Cocao & Cardamom
Annie Rupani was born and raised in Houston, Texas, but spent four years in Massachusetts , where she obtained her B.S. degree in Anthropology and Religion from Boston University. Her fascination for the world led her to London, U.K. for a semester, while her interest in religion and language led her to Amman, Jordan to again study abroad. Throughout her travels around the world, she gained a special appreciation for food and began her love affair with the culinary arts. Rupani would spend her free time watching Food Network shows and researching recipes online to practice in her tiny dorm room kitchen for her weekly gourmet cooking sessions.
Over the summer of 2010, Rupani participated in a pageant and was crowned Miss Pakistan World 2010. This experience brought her Pakistani roots to the forefront. The smell of cardamom, cumin, coriander, fennel and turmeric were spices that regularly flowed through her house, but were rarely appreciated until Rupani began to see food in a different light and began looking at nutrition and health. She began to explore the diversity and versatility of spices and turned to dark chocolate for her daily antioxidant laden dessert. Her fascination with dark chocolate grew as she researched the process of cacao beans to chocolate bars and the regional differences in taste and flavor from region to region.
After she graduated from Boston University, she began studying for her law school admissions exam, and took breaks by reading books about chocolatiering. This led to ordering 30 lbs. of couverture chocolate, a mini-tempering machine, and a very messy kitchen. Three days after the test date, Annie made her way to Pakistan where she spent the next six months working on Early Childhood Development projects with the Rupani Foundation. With chocolate constantly on her mind, she found a pastry school in Malaysia and attended a week of chocolatiering courses in Kuala Lumpur. Once she completed her projects in Pakistan, she made her way back to Houston determined to get her hands back on chocolate. What was just a weekly break from the LSATs turned into a passion for the skill and art of chocolate. What followed was the infusion of flavors from her upbringing and travels that enhanced these chocolate bites of art.