Bonjour et bienvenue!
My name is Ariane and welcome to Chocolate & Co. I’m a 31 y/o former baker turned librarian, living in my hometown of Montréal with my fiancé and our cat. I created this baking blog in September 2012 to intertwine my passions for baking, photography, writing and travel. Chocolate & Co is a collection of recipes, books, music and wanderlust. Dark chocolate is my ingredient of choice, but my favourite pastry is the portuguese pasteis de nata.
I started working in kitchens when I was 18. I found work as a cook in a boardwalk restaurant in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, near the CEGEP where I was studying at the time. The following year, in September 2008, I enrolled in culinary school at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ). I graduated with a diploma in Professional Pastry. At the time I also worked at the boardwalk restaurant, a bakery, and at an upscale restaurant. In September 2010 I moved to Bath, England and worked in the kitchen of a café-bistro with a seasonal menu.
In September 2011, I traded in my checkered pants to pursue university studies, but I couldn’t stay away from my pantry and my whisk for long. While completing an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing and Women’s Studies at Concordia University, I had the opportunity to participate in a couple of student exchanges so I moved to Lausanne, Switzerland and Sydney, Australia. My last restaurant was a beach-side kitchen in Coogee.
I moved back to Montréal in July 2015. I was 26 and ready to move on from professional kitchens. I also loved literature, so I found work as a library clerk at a municipal library. I discovered a new vocation. In September 2016, I became a graduate student at McGill University, enrolled in the Master of Information Studies program to become a librarian. In April 2018 I started my career as a librarian, which I love! Now that my focus is on my role as Children’s Services Coordinator, it’s back to baking purely for pleasure.
Travel is a passion of mine as well. In the section “ Travels” I share my foodie discoveries. I love getting to know a new place through its food by visiting the local eateries, especially bakeries.
I am originally from Montréal, Canada. My hometown is an exciting foodie metropolis that I love. Check out the category “My Montréal Notebook” for a write-up of my the city’s tastiest addresses.
My baking soundtrack is an eclectic mix. “Playlist” is a round-up of musical suggestions to be paired with baking sessions.
A few of my favourites:
Nigella Lawson · burlesque · pasteis de nata · art deco · lobster rolls · Schitt’s Creek · Knix · Michael Kiwanuka · home deco projects · Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie · the bookcase from Beauty and the Beast · wombats · old world maps · road trips · mimosas · Brooklyn Nine Nine’s Captain Holt · dark chocolate Tim Tams · Mumm Napa · Montréal bagels · 10 Thousand Villages fair trade shop · Zadie Smith · Caipirinha cocktails · Mindy Kaling · Laura Secord french mint chocolate
Where I’ve lived:
Where I’ve travelled:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, England, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, USA, Wales.
Next Travels: Honeymoon in Argentina!
If you’d like to share my photos and the recipes, please link back to my blog.
I look forward to reading your comments! Let me know how the recipes turn out.