Valrhona Grand Cru chocolate has many culinary applications, but glued to a dress? Unlikely, but Lincoln Ristorante’s esteemed pastry chef Richard Capizzi wanted only a high quality product that did not melt too quickly for assembling the 80’s punk costume he created for the fashion show at this year’s New York Salon du Chocolate at the Javits Center. Capizzi was one of a coterie of pastry chefs and chocolatiers who collaborated with prominent designers to conceive a chocolate outfit based on the theme: Fashion Trends Through The Ages.
Channeling Queen of Pop, Madonna, who is always pushing the boundaries, Capizzi selected the 80’s, and picked award-winning costume designer Dede Ayite to interpret his ideas. The stunning strapless dress they fabricated was made of tiny squares of chocolate glued with tempered chocolate to a horsehair frame. The costume was crowned by an enormous headdress that resembled an inverted lampshade.
As this was Capizzi’s fourth showpiece, he knew that it had to be rigid yet flexible so a model could walk the runway at the Salon. During a test run on a segment of Fox and Friends, everything worked – so on with the show. Other participants include chef Vanessa Greeley, star Food Network shows like Sugar Dome, chocolatier Fritz Knipschidt, chocolate artist Moran Etstein of Chocolate Fashonistas, pastry chef/cake artist Ashley Holt, and Marilyn Bawol of Unique Cakes,LLC. Adding another dimension, chocolate artists Hakan Martensson and Paul Joachim are sculpting large installations during the show.
The Salon du Chocolat, returning to New York after a hiatus of almost a decade, lured 85 exhibitors, Amedei Tuscany to Harlem Chocolate Factory, who are promoting their brands. Dozens of prominent pastry chefs and chocolatiers are demonstrating their skills at workshops. Institute of Culinary Education’s Nick Malgieri is offering Chocolate Bourbon Cake while Jansen Chen of the International Culinary Center presents Gluten Free Baking. Barry Callebaut chef Russ Thayer is showcasing the company’s new ruby chocolate, and Jean-Georges pastry chef Sean Considine looks ahead to the holidays with Buche de Noel.
For attendees packing the Javits Center this weekend, November 16-17, an array of awesomely talented culinary professionals are providing both visual delights and delicious edible treats.