Executive Chef and Master Chocolatier Jean Marie Auboine
Although it may sounds like a cliched boast, it really isn't a stretch to call J-M Auboine the go-to" chocolatier in Las Vegas. The production house run by this M.O.F. finalist and his partner, 2013 "Chocolatier of the Year" Melissa Coppel supplies chocolates for VIPs at so many Strip casino properties that, as Coppel puts it, "The list of ones not buying from us is shorter than the list that is."
This despite the fact that Vegas has no shortage of other chocolate making facilities , both on and off the Strip. Since 2012, the year the former Bellagio chefs (one a veteran of Joel Robuchon) started the company, they have seen a 200% increase in sales--and no signs of slowing down--with over 100 different items on offer, many to custom order, almost no quantity too large or small. Last year, the company sold six tons of chocolate.
The real difference, says Auboine, is that they make virtually everything in house--even the marzipan from almonds, the candied orange and grapefruit peels (a ten-day process), the Tonka bean and hazelnut ganache--and from natural, pure, even organic ingredients when available. "And we cut everything by hand. It's a lot of work, but it's a different quality." Almost the only thing they don't do is make the actual chocolate from the cacao beans, and that, says J-M, is on the horizon.
Among their many caramels, ganache, truffles, bon bons and candy-coated dragees, flavors range from the classic to the truly exotic. So if PB&J, wildflower honey or gingerbread seems too rote, maybe you'll want to try kalamansi jelly, black sesame praline, or Ceylon cinnamon. Or stick with the double sea salt caramels that the New York TImes raved over.
Not only that, J-M Auboine is one of the few places in the entire U.S. where serious chocolatiers can take classes every month from leading professionals in the field, from around the world.
I have to admit, I take a bit of personal pride in seeing J-M Auboine's success, having championed them even before their opening. It's always great to see quality and passion rewarded.
Words & Photos: E.C. Gladstone
The Shops at Crystals Aria Las Vegas
3720 Las Vegas Boulevard South Las Vegas, NV 89158
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