Authors: Templeton, Cheryl Kumar
Publisher: Hay House
The Chocolate Log has been a comfort and joy to come to over the years. The love Cheryl puts into her food and the joy and laughter served in many forms warms the heart in the cold hills. The taste of home like it was in the good old days when a warm hearth meant something was baking.
– Rocky Singh, Anchor, Award winning series Highway on My Plate, NDTV Goodtimes.
The Chocolate Log is the story of Cheryl Kumar Templeton, a schoolteacher, and her husband Allan, an Indian Air Force fighter pilot, who gave up their secure comfortable careers to start a new life in Mcleodganj, a suburb situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, which Cheryl describes as ‘a microcosm of the whole world’. It was here that a new dream unfolded, and in its wake was born The Chocolate Log, a patisserie and café they have run for twenty-four years, and continue to do so till today.
She writes with sympathy and affection of the local people – the Himachalis, the Tibetans, the Gaddis; of the people who slipped in and out of their lives: some of whom returned again and again to their 'karmic mountain', a destination for the soul; others who have stayed on in their memories: the idealists, the visitors who became soul friends, the eccentrics, the loonies. She generously shares with readers the recipes of a few of her many popular offerings – brown bread, chicken quiche, chocolate cake, lemon tarts, apple pie and even the special train cake she made for her granddaughter’s first birthday – which have gained her mention in the New York Times, Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, The Rough Guide, Footprints and other multi-language travel guides.
But this book is not only about recipes or running a café. She speaks of the years of slogging through eighteen-hour days; months of no business and no income; of arguments, fights, frustrations, and fatigue. Of heartbreak when her granddaughter was born; of ups and downs, but also of victories – The Chocolate Log, The Cheryton Cottage Guest House, and Wine Oaks, where wines are made according to her grandfather's recipes. In Cheryl's words, ‘This is my story of imagination, successes, disappointments, struggle, pain, criticism, appreciation, but, most of all of magic! At the end of the day, and at the end of my story, I can only say – IT WAS WORTH IT ALL!’