LEANNE DE CERBO
Born in Sydney, Australia, I began my career in PR and media. Moving to London and on to Dublin, I worked as a columnist, reporter, and editor for the Irish Independent, the Hollywood Reporter, Irish Tatler, The Mail on Sunday, and Social & Personal.
I was fortunate to visit some of the world's best restaurants, hotels, and spas, writing food and lifestyle features, reviews, interviews, and directing photo shoots. One of the greatest highlights was my stay at the legendary Villa d'Este, Lake Como, where I visited the kitchens and vegetable garden, interviewed the chefs, and tasted some of the best food of my life.
During a transition into digital media, my focus began to wander and I started experimenting with making chocolate. This diversion developed into COCOLAT Wellness Chocolate and the founding of a functional foods range, URBAN KITCHEN Foods.
COCOLAT garnered attention and I began working with The Westin Hotel to create custom-made chocolates for in-room amenities, in conjunction with Starwood Hotels health and wellness programme. The patisserie range followed and led to custom orders and vegan afternoon teas, catering, events, and weddings.
A growing interest in plant-based foods - and how it truly is possible to have your cake and eat it whilst enhancing your well-being - led to tastings and demonstrations with customers, and Irish and visiting food technology students from colleges, such as L'Université Régionale des Métiers de l'Artisanat, Pays de la Loire.