As pastry chef of Kansas City’s celebrated American restaurant, Christopher Elbow had been experimenting with color, hand painting, and inventively flavored fillings for the restaurant’s chocolates. Soon, gourmet markets and high-end stores started clamoring for them and Christopher struck out on his own. He opened Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolates in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2003.
Requests for the chocolates got so overwhelming that he had to turn down orders. “You just can’t mass produce these,” he says, affirming his commitment to remaining small scale. Christopher’s imaginative flavorings range from Spanish saffron and Vietnamese cinnamon to caramel fleur de sel and espresso with lemon. Although he sometimes misses the restaurant work, he loves the quieter, more meditative pace of having his own workshop. “My focus is much narrower,” he admits, “but I feel like a real artisan now.”