Owner of Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, Ginger Hahn discovered early on that cooking could be much more than a hobby. She attended Santa Barbara City College where she completed a two-year program to receive her certificate in Hotel, Restaurant, and Culinary Arts. While in Santa Barbara, she was a member of the Women’s Santa Barbara Culinary Guild, which afforded her the opportunity to meet and discuss her ambitions with Julia Child. On Julia Child’s recommendation she won the IACP Scholarship—one of the most prestigious scholarships in the industry.
Ginger worked for several fine food establishments in Santa Barbara, most notably Bouchon. She was invited to accompany the owner and executive chef of Bouchon to the James Beard House in Manhattan, where she had the great opportunity and honor to prepare one of her desserts for the special dinner. To continue her education, Ginger enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. There she spent two years studying pastry and graduated top of her class. At graduation she won the CIA Management Award and Angel Scholastic Award. It was in New York that Ginger truly fell in love with the art and science of chocolate, while working for world-renowned chocolatiers Jacques Torres (the youngest ever Master Pastry Chef in France) and Daniel Budd (named one of the top ten pastry chefs by Chocolatier and Pastry Arts magazines).
Ginger took a position at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago after graduation. There she apprenticed under the world famous pastry chef En-Ming Hsu (World Pastry Cup 2001 gold medalist). Under the guidance of En-Ming, Ginger further refined her skills with chocolate and in the pastry arts. Ginger returned to Sacramento where she was the Pastry Chef at Masque Ristorante in El Dorado Hills for three years. At the age of 24, she opened the wholesale chocolate company Couture Chocolates by Ginger Elizabeth. The company allowed her to practice and showcase the talents and skills she had acquired, while continuing to learn and explore new ideas. Keeping up with the industry trends, she completed a chocolate science and technology course at U.C. Davis and shortly after that, Ginger decided to expand her business by opening her first retail location. The boutique chocolaterie would feature all things chocolate including individual desserts, hot chocolate, cakes, cookies, chocolate sculptures, and of course a variety of chocolate confections. In 2008, Ginger launched the retail store in Midtown Sacramento under the company’s new name, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates.