Chocology Unlimited’s Master Chocolatier Linda Johnson is excited to participate in Rosé Soirée and Taste of Two Forks this summer. Johnson is well-traveled and always looking forward to the next challenge. “After working in more countries than I’ve lived, and moving around at each phase in my life, I’ve been exposed to so much more than my upbringing and heritage,” she says. “All of this influenced me in a profound way. It makes one more daring and more adaptable to be able to travel around and fit right in with the locals. This adaptability shows in my work as I don’t see a boundary when making new creations.”
Which of your recent travels have inspired you?
Recently, my family and I were in London and we stopped at an old favorite Indian restaurant just outside of Swiss Cottage. Walking in instantly transported me to the wonderful aroma and flavors of the East Asian world. The inspiration catapulted the 2019 Dan’s Taste of Summer Rosé Soirée thoughts and immediately found a lovely home in my Rosé Cardamom Chocolate Mousse Recipe. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
You do realize I literally make chocolate? That smooth, flavorful, endorphin-boosting ambrosia? Seriously, I’d have to say it was going against the norm to allow my daughter her space to learn and grow at a comfortable pace. Choosing to homeschool gave us more time and ability to blossom, both individually and as a family. Madeline, my daughter, is graduating this year and I must add that she’s an amazing person. I don’t only love her, I like her, too.
Tell us a unique kitchen ritual you practice.
Why, I thought you’d never ask! It’s shining my kitchen sink at the end of every day. First I clean it, then using a little window cleaner, I shine it. It’s very simple. I clean it, then shine it every night. For the past decade, this little act of quiet rebellion has brought me joy, which then translates into love when I cook in my happy kitchen.
If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?
What? What? I don’t understand the question. Everyone is in the food and/or wine business. Even if you sell widgets, you wine and dine your clients or your venture capitalists, and choosing the right food is the key to moving forward. The question should be, if you were independently wealthy, what would you be? My daughter and I were recently speculating over this. I’d love to be traveling around the world helping people. It combines my love of travel with the ability to help people when I am able.
What has surprised you most about working in the East End culinary scene?
I’ll answer that as long as I have a shield over me. Here goes… What surprised me the most was the authenticity and genuineness of the people in the East End culinary scene. Somehow I had this preconceived notion that I wouldn’t fit in, or I wouldn’t be welcome. And then I met so many genuine friends who are willing to collaborate, share, teach and support each other in the scene. It’s truly beautiful.
We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.
Clink clink clink! Your summer challenge is to dare to step out of your comfort zone and try one new thing this summer in the Hamptons. One new culinary dish, one new restaurant, one new merchant, and your future self will be proud of you. I’ll quickly end this with: Cheers to endings, new beginnings and the endless possibilities.