Author and chocolatier to visit College of Agricultural Sciences

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Greg D'Alesandre, vice president of research and development and chocolate "sourcerer" of Dandelion Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate factory in San Francisco, will be among the panelists for an in-depth discussion on chocolate research slated for March 29 at Penn State.

Hosted by researchers in the College of Agricultural Sciences, "A Night of Chocolate: An Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion of Chocolate from Gene to Bean to Bar" will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library, University Park.

The panel also will feature Department of Food Science faculty and researchers Gregory Ziegler, Josh Lambert and Jasna Kovac; Siela Maximova, research professor of plant biotechnology in the Department of Plant Science; and Sarah Eissler, doctoral candidate in rural sociology in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education.

Allison Brown, food science doctoral candidate in the college's International Agriculture and Development dual-title degree program, will serve as moderator for the event. Brown and Eissler are coordinating D'Alesandre's visit.

"We are excited to have Greg participate in our events and share his experience in the craft chocolate industry," said Brown, who, along with her adviser, Helene Hopfer, assistant professor of food science, is collaborating with D'Alesandre on cacao and chocolate flavor evaluation. "Greg is a unique figure in the industry in that he takes an interest in the food science aspects of chocolate, including sensory evaluation, chemistry and microbiology."

Limited seating is available for the discussion; reservations may be made online at

In addition, D'Alesandre will be signing copies of the book, "Making Chocolate: From Bean to Bar to S'more," from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on March 27 at Big Spring Spirits, 128 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte.

"Making Chocolate," which D'Alesandre co-authored with Todd Masonis, Lisa Vega and Molly Gore, is described as a complete guide to making chocolate from scratch, detailing the simplest techniques and technology — such as using hair dryers and rolling pins — and the science and mechanics of making chocolate. It includes recipes used in the café of Dandelion Chocolate, a company owned by Masonis, Cameron Ring and D'Alesandre.

Reservations for the book signing are not required but are appreciated and may be made online at

For more information, Brown can be reached by email at


Greg D'Alesandre, vice president of research and development and chocolate "sourcerer" of Dandelion Chocolate. Credit: Greg D'AlesandreAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated March 28, 2018