Featuring LetterPress Chocolate’s David Menkes & Lillie Belle Farms Jeff Shepherd
Starting with the June 2017 issue, we now feature a frequent column in Chocolate Connoisseur Magazine called ASK A CHOCOLATE EXPERT.

For 2018, we have two outstanding chocolate creators here to answer all of your questions — one for more chocolate maker-related questions, and one for more chocolatier-related questions. Each time, we take your questions, submit them to David and/or Jeff, and they answer as many as they can.

The best part? If your question is selected, you’ll receive that issue for FREE.

If you’re not yet a subscriber, we’ll get you set up as one with full access to whichever issue your question appears in. If you already are a subscriber. we’ll credit your account for one issue, so your subscription will extend an extra month for free.

For more on each “expert”, and to send us your question, scroll below…


First off, the award-winning David Menkes returns as one of our resident “chocolate experts” in 2018, and as our regular readers already know, David humbly prefers we apply this caveat to each and every column —

“I actually don’t like being referred to as an expert, but I’ll still answer questions to the best of my ability!” — David Menkes

Humble or otherwise, David crafts some of the world’s finest chocolate at LetterPress, and for those of you new to Chocolate Connoisseur Magazine, he actually started as a chocolate blogger and part-time writer at Chocolate Connoisseur back in 2013, which all helped lead him down the path to LetterPress. Some of you may find that quite inspiring, since we know many of you are up-and-coming chocolate makers yourselves.

For more on David, click here to visit LetterPress Chocolates, and you can read our LetterPress coverage at these two links as well:

Chocolate Maker David Menkes of LetterPress is ready for your questions…
Send your questions to chocolatier Jeff Shepherd of Lillie Belle Farms…
Next, meet award-winning chocolatier Jeff Shepherd, our newest resident “chocolate expert.” If you haven’t read our In Focus article on Jeff’s Lillie Belle Farms in the November 2017 issue (see preview link below), then you might not know Jeff yet… and you need to know Jeff! He’s famous for essentially learning chocolate all on his own —

“For better or worse, it’s all my fault for never listening to anyone about anything… I just plow ahead with my own vision of what chocolate should be, which is fun.” — Jeff Shepherd

We’re ecstatic to have Jeff joining us here in Ask a Chocolate Expert, and we know you will be too, so just submit your questions below.

For more on Jeff, click here to visit Lillie Belle Farms, and you can also read Chocolate Connoisseur Magazine’s Lillie Belle Farms coverage here:

To send us your question, either post a comment at the bottom of this page (easiest, fastest method), submit the Ask a Chocolate Expert Form below, or simply send an email to:, and please include the following:

  • Full Name
  • Your chocolate-related question for David and/or Jeff

If you have any questions on ASK A CHOCOLATE EXPERT, please feel free to contact us anytime at

Ask a Chocolate Expert

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  1. Eric Battersby

    What’s the fastest and easiest way to get us your question? Just type it right here in the Comments!

  2. T. Awrap

    Am I correct that all “real” chocolate comes from the cocoa bean? If so, where is is predominately grown, and in what form (tree, bush, plant, etc.) is it grown in it’s natural state?

  3. Patricia Mackey

    What makes Belgium chocolate so unique?

  4. sian Villanueva

    I’m doing a science project for school, so I need a question answered. What would be the best thing to use to melt and hold chocolate? (The chocolate will be at the proper melting point for most chocolate.) If you can answer this, thank you!

  5. Kameron

    I am dairy free and gluten free due to flood intolerances. I want to try making my own white chocolate, but all the recipes I commonly find feature powdered coconut milk, which I’m not a fan of the nutty flavor. Could I replace the sugar and powdered milk with sweetened condensed milk? I would be using a homemade condensed soy or oat milk base. Would this work as a substitute and how would you recommend going about this?

  6. Salman

    Hello there. I need to know how to keep my chocolate covered dates’ chocolate intact. They are fine when fresh but cracks appear with a bite when have them after a week or two post-making. Is it because the packaging is not Air-tight or do I need to add another ingredient or something to keep it fresh and not produce the white stuff and have cracks upon bite. It’ll be a huge favor if you help me solve this problem. Regards


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