Rachel Freeman’s tattoo sleeve is almost as sweet as her job. The 34-year-old Eudora resident is a chocolatier at Annedore’s Fine Chocolates, located just west of the Country Club Plaza at 5000 State Line Road in Westwood Hills.
“I am sort of ‘chocolate engineer’ and ‘problem solver’ … and a little bit of everything else,” Freeman says about her six-year tenure. For the last year of her delectable career, Freeman has been working on her sleeve, which bursts with a brightly colored cornucopia of sinfully delicious desserts.
Completed this past March, Freeman’s series of tattoos covers her arm and is a perfect homage to her love for sweet delicacies. Look close and you’ll see a banana split, cinnamon roll, cherry pie, birthday cake, doughnuts, cupcakes, chocolate-covered strawberries, and truffles modeled after those she makes at Annedore’s.
Freeman calls the truffles “soft-centered little bundles of joy.”
Her favorite melds port wine reduction with dark chocolate ganache to create something “really delicate with a little bit of sweetness to it,” she says.
It’s not always easy to stave off the temptation to eat more than her fair share of samples for quality control.
“It definitely takes some willpower,” Freeman says. “But once you have those little nibbles to make sure everything’s OK, you’re pretty satisfied. After smelling it and being around it for six years, you can make yourself stay away.”
Freeman didn’t exactly set out to become a chocolatier. Ten years ago, she was studying interior design at Johnson County Community College. She dropped out after giving birth to her son Anthony, now 10, and dabbled in office jobs before landing her sweet gig at Annedore’s.
Working at a gourmet chocolate shop has given Freeman a discerning palate. After tasting and working with high-end chocolates from all over the world, she can now taste every small imperfection in mass-produced candy bars — which is why you won’t find a Kit Kat bar on her tattoo sleeve.
Q: Favorite ingredient?
A: Fruit. We do a lot of things with raspberries, apricots and oranges.
Q: What is an ingredient you hate?
A: I’m not necessarily a huge hazelnut fan.
Q: Any guidebook you use in making chocolates?
A: I have a really good book from The Culinary Institute of America.
Q: Do you have a chocolate-making idol?
A: I’ve taken a couple of different classes from Jean-Marie Auboine; he was Chocolatier of the Year for a couple of years.
Q: Could you describe your chocolatier style in ten words or less?
A: Whimsical, creative and refreshing.
Q: When money and calories aren’t a concern, what do you splurge on?
A: That’s a really tough question for me, because I love everywhere!
Q: What is your favorite cheap meal on the fly?
A: Maybe sushi.
Q: Best meal you’ve had this week?
A: When Terri (Freeman’s partner) did shrimp the other night.
Q: Go-to drink at the end of the day?
A: I do like my vodka and Red Bull.
Q: Favorite KC BBQ?
Q: Dream vacation?
A: Probably wine country: Napa.
Q: Which celebrity would you like to make chocolate for?
A: Rachael Ray. She’s one of my favorite “food people.”
Q: Aside from KC, what’s your favorite foodie town?
A: I love the uniqueness of the restaurants in Eureka Springs (Ark.).
Q: What would you do if you weren’t a chocolatier?
A: I would love to work in a soup kitchen, giving back to the world.
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