About Kakao Akademy

The Kakao Akademy is a co-operation between Alyssa Jade McDonald-Bärtl and the Contemporary Food Lab. Within 10 modules, we offer expert knowledge on cacao, which goes beyond chocolate. After having completed all 10 modules, you will receive a diploma proving your expert chocolate knowledge. However, you can also visit the modules independently or just do an introductory course, depending on your time commitments. Our courses are super interesting for foodies and those who work in food. It’s for curious minds who want to get to the bottom of things, and who want to understand the various dimensions of cacao and what makes it so damn irresistible. Lyss’ experiences allow us to offer practical expert and insider knowledge, with a good dose of humour and colour, that uncovers the connections between agriculture, social entrepreneurship and fair trade, different cacao varieties, the transformation process from cacao to chocolate, products and flavour profiling.

About Lyss

Alyssa Jade McDonald-Bärtl grew up in a family of social entrepreneurs, who cared for rubber forests and raised cattle in the wild hills of Papua New Guinea and Australia. After some profound changes in her life, she took the lead in a third generation chocolate social enterprise, BLYSS. The enterprise works after the principles of agroecology and carries with it the traditions from 100 years of working with developing communities. The results are freshest chocolate vintages from two special forest terroirs and an assurance that they ARE the change their customers wish to see. Her business is a textbook example for a sustainable enterprise, which works with cacao from the bean to the end product. Alyssa is also involved in a number of projects and co-operations: She has given a number of TED talks, is guest lecturer at St. Gallen University and is writing a paper about chocolate trends in 2015 for Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment.

Kakao Akademy Programme*

Intro course: 101 Kakao Facts        25.1. // 22.3. // 31.5. // 20.9. // 22.11. // 6.12. 

26.1.   GENETICS: Teenage Mutant Ninja Cacao (module 1/10)

27.1.   ORIGIN:  20 degrees above & below the equator (module 2/10)

23.3.   GROWING CACAO: Being a cacao seed parent (module 3/10)

24.3.   TRADE: 8 cacao beans buy a chicken (module 4/10)

01.6.   TRANSFORMATION: Tickle a cacao belly (module 5/10)

02.6.   CHOCOLATE PRODUCTION: Going to the Velvet Room (module 6/10)

21.9.   REGULATION: The Sexy Part of Fine Print (module 7/10)

22.9.   TRENDS: Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It (module 8/10)

23.11.  ORIGINAL CHOCOLATE: Back to the Future (module 9/10)

24.11.  FLAVOUR PROFILING: Lick, Look, Like (module 10/10)

7.12.   Graduation Special


All modules can also be visited separately.


An introductory course costs €65*, the price for a module is €78.

For more information, contact us: hello@contemporaryfoodlab.com

* CFL maintains the right to cancel courses in case of insufficient attendance.