For International Confectionery’s Sweet Talk this issue, we spoke with Andrea Macchione, Chairman of Prestat.
If you could change anything in the industry what would it be?
More awareness around what good chocolate really is – from the field to the recipes. Good chocolate-making demands respect for the Earth and its biodiversity, as well as a gentle process.
What three traits define you?
Resilience and curiosity are an essential part of how I experience things. Also, I’m a tireless negotiator.
What’s the coolest or most important trend you see today?
Chocolate tasting is becoming more and more trendy. Consumers are more open to enjoy the purest chocolate, and look for different nuances of cacao and for innovative flavour combinations.
How do you define success?
Success is about “legacy”, what do you leave behind, beyond the numbers.
What made you want to work for the industry?
Excellency in chocolate is a rewarding experience, embracing two values which I deeply respect: innovation and tradition.
What would you most like to tell your 13 year old self?
Two things, for sure: learn to be patient, and secondly, there is always a plan B and it often proves to be a blessing, rather than a second choice.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
Freddie Mercury, no doubt about that. Mercury on stage was pure poetry. Also, I would love to meet Robert Dahl and walk with him on a visit at the Prestat’s Chocolate Factory: he wrote about how much he loved our truffles and I would love to share some with him!
What’s your favourite aspect about working in the industry?
I love being part of a great group, the Illy Group, gathering all the extra-coffee brands and sharing a great history and strict quality standards. I love working on the integration of Prestat with Domori: they perfectly complement each other. Domori provides Prestat with the finest raw material, while Prestat produces its worldwide famous pralines and truffles.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“Just breathe”. Whenever I start running too much, I have a dear friend that reminds me: Breathe! As simple as that.
Where do you see yourself in five year’s time?
Beyond my professional vision, I just hope I’ll be just as curious about new challenges around the world as I am today.
Image credit: Prestat
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Editor, International Confectionery
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