Spend the evening sampling decadent chocolates, pastries, wines and spirits at the world-renowned
The Shops at Crystals. VIP Admission begins at 8pm and
includes a souvenir glass and "meet & greet" opportunities throughout
the event. General Admission will be begin at 9pm. This unforgettable
evening will conclude at 11pm
Q: What is your food philosophy?
JG: Less is more! I am a chocolate maker and so healthy
ingredients are a must. A perfect example is that I prefer to use
cacao butter rather than soy lecithin. Yes, it is more expensive but
it is much healthier.
Q: What has been your career motivation?
JG: I was told one day at a chocolate school that I could never
make my own chocolate. I let that comment ferment in my pocket
for a few years while I studied and experimented with chocolate
making. Now we roast, winnow and conch our own cacao. It's a
Q: What is the best part about being part of a chocolate and pastry festival?
JG: For me at a chocolate and pastry festival it is two-fold. I have
the opportunity to explain to the guests how we make chocolate.
They get to taste chocolate that was made yesterday. Imagine
that? They also get a chance to taste the cacao nibs if they so
In addition, a chocolate and pastry festival of this magnitude gives
me a chance to witness innovative culinary ideas, renew old
acquaintances and of course meet some new chefs as well.
Q: When it comes to sweets, what is your favorite dish to create?
JG: Chocolate of course! Pure and simple.
Q: In regards to chocolates and pastries, what is your guilty pleasure?
JG: Can I have a list? I make a triple dark brownie with our 89%
cacao that is REALLY good. I also have a weakness for our pain au
chocolat (chocolate croissants). Did I say triple dark truffles? Ok, I
Q: Which do you prefer: Chocolates or Pastries?
JG: Chocolate of course, although pastry comes a very close
Q: What can attendees expect from your culinary expertise?
JG: They will be able to hear and taste all about our
cacao experiences. I love to talk chocolate!
Q: What is one thing people don’t know about you?
JG: That I used to be a professional ice hockey referee! Back then
I used to put people in the penalty box and of course they didn't
like me. Now, since I make chocolate, they like me or maybe not
me, it's probably the chocolate!
Q: What is one culinary experience you would love to achieve and/or attend?
JG: One day I would like to have the opportunity to assist farmers
with their cacao. Perhaps explore other methods of cultivation
and create a uniform understanding in the fermentation process
of cacao beans.
Q: If you could share one kitchen tip/trick to foodies what would it be?
JG: When we roast our macadamia nuts and all nuts for
that matter we first marinate them lightly in cacao butter. Shhh…
Don't tell anyone!
Q: Which liquors will you be incorporating into your dish(es) that you bring to the event?
JG: Chocolate infused with Brandy!