WELCOME to Fi Murray's all-new food column.

I will be going on a food rampage; undergoing a thorough hunt of Dorset's true food-producing stars.

As a Bournemouth-based budding cook myself, I cannot wait to sample Dorset's finest culinary offerings, in the hope of new Christmas present inspiration and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit.

With interesting and innovative produce being crafted in deepest, darkest Dorset, I will be uncovering the inspirations and stories behind the makers, and tasting the goods- what a hard job! I'll then be recommending my top three favourite products.

This week I am meeting Claire Burnet of Chococo, an award-winning, Purbeck-based handmade chocolate company.

-What first inspired you to start Chococo?

My daughter Lily was born in 2000 and we were living in London and Andy’s family was in Swanage. We always knew we would end up here. A number of influences made me think ‘hang on a minute- no one is making truly fresh chocolates in this country continental-style, no one is making them on-site, no one is using local ingredients, no one is using fresh cream.The more I researched, the more excited I got.

-What was your biggest challenge as a start-up?

It’s a vertical learning curve; we completely underestimated how much space we’d need and we completely underestimated that we’d need people to help us- we couldn’t make and serve at the same time. We were just focussed on making the chocolate, and we didn’t realise you would need space to pack them!

-What advice would you give to budding food entrepeneurs?

It’s a marathon not a sprint. You have to dig deep and be extremely resilient. As the owner of the business, get yourself a network, get yourself a support crew. The other premise we work with is ‘innovate or die’. You’ve got to have a clear vision of what you stand for, and you’ve got to be able to articulate that to yourself and to other people.

-What has been your weirdest flavour combination?

Dorset Blue Vinny Cheese- like Marmite, people either love it or hate it!

-What has been your proudest achievement at Chococo?

Writing my Chococo book and getting it published, as well as opening our Exeter and Winchester houses and the reception we're received.When we receive good feedback, we think we must be doing something right!

My Top Three@Chococo:

1. Salt Sweet Smoke:

As a caramel fanatic, I have searched high and low for that enigmatic perfect balance of sweet and smooth, buttery and flavoursome. This chocolate really does hit the spot. After cracking into a dark crunchy shell, a river of golden, salty sweetness emerges, crowned by a surprising tang of smoked salt. A clear winner.

2. Purely Pistachio:

Having mourned, along with my sister-in-law, the absence of Chococo's white chocolate, cardamom and pistachio number, this little gem had deep shells to fill.The beautiful creaminess of pure pistachio essence fills your mouth in this deceptively simple milk chocolate-enrobed creation.

3. Tawny Fig:

Deep, dark chocolate saturated with unctious booze and flecks of chewy fig: a multi-layered beauty that is only for adults. Perfect for a warm, rosy glow on a winter's night.