The Adventurous Artist Rae Stang
All my life I've liked making things. If a life is like a tapestry, then most lives have at least one strong central thread that creates the pattern. In my tapestry- it's creativity. My brain gets an idea, and then I'm actually hard put to stop it from becoming reality. Anything from a lemonade stand or a tree house or putting on a play complete with scenery & costumes when I was a kid, to stores, restaurants, mobile catering trucks, medicine wagons, houses, farms. I love to create whole worlds, ambiance, food, mood, everything. It’s a mixed blessing. And that's how I got here.
Through creativity, through food, through loving to feed people and experience that "Aaah" moment when the plate is presented. Through cooking wonderful meals which take hours and are gone in minutes. Through knowing that the creation of one's hands and the earth becomes part of the eater’s body. Through loving working with all the beautiful, fragrant, tasty and colorful and many shaped and textured ingredients from the earth, each of which contain the essence of the sun, soil & water which grew them. So many reasons and connections which I love and am excited by.
So, food won out as the greatest medium. It won out over paint, clay, metal & cloth.
I love how whatever you make never piles up and collects dust. It's eaten. Finis. Or not finis, but finally becomes part of the earth again, completes the cycle. Even better.
And then you can make more. On & on.
So why chocolate? I was cooking for a living. I knew already food was my medium. I had had my own place, and I had worked for others. I knew I had to get off the hot line which was starting to take its toll physically. I also knew I couldn't afford to open a restaurant. So, I took some classes. I took a professional pastry program— which was wonderful but too much white flour and white sugar & butter. I knew I didn't want to work with so much of that stuff all the time. The class included 2 weeks of Chocolate work which I found very interesting. Next, I studied European bread baking— also very, very wonderful— but as a job it wouldn't pay enough and I didn't have the financial resources to start a bakery and was probably too old to lift lots of 100 lb sacks of flour. I continued learning more about chocolate and started experimenting in my home kitchen. And my brain had an idea. Or I should say many ideas. I started making things and it all just grew. As it does... I wanted to make healthy chocolates, chocolates with interesting flavor profiles, and with depth and strong tastes. I wanted to make tiny, pretty, condensed, intense pieces of art. Which people would consume so I could make more.
I found sources, organic & fair-trade chocolate, organic sugar, agave syrup. I learned the chemistry, how to temper chocolate. How to work with it. I found it was a complex subject with a lot of content. Something I could really get my teeth into. I wanted to learn all I could and started experimenting. I started Lucky Chocolates or really, it became Lucky's. Once I bought my first piece of commercial equipment I outgrew my house. Renting was fine for a while. Now we finally have our own building. I hope Lucky's will continue for a long time.
- Rae Stang