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!

Miloud Elattaoui

General Manager

Miloud Elattaoui had the opportunity of entering the food & beverage industry in 2004, starting from the ground floor (busser to barista to bartender/server to shift lead to restaurant manager/beverage manager to assistant general manager) thereby building his professional career. This path helped Miloud to observe restaurant operations from various different viewpoints, leads by example takes ownership, plans and organizes, builds a world-class team, develops business, and exceeds guest expectations through service and hospitality. Prior to joining The Conche team, Miloud spent 5 years at Jaleo by Award-Winning Culinary Innovator, Chef José Andrés, as restaurant manager, beverage manager, and assistant general manager. Miloud’s friendship with Owner/Executive Chef of The Conche, Santosh Tiptur, goes back to 2008 at Co.Co Sala where he runs day-to-day operations for 8 years. In 2002, Miloud graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics from University Mohammed

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.

Isabel Arispe

Marketing And Brand Development Manager

Isabel began at The Conche in 2019, it was her first restaurant job. She took on many roles, wore many hats, and worked her way up the ladder to land her career as The Conche Marketing And Brand Development Manager. She runs all social media accounts, is the point of contact for all wholesale orders, and organizes all events.

“I have learned so much working at The Conche alongside Samet and Chef Santosh, they have provided me with amazing opportunities, allowing me to grow in the best way possible into a person I would have not recognized a couple of years ago. It has been and still is truly a pleasure.”

Rene Olmeda

Culinary Director

His culinary career began in college while he was working on his bachelor’s degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR).
He also holds a Culinary Arts Certificate and an associate’s degree in Baking & Pastry from The Culinary Institute of America. He has worked at many hotels in Puerto Rico, such as San Juan Marriott Hotel, Caribe Hilton, and Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino. He has also worked at the Walt Disney World Resort Company at a few properties such as: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. René also worked as the Pastry Chef at Pikayo Restaurant and as the Pastry Chef Instructor at Universidad Del Este. In 2004 he was part of the National Culinary team of Puerto Rico as Capitan and Pastry Chef obtaining gold and silver medals. In 2007, he made the team again, and this time he won a gold medal with his team and a gold medal as individual Pastry Chef, achieving the title of Caribbean’s Best Pastry Chef, being the first Puertorrican to win that recognition. After this, he left the teaching field to gain more knowledge of the industry, where he spent some time as Executive Pastry Chef in a Boutique Hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Next, he then moved to Washington, DC to work at a Chocolate Lounge & Restaurant, CoCo Sala, as a Pastry Sous Chef, under the guidance of Chef Santosh Tiptur. Later, he taught at Le Cordon Bleu College in Orlando, Florida, while there René was invited to open the prestigious St Regis Bahia Beach Resort in his home island of Puerto Rico, as the Executive Pastry Chef. He moved back to the United States and was hired as a Pastry Chef Instructor at Johnson & Wales University, North Miami Campus where he taught Baking and Pastry Arts for about 10 years. René and Chef Tiptur have been working together on and off, for over ten years, and now he is part of The Conche family.

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