Ginger Hahn, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, featuring Yerena Farms
Saturday, August 3, 2019, 10:30 am - 11:15 am
Stop by the CUESA Classroom for a talk and tasting featuring the seasonal bounty of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Elizabeth Hahn hails from a family of home bakers – her mother, the maven of quick breads and biscuits; her grandmother, the household doyenne of yeasted bakes. Growing up in Camino, CA in the heart of “Apple Hill” meant that deliriously juicy fruit punctuated Ginger’s childhood. She recalls picking blackberries by the pond in summer and harvesting apples come fall, transforming peak ingredients into tempting creations. This love of baking, literally, left an indelible mark when Ginger was six years old and her hair got caught in a hand mixer while making strawberry shortcakes; even the temporary bald spot did not deter her. As Ginger puts it, “I didn’t choose this path, it chose me.”
In high school, Ginger attended a week-long summer program at the CIA at Greystone in the Napa Valley, which further fueled her passion for the culinary arts. With her eyes ultimately set on pastry at the CIA in Hyde Park, New York, Ginger decided to enroll in the culinary program at Santa Barbara City College in order to cultivate a solid and comprehensive foundation. She loved the rigor and even enjoyed the “dirty work,” like learning how to mop properly. After receiving a certificate in Hotel, Restaurant, and Culinary Management she went on to study pastry at the CIA in Hyde Park, graduating top of her class and receiving the prestigious IACP scholastic scholarship for the culinary arts.
In 2002, Ginger landed an externship at the newly opened Jacques Torres chocolate shop in New York further honing her skills as a chocolatier and learning how to make pralines, one of her favorite techniques. After graduation, she accepted a position at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago under the guidance of En-Ming Hsu, gold medalist at the 2001 World Pastry Cup. It was here that Ginger began to develop, test, and retest her own recipes under the guidance of En-Ming Hsu, developing a confidence in her creativity as well as an appreciation for the meticulousness of the process. It is this drive for perfection and attention to even the smallest details that continue to inform Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates.
After a year in the Windy City, Ginger moved back to California to become the pastry chef at Masque Ristorante in El Dorado Hills. After two years there, 24 year old Ginger decided to act on her vision to open a business of her own. Thus, Couture Chocolates by Ginger Elizabeth, a wholesale operation, came to life in 2005. Demand grew quickly and in January 2008, the renamed Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates pivoted from wholesale to retail with the first brick-and-mortar shop opening in Sacramento followed by another in San Francisco in 2017. Ever-refining her craft, Ginger enjoys dissecting the science behind confections, teaching classes, and sharing her love of all things chocolate. Ginger is the mother to three children, all of whom are enthusiastic about licking batter and some of whom even bake alongside her. When she’s not baking, the fashion enthusiast in her loves to sew.
All Market to Table activities take place in the CUESA Classroom (under the CUESA tents in front of the Ferry Building) and are free to the public, with recipes and samples.