Since graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute in 2014, Kelly Go has gone on to become co-founder and Managing Director of Auro Chocolate in the Philippines. This company makes fine cocoa and chocolate ingredients as well as retail products made from directly sourced beans. The company has grown and now has over 60 employees and an international presence. Kelly Go looks back at her career and how she has managed to create one of the biggest chocolate brands in the Philippines.
Can you introduce yourself?
I am the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Auro Chocolate. After graduating from the University of Chicago, I completed the Diplôme de Cuisine and the Basic Pastry Certificate at Le Cordon Bleu Paris to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of fine food. Seeing a unique opportunity to pursue my passion for food and business development, I decided to move back to the Philippines in 2015 to focus on making great chocolate.
What is Auro Chocolate?
My best friend, Mark Ocampo, and I have always bonded over our passion for food. We wanted to create something meaningful, combining our interests in learning more about where food comes from, how it is grown and made, and most importantly how we can show our appreciation for the people who grow it. We founded Auro Chocolate in 2015 and officially launched the brand in 2017. Auro Chocolate is an internationally awarded fine bean-to-bar chocolate brand rooted in sustainability through direct-trade and crafted using only the best ingredients to create quality Filipino products. Since our launch, we have seen tremendous growth locally and internationally and are set to open our first cafe in Bahrain this year.
Why did you choose Le Cordon Bleu Paris?
Since my family is in the food equipment business, I was exposed to the culinary world from a young age and had heard of Le Cordon Bleu for a long time. I chose Le Cordon Bleu due to its long history and global reputation. The Paris campus also had the advantage of giving me the opportunity to further improve my French and to live in the culinary capital of the world. To me, the school best suited my need for a rigorous yet flexible program.
What did you learn at the institute?
The most valuable lesson I learned is the importance of honing technique in order to maximise the potential of the raw material. I come from a country that has such rich natural resources and long-standing cultural heritage especially when it comes to cocoa production and consumption, but ultimately failed to sufficiently improve its practices and products with the times. My time at Le Cordon Bleu Paris Institute inspired me to find unique ways to combine my heritage with innovation in order to create the best cacao and chocolate products.
What is your best memory at Le Cordon Bleu Paris Institute?
My best memory would be the visit to Rungis Market. I vividly remember the vastness of the market and the sheer amount of every kind of produce from all parts of the world. The experience made me more curious about how food is sourced, and what role I can play to help create a more sustainable supply chain.
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