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Willie's winning recipe for life
on 15 March 2009
This book is part autobiography, part cookbook. In the first half of the book we learn of Willie's hard but idyllic childhood, followed by a tough early adulthood that leads to travels that eventually take him to Venezuela. The stories about how he comes across a cacao plantation, buys it, improves it, and decides to move in to chocolate making are all recounted in the recent TV series but here are much more interestingly told, and in more detail. I could recommend the book just for the first half. However, the second half of the book, Willie's recipes, is also very rewarding. When I watched the TV series my attention was always held by Willie's cooking, and in particular the ways he could find to add chocolate into his dishes. Well, I have already tried out a few of the recipes in the book (for Hot Chocolate, Cacao Bread, and Chicken Mole) and found the results delicious! He may look a bit crazy but there's no doubt that Willie is a force for good in the world of fine chocolate. He was a deserving winner of the Academy of Chocolate's Personality of The Year Award in 2008.