Hi, I’m Max! Thanks for being here.
As Dame Cacao, I am dedicated to crafting a sustainable and delicious world by changing the way we eat and perceive chocolate. I dive into the global identity of chocolate; how it’s made, where to find it and with whom to share it.
The Origin Story
I am fascinated by chocolate. It is my every day, my comfort food, and probably yours, too. Dame cacao (“give me cacao” in Spanish) is the original meaning of the site’s name. It was formulated to tell the world that I know you have the chocolate, so just hand it out and nobody gets hurt.
Nobody gets hurt. That’s the idea that started my whole chocolate lifestyle.
At the moment, I’m an English teacher surrounded by crisp mountains in rural South Korea. Sometimes I write about life here, and interesting trips I take. But the event that led me to chocolate started in 2012, when I was 16 and I went to a chocolate tasting. There I learned that you can be a part of changing the system, without completely changing your life.
It was only years later that Dame Cacao actually started, in early 2015, at the persistent urging of a chocolate-obsessed friend. It was to be a platform for my thoughts while working in Latin America & to review all the craft chocolate bars I could get my eager hands on. The site came to fruition only after years of tasting a few bars a week using whatever cash I could spare from my student budget. I think those first bars are still some of the best chocolates I’ve ever had.
The bars went fast because I carried them everywhere, and shared them with anyone who sounded interested. Seriously. I would ask any person I met if they’d like to try some chocolate. It’s a delicious hobby, but I quickly realized that just hearing about all these farmers and chocolate makers and everybody in between was not enough. I had to go out and work with some of them. Chocolate even brought me to South Korea, in a long-winded & backwards but undeniable way.
Eat Better Chocolate; Change the World
Over the years, I have interned in a fancy chocolate shop, worked on a coffee & cacao plantation, and guided tours in a chocolate museum. I recently became a certified chocolate maker through Ecole Chocolat, and a member of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association. I have been tasting craft chocolate for over five years now, building both a knowledge base and a solid group of human resources, which I utilize daily. In the same amount of time, I have uncovered a thirst for travel, fulfilled during my search for the best chocolate. Over the history of the site, from the first post onward, you can see my interests evolve and my tone mature & grow. With the aid of quality chocolate and the chocolate community, I am becoming the person I strive to be, and I want you to, as well.
My goal is to see to it that anyone can find a bite of chocolate on any trip, even if that’s just a trip down the road. But first you need to know where to look and why. Beyond the bar reviews and chocolate making experiments, on Dame Cacao you’ll find insight into the industry, chocolate guides to cities & countries, and highlights of unique chocolate experiences. Chocolate around the world, at your leisure.
Whether you’re a chocolate lover, traveler, or world changer, there’s something in this community for you. As I grow, this site & the chocolate community do, as well. Feel free to follow me on any part of my journey, as I travel slowly & experience life. Connect with me on social media. Ask for a bar recommendation, why don’t you.
And remember, wherever you go, chocolate is never too far away.
If you would like to contact me regarding professional matters, please email me at max[@]damecacao.com. Unless otherwise noted, all photos were taken by me, and cannot be reproduced without permission. Thanks!Thanks for reading!