by Melissa Lupo
Masters of the dark (chocolate) arts, Michael and Jacky Recchiuti, find inspiration spending summers in Barcelona away from their home town of San Francisco. This year, we got to spend some time together in the Gothic city over tattoos and local art, chatting about success, commitment and letting go.
When Michael and Jacky Recchiuti are in town you know two things:
1. there will be chocolate 2. they will always be killing the style game
It’s hard to go to San Francisco and not see Recchiuti Confections everywhere. They are some of the true O.G.’s of the late ’90’s San Francisco chef scene, ripe with entrepreneurs and fresh ideas. They arrived when the kitchen was going rogue, no doubt a symptom of the local “dot bomb” explosion. And not only have these master chocolatiers survived business in San Francisco’s sharky waters for 20 years, they’re holding strong in the coveted Ferry Building and in their original spot in the Dogpatch area.
Committed to the vision.
Collaborations with cool artists, musicians, and chocolate art events at the studio, keep the Recchiuti duo inspired but a deeper look shows that strong commitment, consistency, and vision are what have keep these two at the top of the sweet elite.
Michael and Jacky both have an eye for style and embrace multiple channels of creativity and expression. But the real story on how these two have been able to build and grow their fortune? Like I said, there is always chocolate.
The two basic rules of success are also the hardest to achieve: consistency and creativity. The sweet spot of where those two intersect is the secret to happiness and freedom.
They never stopped making chocolate.
A major reason they’re still going is quite simply they never stopped making chocolate. They evolved, invested, and grew with a balance of enthusiasm and commitment. You don’t have to choose between what you like but you do have to commit. Mike is a musician and Jacky loves Sashiko embroidery work, wood carving, repurposing old jeans, making scarves from Boro fabric, and collecting children’s books as she says,
“…to inspire the purer childlike creativity we’ve all lost in the process of being adult. Perusing books on design, architecture and photography help stimulate my mind for future packaging design ideas.”
For The Art of It.
Her tattoo of a hummingbird is a commitment to her credo, that for her, “represents the hope to find freedom of flight that birds have and to draw the nectar to nourish one’s self in personally meaningful things.”
With this unique creative mix between them, it’s no wonder they keep killing it. In a world obsessed with new ideas and innovation, we forget the value of repetition.
Michael says “Chocolate is simplistic in theory, but extremely humbling when tempering and maintaining consistent temperatures. Working with chocolate is like playing music, it takes great level of patience and repetition to zero in on mastering the medium and craft. It’s a life’s commitment steeped with passion and attention to detail. Working with chocolate requires focus and patience.”
In a world obsessed with new ideas and innovation, we forget the value of repetition.
True mastery is repetition.
True mastery is having control. Know why and how you do what you do. Anyone can do something once, but it takes vision and flexibility in order to repeat it.
Nourish your interests, don’t pretend you don’t have them.
Michael and Jacky didn’t stop doing what they loved even when life got tough. Splitting an side of mashed potatoes at KFC, hopping couches with their cat, and even living in a shed at one point, they continued to invest their energy and resources into their craft. Their enthusiasm is contagious because it is authentic and it is the key to their success.
You can’t duplicate experience.
By continuing to nourish their interests, as Jacky describes, their experience is infused into the brand.
The art, the music, the flavors and the design are all a part of the unique DNA that makes up their identity as individuals and as a couple. Rather than being distracted by life, they made their interests their life.
Let it go.
I can’t help but think back on how Michael described to me the difficulty of working with the enrobing machine. After the chocolates are formed they are passed through a machine that covers them with liquid chocolate and as they come out, the workers must add the final designs on top by hand, a process that requires patience and concentration in order not to disrupt the machine’s rhythm. Michael saw the workers were having trouble, and in trying to catch the ones they’d missed, the ones coming after were also missed, sometimes losing entire batches. He encouraged them to let the imperfect ones go, not to break their commitment to the rhythm, and even brought in a metronome to help them keep time.
Go for it.
Little mishaps that distract us, keep us from reaching the bigger goal. Remember what you’re here for and commit to it. Michael and Jacky Recchiuti are proof that when you feed your interests, your interests eventually feed you.
Host and Director: Melissa Lupo
Special Guests: Jacky and Michael Recchiuti, Recchiuti Confections
Stylists: Melissa Lupo and Carolina Rueda
Production Supervisor: Camila Salles
Production Coordinator: Carolina Rueda
MUA and Hair: Jess Aguirre
Photographer: Henry Fabián
19 28 Tattoo Parlour
3 Chic Showroom
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