Auboine Chocolate Factory in Las Vegas Creates Custom Chocolates & Confections
Let’s get two things straight about chocolate: Oompa-loompas do not man the machines in a chocolate factory. And white chocolate, according to Master Chocolatier and Pastry Chef Jean-Marie Auboine, is NOT chocolate. “Technically white chocolate is just cocoa butter, powered milk and sugar. The real chocolate needs to have cocoa nut or cocoa liquor—that is the milk chocolate and the dark chocolate.
“White chocolate was created in 1930 for women and children. Sugar was important. They decided to create something very very sweet and milky. The white chocolate. The biggest part of the market was women.”
In the 80’s white chocolate became more well-known and more widely used in the confectionery arts. “White chocolate is very easy to work with. We can work with different colors. In the 80s and 90s we start to use color,” Auboine explained. “We can add colors to the bonbon like red, green, and different colors. We use it inside the molds to make it (the candy) shiny and bright.”
The world renowned French confectioner was formerly a pastry chef at the famous Fontainebleau restaurant in Miami Beach before coming to Las Vegas to work as a pastry chef at the Bellagio. Today he is the proud distributor of his own brand of chocolate and candies that he produces along with six employees at a 4500 square foot factory in a semi-industrial section of Las Vegas.
“Chocolate has been good to me. It’s a fantastic product and I am a very lucky guy. Chocolate gave me the opportunity to travel everywhere around the world. I have a huge passion for the chocolate for a lot of years, so I create this company.”
Dark chocolate is Auboine’s favorite confection. “I eat chocolate very single day, and a lot. I love it! I like the milk chocolate but dark chocolate is very good. It is not too bitter, not too sweet. It has less sugar, about 65 to 70 percent, and no milk as well.”
Auboine makes custom chocolates in vast quantities for large hotels here in Las Vegas and across the country. He ships boxes of 200 to 250 chocolates daily via air-conditioned trucks to be used for VIP events and as hotel amenities; milk chocolates, dark chocolates, bonbons, nougats, marshmallow bars, almond and peanut chocolates, caramels, signature luxury chocolates and more. A personal favorite is the Lion Bar: a masterpiece of Rice Krispies Treats blended with creamy caramel and milk chocolate.
The factory is clean and orderly. The kitchen areas are kept at a comfortable 58 to 60 degrees. Two panning machines in the first kitchen can process from 50 to 80 pounds of nuts. The second kitchen is where employees pour the candies and add designs. Two chocolate mixers in the back blend the 250 to 500 pounds of chocolate that is used to create the confections.When asked if he taste-tests each batch, Auboine replied with a grin, “Yes, I have a problem with that.”
The ever busy and creative chocolatier hosts both Professional and Food Enthusiasts workshops: Chefs from all over the world attend the Professional workshops at Las Vegas hotels. Auboine invites visitors and friends to attend the Food Enthusiasts workshops at the chocolate factory. Space is limited. For information and reservations, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Okay, fine. So perhaps there is a bit of the Oompa-Loompa spirit lurking at the chocolate factory. Jean-Marie Auboine says in parting, with a mischievous gleam in his eye, “I love to make chocolate. It’s fun every single day!” –Christine McKellarEDITOR’S NOTE: PRESS at the Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas, features Jean-Marie Auboine chocolates and confections. Visit:http://www.jmauboinechocolates.com/index.html