Interview with Chocolatier, Zeba Kohli: A Journey of Creativity and Passion

Zeba Kohli is a multifaceted individual, excelling as a chocolatier, entrepreneur, and author. Her connection with chocolate began when she decided to revive her maternal grandfather’s chocolate brand, Fantasie Fine Chocolate. Through the years, she has become a prominent figure in the industry, earning more than 72 accolades for her exceptional work. One cannot help but be captivated by Kohli’s unparalleled creativity and vision. From hosting a chocolate fashion show in 2006 to crafting life-size chocolate installations, she transforms chocolate into art. In a candid interview, we sat down with Zeba Kohli to delve into the highs and lows of her journey and what fuels her drive.

Disclaimer: This article contains an interview with Zeba Kohli, which may include phrases or sentences that can be found on other sites due to the nature of the interview.


Interviewer: When and how did your love for chocolate get ignited?

Zeba Kohli: To be honest, my love for chocolate didn’t spark naturally. As a physics student, my life revolved around the sciences, and later, I focused on aspects like climate, weather, and humidity due to my grandfather’s mentorship. It was his dream to establish a Swiss-like chocolate store in Asia, and Fantasie holds a sentimental value for me because my grandfather intended to provide opportunities to the less privileged in society. Growing up surrounded by chocolate, it became ingrained in my very being. Eventually, my mother urged me to leave school and join the family business. I embarked on a journey of learning, enrolling in various chocolate courses to gain knowledge in selling, marketing, and production. My interests expanded further to include plantations, fair trade, and sustainability.


Interviewer: Over the years, you’ve undertaken several creative projects with chocolate. Which one holds a special place in your heart?

Zeba Kohli: I have an insatiably curious mind, and boredom finds me quickly. Though I may seem like a good-natured person, my mind craves excitement and laughter. Among the numerous creative endeavors, the chocolate fashion show in 2006 stands out as one of the craziest experiences. I’ve also created a chocolate-themed movie and various artworks. Working with Cadbury was delightful as well; I authored a book featuring seven recipes for their 70th anniversary celebration. My approach is spontaneous and impulsive, but I ensure that each project is unforgettable, presented with flair and drama.


Interviewer: You wear multiple hats as an entrepreneur, TV personality, author, and chocolatier. Is there a persona you feel closest to?

Zeba Kohli: Undoubtedly, my role as a homemaker is the dearest to my heart. It enhances my ability to navigate all my relationships effectively.


Interviewer: Recently, you were invited to judge international chocolate awards. Can you share your experience?

Zeba Kohli: Being invited as a judge for the International Chocolate Awards in Florence and Valencia was an immense privilege. As the sole Indian representative on the panel, I interacted with professionals from Italy, Europe, the Mediterranean, and Asia Pacific. The experience was enlightening, revealing that there is always more to learn and master in this domain.


Interviewer: What is your wellness mantra?

Zeba Kohli: Maintaining physical health requires unwavering discipline; it’s not something to be compromised.


Interviewer: Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Zeba Kohli: When faced with mathematical or scientific problems, analysis and thorough thinking are vital before taking action. However, in life, overthinking and excessive analysis may hinder progress. It’s not about going with the flow either, as even dead fish do that. Instead, embrace the art of floating, keeping your head above water as you navigate your journey.

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