Thalia A. Hohenthal
Class of 2016
Thalia Hohenthal has long maintained the confectionery industry chose her. As a dedicated advocate for the science behind confectionery and a catalyst for the changes that can result from new discoveries, Thalia has proved the industry chose well.
Born July 11, 1956, in Palo Alto, CA, she was raised with four siblings, Stephen, Dean, Leslie and Andrea. Thalia says her parents, Peter and Jeannette Angelides, taught her to always do her best and be sure to learn the material. She jokes that her mother also taught her how to make mud pies at an early age, which she thinks bears a strong resemblance to chocolate-making.
After earning a degree in Food Biochemistry, Thalia’s first job was as a QC Technician with Shade Foods in Belmont, CA, for six years in product development before joining Guittard Chocolate Co. as a R&D Scientist. Today she is a Senior Scientist at Guittard and holds the honor of being granted the first patent for the company in its long history. With sayings such as: “Do what the chocolate wants and no one gets hurt” and “Even the nicest people lose their manners around chocolate,”along with her love of science and natural curiosity, Thalia has achieved success by making the technical aspects of candy making more approachable.
After telling an industry instructor that his course needed an introductory lesson on general chemistry because all the other lectures hinged upon it, the instructor sarcastically challenged her to come back and teach it. She did and has done so for the past 24 years. This course led her, along with several others, to form the well-respected RCI Chocolate Boot Camp.
She has also been instrumental in bringing a high standard of food science education for students, professionals and academics, to UC Davis, where she earned a her degree.
Working with other organizations such as the RCI, University of Wisconsin Candy School, Food Craft Institute and American Institute of Baking, she notes she is particularly proud of convincing 2009 Candy Hall of Fame inductee Terry Richardson to come out of teaching retirement to bring Richardson Researches Chocolate and Confectionery Courses to her alma mater, benefitting more than 200 students during a 10-year span.
Thalia has served on the NCA Chocolate and Cocoa Regulatory Committee since 2009, is a member of the San Francisco Professional Food Society, and is a past officer with the AACT, Northern California.
Thalia married Michael Hohenthal in 1996 and they have one daughter, Jonna A. Hohenthal. Thalia is very proud of her Greek heritage and the family has vacationed in Greece with relatives.
Also as a family, the Hohenthals founded Go To Chocolate, a family craft chocolate business, in 2005.