For some, chocolate is not a simple treat, but rather a lifestyle. For Tessa Halstead, founder of artisanal chocolate factory in Austin, Chocolaterie Tessa, the pursuit of creating the best chocolates is a passion and her life.
Tessa discovered her love for chocolate at a young age with the help of her father, Rex Morgan, who was also a chocolate maker. Rex founded a chocolate factory in Dallas, Morgan Chocolate, the same year that Tessa was born. As a little girl, she grew up around the delicious substance, soaking in information. Her father learned about Chocolate from his Dutch family members and then continued to refine his craft becoming one of the best makers in Texas for thirty years. Tessa began working with her father at age 14, soaking in his knowledge.
Even though Tessa has now started her own company and transitioned from an apprentice to a master, she continues to learn more about chocolate each year. Every adventure or vacation that she and her husband take, they make sure to stop by the chocolate factories around the country and world to learn different techniques. For example, she created the Gianduja Chocolate (pictured below along with the Mocha Pyramid and Salted Caramel) after a trip to Belgium.
Her favorite chocolate, which required over a year of trial and error, is the Salted Chocolate Caramel. Tessa’s father warned her of the difficulties of working with caramel, but she forged ahead and now has an award winning recipe.
Chocolaterie Tessa recently celebrated their two year anniversary and plan to continue with many more creations, celebrations and delicious crafted chocolate.