit into one of her aunt’s famous brownies!
Although she has been told she actually has a bit of a salt tooth at times (shh! don’t tell anybody), Karen has been quoted as saying she believes that there is nothing better to pair a french fry with then a bite of dessert!
Having grown up in Dudley, a quiet town in Central Massachusetts, Karen went on to attend Assumption College in Worcester, where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Marketing. After working at an events firm in Boston, MA upon graduation, Karen fell in love with the city and has been a self-proclaimed Bostonian ever since!
Although it was perhaps a twist of fate that led her to join the TeamBonding family in early 2012, it was no coincidence that it was with us that she would eventually find her niche planning events that would bring a smile (and full stomach) to people’s lives.
When she is not master-minding our next sweet idea, Karen can be found training for her half marathon, exploring the city or planning her next great vacation.
It takes a very special person to successfully fill this role. Knowledgeable, fun loving, outgoing, resourceful and at least mildly hedonistic. You just never know when you’ll run across another of these exceptional beings – they are few and far between – so we’re always on the lookout.
We will introduce you to new Boston Chocolate Tour guides as they find their way into our little world.
VICTORIA - Lead Choco-Guide
Victoria began her lifetime of chocolate training growing up in suburban Connecticut. She first came to Boston to attend Emmanuel College on the Fenway, and has lived here ever since.
Now, as a full-fledged city girl, Victoria is a freelance writer who enjoys trying new restaurants, attending fashion shows or other Boston events, and bargain shopping.
Despite these urban pursuits, she still maintains a more earthy streak, and has recently taken to gardening. Though fresh veggies are now common in her house, she makes sure to keep her energy up by having chocolate for breakfast every morning.
When she’s not giving chocolate tours, you can find Victoria sketching in the Public Garden, walking along the Charles, or appearing as an extra in movies that shoot in the Boston area.
JUDITH - Choco-Guide
Judith is a professional tour guide and chocoholic. Her career began seven years ago by portraying Revolutionary War Heroine Deborah Samson for The Freedom Trail Foundation. However her cacao addiction began long before that!
When Boston Chocolate Tours was founded, Judith provided all the decadent historic details to make these chocolate extravaganzas undeniably BOSTON.
Judith, a gal of extremes, craves either 85% dark chocolate, or white chocolate, but scoffs at anything in the middle as too “vanilla” to satisfy. She loves the limelight, preferably if the limes are dipped in chocolate, and also passes her time as a professional actress, working on stages from London, to Montreal, and across the U.S.A.
Judith dedicates her tours to her Mother, who wisely said, “It ain’t chocolate if it don’t have a nut.” www.JudithKalaora.com.
Boston Chocolate Tour’s experienced chocolatiers will guide you through the art of making delicious truffles by hand using couverture chocolate, fresh ingredients and a variety of natural flavorings.
TIM – Executive Pastry Chef, Chocolatier
Tim Brown, a South African native, graduated the Hospitality & Industrial Training Board Culinary Academy in Cape Town.
He then apprenticed at Zevenwacht winery and at Restaurant Au Jardin, Cape Town, which is one of the Top 10 best restaurants in South Africa.
Tim then left for England and then traveled to the US to be part of the team to open the Emerson Inn & Spa, in Mt. Tremper, New York.
Tim has attended the CIA, Poughkeepsie, NY, and the Valrohna School of Chocolate in Hermitage, France, and has been the Executive Pastry Chef at the acclaimed Wheatley Hotel and at the Turnberry Isle Resort and Club in Miami.
Currently an instructor of Baking & Pastry at Johnson & Wales, Tim now joins the Boston Chocolate School, teaching An Evening of Chocolate & Wine and the Art of Chocolate where he produces WOW-quality chocolate classes.
DORIAN – Executive Pastry Chef, Chocolatier
Dorian McCarron’s passion for chocolate runs so strong that he has not gone a day in over 12 years without eating it in some form.
This passion for chocolate has led him to become renowned dessert and pastry chef in the Boston area.
His work has been recognized by the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, Patriot Ledger, Brockton Enterprise and Pastry Art & Design Magazine and he has appeared on Chronicle.
When not crafting truffles and sharing his knowledge of chocolate, Dorian can be found photographing the streets of Boston or focusing on his other passions, tattooing and running his own Organic, Handcrafted Skin Care company (www.snuggleupsoap.com).
His expertise and charismatic personality make our chocolate workshops a unique and enjoyable experience.
OUR WINE EXPERTS
HARRY – Wine Expert
Harry Silverstein has served as Owner and President of Red, White & Bleu, a specialty food and wine retail business in Falls Church, VA, for the past three years.
He is also in the process of opening Recipe, a comprehensive wine and specialty food marketplace in the Back Bay.
Harry’s wine education extends back many years. He has traveled to several of the most renowned wine regions on Earth – and he is partial to Northern Rhone reds and whites.
Prior to these experiences, Harry spent ten years as a business and management strategist with a focus on market entry and growth strategies. He has a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where, not coincidentally, he was co-chair of the Wine Club.
Tour Guide Positions
We are always looking for talented, well-spoken leaders and chocolate lovers to join our team! If you are interested in becoming a Chocolate Tour Guide, please email a photo of yourself and your resume to Karen at email@example.com.