Los Angeles Chocolate Salon is HERE!
Chocolate Lovers… The 9th Annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon takes place Saturday, September 26 in Pasadena. Immerse yourself in everything chocolate at this one-day event featuring world-class Chocolatiers, celebrity guest speakers, tastings of artisan and premiere chocolates, chocolate liqueurs, and enjoy chocolate demonstrations by noted Los Angeles Chefs and Pastry Chefs.
Participating Chocolatiers will be judged in this prestigious event based on flavor, artistic style, design, overall quality and more judging categories.
No stranger to the prestigious Chocolate Salon is Amy Jo (Valenza) Pedone, founder of Valenza Chocolatier, who shares that luxury chocolates are a true art form that takes a lot of patience. Recently, Amy Jo stopped by Bikini Lifestyles for a chat about all things chocolate and her recent success at the International Chocolate Awards.
BL: Why chocolate, Amy Jo?
AVP: Passion. It comes from passion. In 2008, I was working in a corporate job that wasn’t “me”, I lost my cousin to ovarian cancer and my world just caved in. I remembered the times I cherished most were making chocolate truffles and holiday cookies with my mom. Chocolate comes from my soul.
BL: That’s a good soul to have. What did you do?
AVP: I had no kitchen or culinary experience so I studied with an accredited chocolate program for one year and then journeyed back to my roots to Italy for my apprenticeship. From Milan to Torino, I worked with master Chocolatiers in the Piedmont region of Italy which is known as the capital of chocolate. I also learned to make traditional Italian chocolate pieces from the areas largest Italian chocolate maker ICAM Choco Scuola. [For Amy’s full story, read ABOUT at ValenzaChocolatier.com]
BL: Your chocolates are amazing. What is your favorite part about it?
AVP: Seeing the expressions on people’s faces when they taste my chocolate… that is the ultimate satisfaction. Each of my chocolates has a story behind it. They are hand-rolled, made to order with no preservatives, no additives, no machines… just quality ingredients including the finest Italian ingredients and a lot of love.
BL: What tips do you have for the home-chef?
AVP: There is a science and skill behind chocolate. The easiest to make at home is to make a Dark Ganache because there is no tempering required. Use a 2 : 1 ratio; 2 dark chocolate, 1 heavy cream. You can steep the heavy cream in fresh herbs, citrus to get different flavor profiles.
BL: A lot of home-chefs get frustrated when they do everything the same but their chocolates come out differently. Any tips?
AVP: Many factors are involved in getting chocolate tempered just right. Room temperature, humidity, quality of the chocolate are just a few of the elements that can vary and must be on target to get consistently good results. And, patience. If there is anything chocolate has taught me, it’s patience.
Amy Jo’s Valenza Chocolatier chocolates took “Best of Salon” at the 2014 Los Angeles Chocolate Salon. This year she will be showcasing some of her Italian specialties. Stop by, taste some of her incredible chocolates and say hi to Amy Jo at the 2015 LA Chocolate Salon on Saturday. And, visit ValenzaChocolatier.com for more on where to buy Valenza Chocolatier chocolates.
Valenza Bon Bons of Gold are the signature artisan chocolates for the Golden Foodie Awards and recently advanced to the World Finals of the esteemed International Chocolate Awards. Her one-woman chocolate business will compete as the only United States company in a nut-based category next month, taking place October 17 in London on the main stage at The Chocolate Show at Olympia National Hall. With the submission of only this product from their collection, Valenza Chocolatier® was awarded SILVER for their Gianduiotti Maximo in the Nut/Gianduiotto category in the 2015 Americas Competition of the International Chocolate Awards. Made with 100% imported Piedmontese hazelnuts and 61% dark single bean Venezuelan chocolate, their Gianduiotti are truly authentic, based on the traditional Italian rules dating back to 1865 in Torino, Italy from the shape, percentage of Piedmontese hazelnuts, method of forming and foil wrapping by hand. With this win, a formal invitation was granted for these handmade chocolates to journey across the world to compete at the World Final, against the Italians who are known for award-winning Gianduiotti (Gianduia).
“To have the opportunity to compete against the Italians in this category is truly an unbelievable honor. This brings a high-level of authenticity and validation for my business mission, which is to create Italian inspired artisan chocolates and confections in the United States” said Amy Jo.
Valenza Chocolatier® was awarded the 2015 Six Star Grand Master Award for Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America by The International Chocolate Salon and TasteTV based on cumulative awards during the 2014 year, included Gold Award for Best Salon at LA Chocolate Salon plus twenty-two other awards.
The Los Angeles Chocolate Salon this weekend… Celebrating chocolate lovers in Southern California, meet Amy Jo Valenza Pedone and other participants including chocolatiers, confectioners, and culinary artisans, among these:
Get your tastebuds salivating with a look at participants here, LAChocolateSalon.com (go to PARTICIPANTS)
•Marco Paolo Chocolates
•Amara Chocolate & Coffee
•Mignon Chocolate Boutique
•Copper Cauldron Candy Co
•Chocxo Bean to Bar Chocolatier
•Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
•Chocolate-themed art creations from Eye Heart Art
•Amano Artisan Chocolate
•The Tea Room Chocolate Company
•David Bacco Chocolatier
•Truffles N Toffee
•Fera’wyn’s Artisan Chocolates
•Les Beaux Chocolats
•Dove Chocolate Discoveries
•Monterey Chocolate Company
•The Gourmandise School
•New Orleans Bill
Guest Speakers, Authors, and Presentations:
• Demonstrations from Le Cordon Bleu instructors
• Award-winning KABC Radio Host and creator of The Bikini Chef® Susan Irby on healthy eating and chocolate
• The Gourmandise School from Santa Monica.
• Lee Scott Theisen Ph.D.
•Amy Reiley, Author Fork Me, Spoon Me & Romancing the Stove
•Dave Shelton, Actor/Screenwriter
• Jessica Ferraro, Bar Cacao
Just what is a salon? SALON:
1.An assembly of guests in such a room, esp. an assembly, consisting of the leaders in society, art, politics, food, etc.
2.A hall or place used for the exhibition of works of art.
3.A shop, business, or department of a store offering a specific product or service, esp. one catering to a fashionable clientele
4. Or, a fabulous place to taste gourmet, luxury, award-winning chocolates!!!!
Saturday, September 26, 2015
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
Full details at: LAChocolateSalon.com
The Pasadena Center, Conference Building
300 Green Street
*All Tasting & Events Included with Entry*
Adults: $20 Advance Purchase
Adults: $25 Door
Children under 6: Free*
Children, 6 to 12: $10
*Applies to 2 children per adult. Each additional child under 6: $10
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