Sara Jayne Stanes

Chocolate lectures, workshops and comparative tastings

SARA JAYNE-STANES OBE - Chief Executive of the of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts; food writer, author of Chocolate- the Definitive Guide, (published by Grub Street 1999 and revised 2005) and Chocolate, (published by Ryland Peters & small 2005). Currently revising Chocolate The Definitive Guide for its Third Edition taking the form of ‘Sara Jayne in Conversation with Chocolate’. Out next year (2014)

Sara is also a chocolatier and chocolate evangelist and Chairman of Academy of Chocolate, launched in 2005 to encourage chocolate lovers to ‘look beyond the label’.

Sara also compares different chocolates made with different varieties of beans grown across the cocoa growing world. This demonstrates that properly tutored tastings with a range of like for like products, i.e. 70% chocolate, are not only enormous fun but a point of discovery and a marvellous way of training the tastebuds.

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As a food writer and truffle maker, Sara is passionate about provenance of ingredients, origins, varieties, breeds, organics, etc and particularly CHOCOLATE. Her book entitled 'Chocolate - the Definitive Guide'*, published by Grub Street has just been reprinted in paperback. With a foreword by Michel Roux, it is the story of three and a half thousand years of cocoa to chocolate, from pod to palate: its history, geography, social and religious applications, its nutritional values, tastings, wines pairings, 'dos and don'ts and recipes.

*'Chocolate - the Definitive Guide' won the Guild of Food Writers' Jeremy Round Award 2000; was nominated for the 2000 André Simon Awards; winner of Best Book in the English language in the 2000 World Cookbook Fair Awards in Perigueux; and was nominated for a 'Ladle' in the 2001 Australian Jacob's Creek Media Awards.

Her second book ‘Chocolate’, published by Ryland, Peters and Small was published in October 2005 and won the Best Book in its category in the World Food Awards in 2006.

Together with Chantal Coady, Martin Christy Chloe Doutre Roussel and Sarah Jane Evans, in 2005 Sara launched the Academy of Chocolate, created to encourage chocolate lovers to look beyond the label. Activities will cover UK Chocolate Awards, tasting, workshops, lectures and a schools programme.

Sara lives in a Victorian house in Clapham (SW London) with her Wine Merchant husband, Richard, and their Battersea dog, Montezuma.

Montezuma's first birthday
Special interest in wine, reading, France, Italy, South America, children’s food education, gardening and dining with friends.


The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is Britain's leading association of chefs and restaurant managers whose principal aims include raising the standards of food, cooking and service through education and training. The Academy runs awards schemes, specialised apprenticeships and Chefs Adopt A School which is the Academy’s charity and a schools project that teaches children about food, food provenance and cooking through taste.