December 2017 Magazines 89014 - Page 48

How has life changed now that you’ve opened your own retail locations? While working in the hotel industry alongside my mentors Chef Jean Philippe Maury at the Bellagio, and Chef Frederic Robert at the Wynn, I spent hours honing my skills and learning the work ethic it takes to become a Master Chocolatier. I worked long hours, creating more than 5000 sculptures from chocolate per year. I still do a lot of consulting on spe- cialty items while also supplying several hotels and other stores with my products, but I now spend time developing new recipes and ideas for my stores and visiting them to make sure things are going smoothly. I travel to find ideas for my business, drawing inspiration from some of the best chefs and confectioners worldwide, as well as experience new flavors and chocolates from all over the globe. I love food and have a developed palate that allows me to match flavors from my travels. Pairing this with knowing what chocolate will work with what flavors is what has made me successful. Currently I’m working on our holiday chocolates while adding to our selec- tion of chocolate inspired desserts. We have amazing cakes and other baked goods that complement the quality chocolates that we sell. And your favorite flavor is? While I typically stick with traditional, straightforward flavors with a twist, my favorite chocolate in our store is the figs and red wine. It stems from a trip to Italy where I enjoyed a variety of wines, including a Primitivo. For this particular chocolate (I also have a cake inspired by these same flavors), I soak figs in the Primitivo for 48 hours then puree it, blend it with local honey, and cover it with dark chocolate. It’s our signature recipe and holds a special place in my heart. Visit JinJu Chocolates in the Downtown Container Park #2280, 7345 So. Rainbow Blvd. #130, or online at ◆ 48 December/January 2018