Paul and Linda Woltz have been part of our customer tasting panel since its inception in 2012. They add a unique and colorful perspective to the group, both personally and professionally, working in fields that satisfy both heart and soul.
Paul is a professional jazz musician who performs in a number of jazz and classical ensembles, including the Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band and the Cascade Symphony Orchestra, where he is the principal bassoonist. He also plays the alto and bass saxophone with the Village Theater and several jazz groups. When he is not playing music he is expertly repairing and tuning instruments and offering musical advice at Kennelly Keys, a Seattle instrument institution.
Linda is a Nephrology and Dermatology Fellowship Coordinator at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She works with medical fellows who are taking on additional training in their specialty after residency. She likens it to being a bit like a mom, looking out for the fellows and providing them with advice and guidance.
After tasting chocolate with Paul and Linda for at least six years, I’ve gotten to know their palates. Every one of us has tasting biases, and I know my biases veer towards a lighter roast with delicate flavors. Paul is a good foil for my biases, preferring heavier roasts and bolder flavor profiles. Linda falls somewhere in between the two of us. Like our customer base, our tasting panel is a diverse one, offering many points of view on the chocolates we taste. The diverse palates that Paul and Linda bring to the table make our evaluation stronger.
Here, in their own words, are their answers to a few questions I posed.
What’s your favorite bar of chocolate right now?
Linda – Dick Taylor Solomon Islands
Paul – Solstice Madagascar
Do you have a favorite bar of all time?
Both – Patric Madagascar 75% – It’s amazing we agree as our tasting notes are often poles apart.
How did you discover Chocolopolis?
Linda read an article about drinking chocolate in Seattle and put it on our list of places to try – it took us ages to actually visit the store, but we were so happy when we did!
What do you do when you’re not tasting chocolate?
Paul repairs musical instruments and is a professional musician. He plays Dixieland and Swing Jazz with groups around Seattle, predominantly with the Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band – the group that brought us to Seattle in 1984. His main jazz instruments are alto and bass saxophone (he plays about 13 different instruments), and he is also a classical bassoonist with the Cascade Symphony. Paul received his Bachelor of Music in Bassoon performance from USC – Go Trojans!
Linda is the Fellowship Coordinator for the divisions of Pediatric Nephrology (i.e., Kidneys) and Dermatology at Seattle Children’s. I oversee accreditation for our program and the fellows, and I sometimes feel like the fellows’ mom, serving as travel arranger, nagger, therapist, and recommender of where to eat and play in and around Seattle! I went back to school when I was 40 and received a dual degree in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministry/ Social Science. I have worked both as a Youth and a Children’s Pastor, and I am ordained in the Christian Church. I love to cook, and I am known for my baking. I was highly disappointed not to be able to participate in Chocolopolis’ Serious Chocolate Contest this Spring.
Together we love to spend time with our 4 adult children and their spouses, and our 2 adorable grand kids, Alma and Jack. We are self admitted foodies who love many cuisines, great wines and cocktails, and of course Chocolate! We enjoy birding, watching football, golf and curling. We love to travel and are always up for a road trip.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Paul and I have been married for 40 years – his kindness and twinkly eyes stole my heart. I caught him with a chocolate cake, though he says it was watching me play pinball in a mini skirt. We discovered amazing chocolate desserts and truffles in San Francisco in the late 70’s and ever since have sought them out wherever we go! We both love to learn. Being a part of the Chocolopolis monthly customer tasting group and sharing chocolate with the great people we’ve met at Chocolopolis have expanded our knowledge, palates and our love of chocolate.
Paul and Linda caucused to come up with chocolates they both enjoy for our Happy Hour this Saturday. Here’s what we’ll be tasting: