9th Annual Chocolate Salon

Sep 13, 2015

Marco_Paolo_Chocolates_Pasadena_CAWe believe Pasadena “does” chocolate pretty dang well.

Mignon, Amara, Contessa, and Marco Paolo  (MP’s hand-painted chocolates pictured right).

Now, take these four quality chocolate makers and square them to the nth degree, and welcome to The 9th Annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon.

This is not just a show, a taste-testing, or an exhibit.

A salon…evoking images of luxury with days to spare, lounging in large rooms, reclining onto a chaise, partaking in intellectual discourse, dining on delectable hors d’oevre and amuse-bouche, and reveling in fine wines and spirits.

There may not be a lot of lounging and reclining at The Chocolate Salon, as one will need to keep on the move for all the tasting, demonstrations, instruction, and purchasing necessary.


Marco Paolo Chocolate; company photo

Marco Paolo Chocolates; company photo


Marco Paolo will be on site with his wonderful array of flavors and colors such as coconut cilantro with dark lime, elderberry and lavender vanilla, morello cherry and chevre, and pineapple with burnt caramel. We’re eager to try Paolo’s “dark chocolate ganache enlivened with tangy lime and spicy habañero pepper dripping with mango red chili gelée” and his “blend of ripe raspberries warmed with fruity pink peppercorns resting on a layer of cool fresh mint dark chocolate.”

We’re hoping Mignon has its award-winning hazelnut cups on hand and it must be time for its seasonal pumpkin pie truffle (“hand-painted orange milk chocolate shell filled with dark chocolate pumpkin pie ganache”).

Other the other two dozen participants is Fera’wyn’s, the husband and wife team of David and Joana Whittingham who launched this truffle and confections business in 2012 and “continues to win awards for their chocolates at the Taste TV salons in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Monterey.”


Valenzia Chocolatier, Costa Mesa; company photo

Valenzia Chocolatier, Costa Mesa; company photo


Valenza Chocolatier is “an authentic Italian-inspired artisan and confections company” located in Costa Mesa. The company uses local ingredients as well as imports from Italy “paired with the purest single bean origin, fair trade, and no added preservatives.” Products include a strawberry bellini bonbon, spumoni bonbon, fennel bonbon, and Bonbons of Gold.

Droga Chocolates is located in Los Angeles and the company received the “Most Innovative” award at the Williams-Sonoma Food Vendor conference in 2014.

Taza Chocolate makes stone ground, organic chocolate and is located in Somerville, Massachusetts, and David Bacco Chocolatier comes from San Diego to attend the salon with the newly invented dark chocolate coffee truffle.






All photos of David Bacco Chocolatier sourced from David Bacco Chocolatier on Facebook.




Chefs from Le Cordon Bleu will participate in demonstrations throughout the day…




The Bikini Chef‘s Susan Irby leads the program on the main stage, followed by Ruth Kennison of Bonaparte Chocolate and The Chocolate Project: Raising Your Chocolate IQ. In the early afternoon will have onstage Jessica Ferraro of Bar Cacao—”your friendly craft chocolate bar tender.”

Some guests may want to take note: Aphrodisiac cookbook author Amy Reiley may be heard and witnessed on the main stage at 3 p.m. (click here for full schedule of events). In 2004, Reiley became the 2nd American and one of only 15 people in the world to be named a Master of Gastronomy by Cordon Bleu. In 2005, she “was singled out as one of the five best female wine professionals in the world by  France’s Wine Women awards.” And Reiley has come to be known by her work in culinary aphrodisiacs. Her books include Fork Me, Spoon Me: The Sensual Cookbook and Romancing the Stove. Life of Reiley is her consulting company and Eat Something Sexy blog.




9th Annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon
Saturday, Sept. 26th, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Pasadena Center, Conference Building, 300 Green St.
Cost: $20, advance purchase; $25 at the door
Children ages 6 to 10, $10; children under the age of 6 are free
Purchase tickets at Eventbrite
For more info, visit




Love chocolate? Consider joining the L. A. Area Chocolate Meet Up Group—informing chocoholics, connoisseurs, and enthusiasts about area chocolate salons, tastings, wine events, cooking classes, chef demos, “and other tasty stuff.” Stop by the group’s booth at the Chocolate Salon.


Mignon Chocolate

Mignon Chocolate; company photo


Amara Choclate & Coffee

Amara Choclate & Coffee; company photo


“It’s like in life, you know, sometimes you want to rush something, but if you really wait for it to come together and then you grab the opportunity, that’s chocolate.”
—Amara Barroeta

Amara Chocolate & Coffee, 55 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91105. Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tel.: 626.744.1765.

Hometown Pasadena’s observations, review, and pictures of Amara Chocolate & Coffee: “Chocolate de Venezuela.”

“The art of patience…”




Marco Paolo Chocolates are made at The Chef Center, 45 N. San Gabriel Blvd., Pasadena 91107. Marco Paolo Chocolates on Facebook and at










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