About the Author
TODD MASONIS is the co-founder and CEO of Dandelion Chocolate. After leaving a career in Silicon Valley in 2009, when he and his friend Cameron Ring sold their start-up, Plaxo, he took a traveling sabbatical to study everything from the old chocolate making traditions in France to the best way to smash cocoa beans in his kitchen. In 2010, he and Cameron founded Dandelion Chocolate, a small batch, bean-to-bar chocolate factory in San Francisco’s Mission District. In 2017, the company had grown into two factories in San Francisco, and one in Tokyo.
GREG D’ALESANDRE is Dandelion Chocolate’s vice president of research and development and chocolate sourcerer. He travels year round to build strong, trusting relationships with the cacao producers who partner with Dandelion Chocolate. He’s been a product manager for Google, and designed laser tracking and torpedo guidance systems, but he knew he’d end up in chocolate since the day he “borrowed” liquid nitrogen from the physics lab in college to make frozen truffles. He feels strongly about direct sourcing cacao and building strong relationships with the network of cacao producers and chocolate makers around the world.
LISA VEGA is the executive pastry chef of Dandelion Chocolate. After years in Michelin starred kitchens that include Gary Danko and Providence she now spends her time improvising unique strategies for working with single origin, two-ingredient chocolate. She was named a StarChefs Rising Star for San Francisco in 2016.
MOLLY GORE is a food writer, former restaurant critic, and the Dandelion Chocolate communications manager. Her writing has appeared in Edible San Francisco, Texas Monthly, The East Bay Express, and other local outlets. Most recently, she co-authored a book about Western-style Japanese knives called Sharp (Chronicle Books 2018).