Zach Townsend, by  Theresa Fernandez Photography



As featured in Dallas publications Dallas Morning NewsCritic’s GuideEntrée Dallas

Zach’s chocolate pavé cake served to President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush - "The President & Laura were overwhelmed! The staff where under their chairs! Thank you so much. We were so moved.”

Zach’s “Intense” chocolate cake featured in the Dallas Morning News by food critic/food writer for Atlanta Magazine Bill Addison - “I had a chocolate cake last week at a dinner party that I find myself still craving and admiring.”

         My name is Zachary R. Townsend. My story in chocolate began more than twenty five years ago with my close relationship with Michel Jambon, founder of the European chocolate company Jeff de Bruges. Michel taught me a great deal about fine chocolate and how to appreciate various styles of chocolate making. Each time I traveled to Paris to visit his family, Michel would present me with a beautiful box of Jeff de Bruges chocolates. 

         During my travels throughout France over the years, I developed my sense of style and tastes for refined European pastry making and became passionate about the craft of working with fine chocolate and baking. One of the many ways I expressed this passion was through the creation of my chocolate dessert business Pure Chocolate Desserts by Zach, which I opened in 2003.

          After years of self study, I took courses in baking and chocolate at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, and at The French Pastry School in Chicago. I worked in Paris at La Petite Rose pâtisserie alongside Miyuki Watanabe of Gérard Mulot fame. From 2006-2009, I worked with Rose Levy Beranbaum as a contributor to her 2010 IACP Cookbook of the Year, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. I am also the translator of twelve cookbooks . . . and counting.

In 2012, I founded Dallas Chocolate Classes whose purpose is to Educate, Enlighten, and Excite participants about the world of chocolate through fun and informative chocolate classes and experiences. I love the sense of happiness and wonderment that enjoying chocolate brings to others, so I hope you’ll check out my Dallas Chocolate Classes website and join me on a fun journey as I teach you all about chocolate and the happiness in can bring to your days.

You can find Zach's recipes featured in the 2010 IACP Cookbook of the Year, Rose's Heavenly Cakes, by Rose Levy Beranbaum and in the 2015 baking book, Flavorful, by Tish Boyle.

Zach has been a frequent contributing writer to Dessert Professional  Magazine and a selected contributor to the New York Times microblog on the topic of cake.

Zach is the translator of the English editions of Pierre Hermé: Macaron (Abrams); Larousse on Cooking (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012); and Let’s Eat France (2018). His recipe translations have also appeared in Wine Enthusiast magazine as well as translation work for Weber Grill author Jamie Purviance for Le Chef Barbeque.

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◊  Owner and operator of Dallas Chocolate Classes  ◊  Featured chocolatier at the 10th annual Stephan Pyles Celebrity Chef Dinner administered by the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas   ◊  Participating dessert chef for the 2010 Fort Worth Chefs for Farmers culinary event  ◊  Guest presenter on the topic of baking with fine chocolate at the 2012 and 2013 Dallas Chocolate Conferences  ◊  French to English culinary translator for books and magazines. ◊ State Fair of Texas dessert judge 2016 and 2017 ◊ Texas Restaurant Association ProStart Culinary Competition judge 2016 and 2017.

◊  Member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, and the American Translators Association.