Amy Levin is the world’s leading raw chocolatier. Her expertise in raw chocolate is unparalleled as she consistently breaks boundaries in the raw food arena.
Amy is a classically trained professional chef who found her way into vegan and vegetarian raw food in 2004 while training to be a holistic health counselor at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
After working for several of the UK’s most respected raw food & chocolate companies, Amy was able to apply that new found talent and knowledge to her role as Senior Sous and Pastry Chef to World Renowned Executive Chef, Chad Sarno at Saf London & Munich during their opening years.
Amy currently teaches raw chocolate classes in South London and consults with businesses who wish to implement only the very best raw chocolates and desserts into their menu or product line. She has published three eBooks; A Passion for Raw Chocolate, Raw Fermentation (co-written with Jo Balfe) and What is Raw Chocolate ? and has now released her Raw Chocolate classes as online learning courses. Amy’s work with raw chocolate is revolutionising the way people make raw chocolate the world over, both domestically and commercially.
The Inspiration and Meaning Behind Ooosha
My father was my food hero as a child; he introduced my brother and me to the most amazing things, from the extraordinary and classic chocolate souffle, to the simple and traditional eggplant parmesan. He would only ever take us to the best of the best places to eat, not necessarily the most expensive or most fine dining, rather to places where the food was created with the utmost passion and integrity.
My mom was the first to bridge the gap for me between fine dining and nutritionally sound food. She was the first person to cook me brown rice and quinoa, she was eating nori and taking me for sushi way before these things started trending with the general population. I owe a great deal to my mom for introducing me to what healthy food is and what to do with it, on the most basic levels. Of course, before long, I was making my mom dinner with these newly found ingredients and she was in whole food heaven.
This respect for great food made simply and with high quality, natural ingredients has stuck with me throughout my life and so, when I was brainstorming business names, I once again found inspiration with my father. I remembered him tickling our legs, and saying, “Ooosha”, as we squirmed and laughed. There is often little room for such shenanigans in adult life, and this little word, for me, summarises the pure joy of childhood silliness.
It is this very feeling that is the passion behind my chocolate and teaching. Love, patience, joy, and a generous sprinkle of reckless abandon.
Sharing this love is as rewarding as creating it. I host various raw culinary classes in South London, as well as traveling throughout the UK and North America to consult businesses on how to create the best raw desserts for their menus and product lines.
If you’ve experimented with raw chocolate before, then you’ll know it’s a labour of love.
Let’s be honest, whether you’re an experienced chocolatier or not, the process is time consuming and the learning more so. You have to be passionate about the results! There will be bad batches, good batches, grainy batches and batches that make your nose wrinkle (I’m looking at you chilli chocolate!) As fun as the mad experiments are, I hope to furnish my students with the building blocks – or bars if you will – so that when they set out into the kitchen to play, they can cut out some of those early mistakes.
As for me, I love it all. I love mixing it, glazing it, sprinkling it and best of all eating it! Where taste and health are concerned, it shouldn’t have to be one or the other. My own journey with raw chocolate, is about pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and teaching it all back to you! We are really only at the beginning of the raw chocolate revolution. We’ve come a long way, but there is still so much to discover. I hope you will join me on my journey and add some raw “Ooosha” to your life.
Chocolate doesn’t make the world go ’round, but it sure does make the trip worthwhile! – Anonymous