Our Story

We are here to deliver an exceptional experience, It's with pleasure to share with you our passion for making life's every moment, and every occasion memorable by indulging in chocolate. By Chef Santosh Tiptur

What is the Conche

                In the late 18th Century, it was discovered that the quality of chocolate could be massively improved through prolonged churning and stirring (Conching). The Longitudinal Agitator that was used is known today as a Conche, or Longitudinal Conche, and is still one of the best production modules in use today. The careful processing of the Conche still represents the highest quality and reliable consistency time and time again.

In simple terms, the refinement of the chocolate in the conche is based on dispersing unwanted substances from the cocoa mass, as well as ensuring the homogeneous distribution of the cocoa butter. The mass inside the conche is aerated with fresh air and travels through a series of pressing and pulling conche rollers. Without the conche we would not be tasting the chocolate as we enjoy and embrace today.

CHEF SANTOSH TIPTUR

A World Renowned Pastry Chef

Celebrity Chef Santosh Tiptur – a world-renowned pastry chef known for his whimsical sweet and savory culinary creations from award-winning DC-based restaurant and sweet shop. Co Co. Sala, including his over-the- top sugar and chocolate sculptures, and numerous appearances on high-profile culinary competition programs on The Food Network. My love affair with sweets began when I first experienced chocolate in my life. I remember placing a chocolate candy from Cadbury’s called Cadbury Éclairs into my mouth when I was growing up in India back in the seventies – at a time when there weren’t many different chocolate candies available. As a kid, I had always wondered how delicious candies like this were made, and I dreamed that one day I would be able to learn how to make them myself. And since I began my career in the culinary arts, I have also always dreamed of opening up my own place someday. I came close several times to opening my own pastry shop or restaurant, but for some reason life always seemed to push me in another direction, and here I am with over two decades of experience having worked for some of the most luxurious brands and establishments with so much of exposure and experience. I have had the honor of traveling all over the world working with so many talented chefs and top hospitality leaders, and it’s exciting and almost surreal that it’s finally my time to shine as both the executive chef and owner.

I am also so very humbled and honored to be able to share The Conche with everyone in the great state of Virginia, in Loudoun County, and beyond, and especially as a proud resident of Loudoun County myself for almost a decade. I want this to be a place where everyone can gather and enjoy a meal, beautiful chocolates, cooking classes, cocktails and everything in between. We want to welcome all ages, families, friends, couples, guests looking to celebrate all sorts of occasions and milestones, date nights, etc. I’m also thrilled to see more original concepts and artisans stepping up to open their own unique businesses throughout Loudoun County. It’s such an exciting time for small businesses!

SAMET YUKSEKGONUL

Manager

Samet Yuksekgonul, has been in the hospitality industry for 10 years.

His career began in 2008 as a barback at Muttermilch and Tonstudio in Stuttgart, Germany.

He was very lucky to start as a food runner at Co Co. Sala where he began his friendship with Owner/Executive Chef of The Conche, Santosh Tiptur, once he and his family moved to the United States in 2010. At Co Co. Sala, Samet rose through the ranks from food runner to Assistant Manager and Bar Manager. In 2015, Samet worked as a server at Michael Mina’s famous Bourbon Steak restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown, DC. From there, he went on to become the Bar Manager at Sotto, a Speakeasy Live Jazz Bar on 14th St. in DC. Samet, originally from Turkey, was born and raised in Offenbach, Germany, where he lived for 17 years. He was very fortunate to live in Naples, Italy, for a year before moving to Stuttgart.

“Hospitality runs in my family and in my blood. It is custom in my family and heritage to throw down the red carpet and go over the top with every guest that comes to your house. I try to treat every guest like a VIP and try to make every experience memorable.

I’ve known Chef Santosh Tiptur for 8 years and I’ve learned so much from him about hospitality and life. He sets the bar very high with his attention to every single detail on every dish and I try to follow his lead by being innovative when it comes to cocktails and immaculate when it comes to service. ”

KATHLEEN FALISKIE

Executive Pastry Chef

Kathleen began her baking career in high school making baked goods and pastries for local coffee shops. She graduated from Loudoun County High School in 2013, and enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY where she pursued a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts.

After graduation, Kathleen started working as the head baker at Potomac Pastries in Centreville, VA making everything from breads to custom cakes. Kathleen began working at The Conche in April of 2017 as a Pastry Assistant and has worked her way up to her current position of Executive Pastry Chef.

SARA DOBSON

Master Chocolatier

Sara Dobson has been in chocolate on and off for about 20 years. Originally from the U.K. where her parents owned a small chocolate business, she learned the basics and developed a taste for quality chocolate. Wanting to experience city life, having grown up in a small village, she moved to London to work for a larger, family operated, Swiss chocolate company, where she soon found chocolate was really her passion.

In 1996 she and her husband moved to Northern California, where she worked for a small family business, and was able to share her knowledge. After six years they moved, ane because chocolatier positions are hard to find, she tried her hand at various things. In 2014, they were on the move again, this time her husband’s work brought them to Northern Virginia. Always looking to get back into chocolate, she could not believe her luck when she found out that The Conche was opening. Patience has paid off, she could not be happier, and she appreciates that she is one of the few people who really enjoys going to work every day.
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