Wanderlust Chocolate is a New York based artisan chocolate shop. We handcraft all our confections in small batches using the highest quality ingredients available. We care about our products as much as we care about the earth and the cultures that inhabit it; we also believe the two go hand in hand. Consequently, all our ingredients are either certified fair-trade, organic or local, and we use no artificial flavors or extracts.

Tanya Ponder Wanderlust Chocolate Founder

Tanya Ponder Wanderlust Chocolate Founder

About our chef, Tanya Ponder

Wanderlust Chocolate reflects my passions for art, travel and food.

As a child, food held a prominent position on both sides of my family. My father grew up on a farm in east Arkansas, and every time we visited his family, his mother’s table was overflowing with dishes that varied with the seasons. Once the table was set, you didn’t dare move a platter, lest its vacancy would immediately be consumed by the surrounding dishes.

Meals were equally important on my mother's side of the family. However, because they lived in California, there was a noticeable difference. They were accustomed to a much wider variety of produce and the preparations were rarely as simple. While her mother's table may have been less abundant in quantity, the love and care was evident in the preparations that went into each dish.

Having spent most of my life in a rural town in Arkansas, I couldn’t wait to explore the rest of the world. I decided that pursuing a career in architecture would afford me the opportunity to travel. Over the course of the following decade, I studied and worked as a landscape architect. My opportunities to travel were abundant: I went to Egypt, Greece, Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom where I studied and sketched the works of Da Vinci, Gaudi, Corbusier, Capability Brown and many others. Eventually however, my childhood passion started calling.

I moved to California to attend culinary school in Napa Valley. I've since worked at Farallon in San Francisco, Blackberry Farm in the Smoky Mountains, as well as Daniel and Marea, both in New York City. Restaurant work is demanding, exhilarating, exhausting and rewarding in a way that no other job can be. I've learned a lot along the way, and I'm excited to implement my skill set into my ultimate creative adventure, Wanderlust Chocolate.