Los Angeles Chocolate and Artisan Fragrance Salons 2012
Last weekend I went to my first chocolate show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, which coincidentally hosted an artisan fragrance show as well. Double your pleasure! If you are a chocolate or fragrance lover, this was the place to be. I’m not a chocolate or a fragrance connoisseur by any stretch, but I did appreciate the passion oozing from presenters and visitors alike. Roll the highlights!
As I stood in line waiting to sample some Amano Artisan Chocolates, Phil Davis, who’s been studying chocolate since he was eight, took us on a magical journey with his words and burning energy. He enthusiastically explained how the chocolate tasting would start with our olfactory nerves, swirl around all areas of our tongue, and eventually end up in our stomachs. Think about the perfect blend between the Most Interesting Man in the World and Seinfeld’s J. Peterman and you get Phil Davis. He really made my chocolate tasting that much sweeter.
Ruth Kennison’s mission is to educate the masses about chocolate. I have no doubt she will as she was bubbling over like, excuse the pun, hot chocolate! In my few minutes with her I learned about the cocoa bean, the pod, and cocoa butter (not white chocolate). Pure chocolate makers transform the beans to bars, and confections are chocolate products that companies make when they take chocolate and add their own extra ingredients and flavors. Ruth loves chocolate so much that she makes her own chocolate (Bonaparte Chocolate) and teaches chocolate at The Gourmandise School.
Just like how Phil and Ruth lived and breathed chocolate, Sherri Sebastian does the same with perfumes. She gave a very informative talk about her favorite subject. I learned about the three types of materials that go to making a perfume (naturals, synthesized, and naturally derived). Her love for perfumes was infectious as I found myself wanting to learn more. Don’t get me started on jasmine and hedione!
I can’t break down every little ingredient that goes into chocolate or perfume or skillfully describe the essence of each like a chocolatier or professional perfumer. What I can do is appreciate the passion these folks have for their favorite pastimes turned livelihoods. Aren’t we all looking for this in our own lives? I know it would be wrong of me to end this post without selecting a Best In Show Chocolate. My pick? Marco Paolo Chocolates, who makes truffles like pieces of art. Colorful swirls decorate the outside while the filling inside is masterfully woven with fruits, espresso, and even chili!
What are you passionate about?
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