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Chef and Chocolatier Diana Short of Lick the Spoon

A professional chef for 18 years, Chef and Chocolatier Diana Short learnt her skills in France where she lived and worked for 6 years before returning to England. Priding herself on the quality and freshness of her creations, Diana has worked in Michelin star restaurants and catered for a number of high profile events.

Chocolate has always been a passion and previously only family and friends could benefit from Diana’s exquisite chocolate creations. A commission for a chocolate wedding cake in 2005 which later featured in “You and Your Wedding” magazine sowed the seeds for “Lick the Spoon”. In 2006 Diana gave up her career as a Chef in order to found “Lick the Spoon”, allowing online buyers to taste her chocolate creations and local customers to experience crafted bespoke cakes and Wedding favours . . . read more

Diana Short

Q: Whom do you most admire for their achievements?
A: Gordon Ramsay for being an incredible business man.

Q: Who is your favourite chef?
John Campbell for his innovative style and precision.

Q: With whom would you most like to have dinner?
My Husband, it's almost impossible to find time when running your own business and looking after two small children!

Q: What would be your desert island disk?
Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Q: What is your favourite British food?
Freshly caught crab.

Q: What is your favourite French food?
Bread & Cheese.

Q: What is your favourite Chocolate?
Valhrona Manjari for its wonderful fruity flavours.

Q: What made you become a chocolatier?
I had always made chocolates for family and friends. Following the birth of my first child a business I could run from home seemed a good way of combining my skills and passion as a chef as well as being a mother.

Q: What do you like most about your job?
I love being in full creative control, taking inspiration from nature to create chocolates with a local provenance.

Q: How would you compare the UK's chocolate industry with our better known European counterparts?
Because we don't have the tradition of fine chocolate in the UK as they do in Europe, new chocolatiers in the UK have shown themselves to be even more passionate about quality and provenance resulting in a fresh outlook and incomparable excellence.

Q: What's the best thing about eating in the UK?
Whatever takes your fancy you can find!

Q: And the worst?
Restaurants run by people who haven't got a clue about food.

Q: At what sort of place do you regularly go to eat?
There is a wonderful Italian restaurant in Bath that always welcomes our two small children. That really helps!

Q: Would you like to live and work somewhere other than the UK and if so where and why?
I've been fortunate enough to live and work in Germany, Italy and France for a number of years. I've satisfied my Sagittarian wanderlust and am enjoying the challenge of creating new chocolate recipes using wonderful West country produce.

Taste of the West Awards 2007: Winner of Best of Bakery & Confectionery
Winner of Gold and Silver

Q: When did you first get involved in cooking?
I always cooked at home and worked for local restaurants at weekends as a teenager. I set up my own Bistro in my early twenties before the travel bug bit me and I set off on my moped to Europe.

Q: What sort of people have you cooked for during your career. Most memorable or most forgettable?
I was lucky enough to create the menu and run a team of chefs for the 2004 Wildscreen Wildlife film awards in Bristol where David Attenborough was in attendance. I also cooked for the Bristol Saracens rugby team.

Q: Do you ever have regrets that you chose to become a chef?
No, but there must be easier ways to earn a living!

Q: What do you think you would have been if you had not become a chef?
A Poledancer!

Q: What would be your advice to someone who is thinking of training to be a chef?
Don't be fooled by the celebrity images you see on television, it's very hard work. Learn the basics of classical cuisine and they will stand you in good stead.

Q: The career of one famous chef only came about because his professional football career came to an early close through injury, and one chef's plans to open a restaurant never happened when he became football manager of Aberdeen and later Manchester United. Has fate ever played a part in your career?
After a year's travelling around France and Italy as a freelance artist my moped was stolen in Nice. I spent the next six years there, starting off as the funny English girl who wanted to cook, eventually proving myself as a head chef.

Q: What are your hobbies, spare time interests, what do you do to relax?
I used to sing in a Blues band and still love to sing Jazz standards. Wine also helps!

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