SOMA Spotlight: Chocolate Sommelier & South Oranger, Nadine Kerstan

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Nadine Kerstan, chocolate sommelier.


Nadine Kerstan

What town do you live in, and how long have you lived here?

I have lived in South Orange for almost 18 years.

SOMA or MapSO?


What do you do?

I am a certified Chocolate Sommelier who hosts one-of-a-kind tasting events. I am also the owner of an online luxury boutique called Barometer Chocolate that sells award-winning chocolate treats and accessories from around the world.

What are you binging (or recently binged) on your fav streaming service right now?

Current binging: Great British Baking Show, Bridgerton, and Blacklist.

If SOMA was a type of chocolate – what type of chocolate would it be? 

One of my favorite chocolate makers is a husband and wife team from Toronto with a lucky name…Soma! Therefore, SOMA already is a truly amazing chocolate! Our lovable community particularly reminds me of one bar in the Soma collection called “Old School Milk.” It’s sweet, but not too sweet, beautifully crunchy and decadently rich, like the most perfect butter cookie (though it’s completely grain-free), comforting, homey, and full of unique charm. This unusual bar, just like our community, is a true original! 

How do you contribute to our community?

Chocolate is the way I form connections with community members, whether it’s through a tasting or an extra little goody I tuck into an order to spread some sunshine around town. 

What’s your favorite dessert in SOMA?

I bake most of the desserts my family and I savor, but when I want a treat prepared by a local baker, I have the nice people at Yellow Rose Vegan Bakery fill a box with super-satisfying chocolate chip peanut butter stuffed cookies. They hit the spot.

What’s your favorite outdoor space SOMA?

I love the herb garden by the Durand Hedden House and the waterfalls in the South Mountain Reservation.

Which SOMA store has the best pizza or bagel?

I don’t really eat pizza or bagels, but my favorite takeout restaurant is Chutzpah Kitchen. That flash-fried eggplant and the pierogies are insanely tasty. For fine dining, Lorena’s has always been our go-to.

What’s your favorite place to go on Saturday morning?

My husband and I love to go on walks all over the two towns on Saturday mornings. Then we come home and whip up a refreshing smoothie and relax on the deck. It’s the best.

What superpower would you like to have? Would you use it for good or evil? And would you use it to get a parking spot?

I wish I could converse with all the animals! I’d like to tell them how much I love and respect them in a way they’d perfectly understand. I also wish I could understand what’s happening in my cat’s crazy but adorable brain. Of course this superpower would only be used for good!

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