Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Self-Taught Chocolatiers: NuNu Chocolates

The Self-Taught Chocolatiers: NuNu Chocolates from SkeeterNYC on Vimeo.
"There's so much magic you miss when you're not in the kitchen when food gets created and I wanted to be there to capture that. I wanted to share the hard work and the dreams being realized. I just couldn't think of a more fun job." - Liza de Guia

Liza de Guia, the multimedia maven behind Food. Curated., has one of the funnest jobs in the world. 

A former Hamptons-based food host and reporter, Liza has been telling delicious stories since 2003. Though that job was one of many casualties at the height of the recession last year, she seized the opportunity to launch her own website doing what she does best: storytelling. This "one-woman shooting/editing machine" was recently nominated for Best Video Webcast by the James Beard Foundation. 

My favorite video of hers (above) is about the so-called self-taught chocolatiers behind NuNu Chocolates and I think she did an amazing job telling their story. I got a chance to do a quick e-mail interview yesterday and here's how that went.

4 Quick Questions with Liza de Guia
How do you choose which stories to tell and what do you think makes a good story? 
I just let my curiosity do the driving. Sometimes I'll just eat something and wonder where that ingredient came from, or I'll read about something and will have to know more. I also get tips and recommendations from my blog readers, Facebook fans, twitter friends and my growing list of amazing food lover peeps. It's never hard to find a story. I've got many on my list. In my opinion, the hard part is telling it right.

Which one of your videos was the hardest to work on and why?
The hardest video I've worked on so far was my story about SCRATCHbread. The bread master, Matt Tilden, told me that I couldn't film his face during our entire seven hours of baking bread together. The face is so important in documentaries for you to make a connection with the person, and he wasn't allowing me that privilege. It was 1am. I was in this empty restaurant deep in Brooklyn with no one else to help me make a decision. So I just went with it.  I blurred my images, focused on his hands and the bread-making process and I still think to date it's one of the most beautiful stories I've ever done!

What did you love most about doing the NuNu Chocolates story?
I loved just learning for myself that not all successes come from years of planning and scheduling and goal-making. It was inspiring for me because both of them never were food professionals. Andy was a career musician and Justine held an environmental science degree when they started. And that's what I loved most about working with NuNu. It was this giddiness about them that just showed me they still couldn't believe they got to make chocolate for a living! And, BTW, filming in a room reeking of chocolate ain't bad either.

What's your favorite chocolate?
Growing up: KitKat, 100 Grand, Whatchamacallit, Peanut M&Ms. Now: I honestly don't think I have a favorite. Which reminds me...I need to figure that out!

             Liza at the James Beard Foundation Awards

Get inspired! Check out her video gallery at Food. Curated.

- Kris Alcantara

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