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October 3, 2019

These mouthwatering 50th Anniversary treats come from Christopher Elbow Chocolates—and the tastefully creative mind of one of JCCC’s own.

Christopher Elbow Chocolate’s Director of Production, Ethan Taylor, shows off customized Johnson County Community College 50th Anniversary chocolates.

When JCCC celebrates five decades of transforming lives and strengthening communities, it does it in sweet style. One tasty must-have commemorative treat is being shared at various 50th Anniversary events.

Luckily for us, we have a connection at Christopher Elbow Chocolates.

Its Director of Production, Ethan Taylor, is a 2004 graduate of JCCC’s Hospitality and Culinary program. He’s been with the chocolatier since 2006, putting his culinary skills to work and learning from a true master in artisanal chocolates.

Don't be afraid of hard work because it will all pay off in the end. Never stop learning and exploring. Enjoy what you do. – Ethan Taylor, Director of Production, Christopher Elbow Chocolates and 2004 Hospitality and Culinary graduate

When the College approached Taylor about designing a special anniversary chocolate, he knew what would make the perfect combination from among Christopher Elbow’s extensive repertoire.

“I chose our most popular flavor for the filling, Fleur de Sel Caramel, inside a dark chocolate shell,” he said. Each chocolate shows off a yellow JCCC 50th Anniversary logo. It’s almost too gorgeous to eat.


It’s all in the details

When each small chocolate is a work of art, you need laser-focused attention to detail. Taylor is the company’s quality control expert, trusted to maintain and execute Elbow’s vision when he isn’t on-site to oversee himself. Taylor credits his time working in the JCCC kitchens for that.

“I learned many things from my instructors at JCCC that have stayed with me over the years, the biggest of which is the need to pay attention to the details as they add up to your finished product,” he said. “This may seem simple, but doing every step perfectly to achieve a perfect outcome can be harder than you think.”

Walking into Christopher Elbow’s creation kitchen each day might seem like a dream job. Taylor will agree.

“It's hard to pin down a favorite part of my day since my daily tasks vary so much,” he said. “I love recipe and product development. Challenging myself and the staff to make the best possible confections that we can is very rewarding.”

Taylor also takes the time to check in with his employees each day. It’s essential, he says, to build a cohesive team as they are among the company’s most important assets.

“I'm proud to be a part of a team that makes world-class chocolates here in Kansas City,” he said. “The JCCC Hospitality and Culinary Program offered me the opportunity to obtain the skills and knowledge that has contributed to my success. Congratulations on 50 years, JCCC!”

Celebrate and connect!

Learn more about JCCC’s Hospitality and Culinary program.