What was your first-ever job? A delivery boy for my father's Philadelphia butcher's shop. Give us a quick rundown on your career to date After completing my training I worked as executive pastry chef in Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Malaysia, followed by pre-opening positions at the Ritz-Carlton hotels in Bali and Dubai. In 2001, I was made responsible for Harrods' entire chocolate, pastry, bakery and petit fours production before launching my own chocolate brand, Sir Hans Sloane. Has your career followed a logical path? No - I'm the only chocolatier I know who has worked in 12 different countries. What part has luck played in your career? A part. I had used an industrial conching machine in Indonesia and knew self-conched couverture was the key to creating truly luxurious chocolates. Years later, when launching Sir Hans Sloane, I found a manufacturer had launched the world's first artisanal conching machine just a few weeks previously. What is the best decision you have made? Sacrificing salary for experience. I moved to Switzerland and then Austria to study my craft instead of taking lucrative positions in the US. And the worst? To not have published my first cook book yet - I definitely will. Who do you most admire in grocery? My father, who overcame every obstacle to succeed and had every customer leave with a smile. Do you have a mentor and how have they helped you in your career? Master pastry chef Gunther Heiland, from whom I still gain insight, knowledge and wisdom. What is the most important lesson you have learnt? There are no short cuts to success. If you could change one thing in grocery what would it be? Make everyone realise that cocoa is a fruit and chocolate can be healthy in balance if it's not loaded with fat or sugar. What is the least rewarding part? Seeing the disadvantages faced by small-scale, artisanal cocoa producers because of large corporation monopolies. What advice would you give someone starting out today? Under-promise, over-deliver.