December 23, 2010


I am so excited to share this man's Passion, his Chocolate and how he spreads Love to so many. Meet
Chef Alain Roby.  Does his photo look familiar? For some time this has been part of an advertising campaign for kitchen cabinets in all the major design magazines. Before we move on, study his personal kitchen in the background

Chef Roby.........where do I begin? You must visit his website here . There is too much to share, I will however  share some of his personal life and passions from my perspective, as a friend.
But first! Let's enter his world

Back to Geneva, Illinois, USA, where my shop is located and where the last post took place for the Christmas Housewalk. By the way......the above photo was painted by his darling wife Esther, an amazing artist and a special girlfriend.

Esther is from Italy and I forgot to mention Alain is from France. Here she is surrounded by one of her murals. The expression you see is always there

Remember Alain's kitchen? Here it is repeated, the hood, stained glass, stove, Esther's painting, well everything, in 'Callebaut' Belgian Chocolate, in full scale.......YES EVERYTHING


A scale model as designed by Past Basket Kitchens

The tea kettle and the stained glass are spun sugar

As are all the cabinets
In a donated shopfront in downtown Geneva you can take a visit to the "All-Chocolate Kitchen", enjoy tastings, purchase baked goods and sugar spun art, savor Callebaut hot  choocolate, watch demonstrations..........children are entranced. Visit them at 507 S. Third Street, Geneva
Replicating Esther's glassware collection in spun sugar

On the "granite" countertop, delectables in a sugar bowl.

Let's tour the rest of the shop while I share a small bit of their Love Story and a life lead with unending passions. First, the spun sugar art, we will move to his delectable chocolates and finally to chocolate sculptures for the children

When Alain proposed to Esther, he created a spun sugar sculpture with a lid. The ring was inside, which  is still intact today . Remember.....French!

You see they met on a plane, married and came to America. New York was first. Alain worked at 'The Windows of The World' on top of the trade center. Fortunately for this community this committed pair settled here and raised two "American" boys; Jonathon and Adrian.

During High School Football practice Jonathan collapsed. After this scare and an overwhelmingly long wait, it was discovered that he had a heart defect from birth. This discovery led them to an organiztion called 'Saving Tiny Hearts' an organization that is entirely volunteer based for the sole purpose of raising funds for CDH; congenital heart defects, the number one birth defect in America
ABOVE; his amazing confectionaries, which moments before were nestled in his sugar sculpture. take note of the egg shaped chocolate; blue speckled and filled with what tasted to me, like the crunchy top of creme brulee! 

Along with generous sponsors, a portion of the proceeds is donated to Saving Tiny Hearts. And this endeavor is in their spare time. Alain is currently the Senior Corporate Pastry Chef for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.
This beautiful candied apple has his spun sugar leaves

Double Guinness world record holder with one of his winners; The World's Tallest Chocolate Sculpture, at 22' tall
On the Martha Stewart's 'TALL SHOW'. His cake weighed 1,250 lbs. see the spun cherry on top? This chocoholic can attest to this cake.......the best i have ever tasted......ever......and I have untold experience. The recipe is in his cookbook. The other gentleman in this photo is their son Jonathan!

Here are some of the items from his shop. Our Christmas desserts will be an array of many selections.....I could not make up my mind!

His simple dream is to 'Embrace life and appreciate all it's goodness"
Cheese filled pastry puffs

SIGH......I sampled most.......proper manners prevented me from going for it all, but, I wanted to

How fortunate are those who recognize their life's passion and go for it! Oh yes, last years World Cup winning Blackhawks......back stage after the Stanley Cup win.........GO HAWKS!
This player remains at the shop. His gluttonous leanings turned him entirely into chocolate! Fear I am a candidate. The glove is from the Blackhawks winning game
OK you are getting it, this larger than life sized lizard lives in the All-Chocolate Kitchen, and in case you were wondering, yes, it is chocolate. As is his soon to be lunch residing on a leaf

This dear man at a rare moment of rest always has that warm twinkle in his eyes. I barely touched on this emerging American success story. Visit his website for more
His new book, 'American Classics' is of course, dessert based. As a frequent recipient of their creations, which we all thought were overly complicated masterpieces, turned out to be very doable, even for non-bakers

Would you like a signed copy? Leave your comments and one of you can enter Chef Roby's world of Passion, sprinkled liberally with Chocolate and Love to all.

Merry Christmas dear friends! Wishing you and yours a blessed season
with love

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