Food of the (Local) Gods
Chocolates handcrafted by former Strip chefs make a thoughtful ‘I love you’
Considered the foods of the gods by ancient Maya, chocolates today have become a cliché Valentine’s Day gift. But you can give your loved one the standard romantic treat without appearing to have ordered it last-minute on Amazon. These three Strip veterans make beautiful artisan chocolates that will delight the love of your life.
Chocolate master Florent Cheveau got his start learning from top French chefs. His Las Vegas journey began when he worked alongside Jean-Philippe Maury at his self-named patisserie. Cheveau and his wife, Audrey Cheveau, opened Burgundy Bakery & Café in November 2020. Their heart bonbons, available only on Valentine’s day, melt in the mouth, and will melt anyone’s heart, too. The red chocolate heart is made of white chocolate raspberry fruit ganache, and the dark one is a milk chocolate crunchy praline feuilletine. At $2 each, a dozen of these beauties is an affordable luxury.
The Luv Shack
Before purchasing L’elysee Bakery in 2019 and renaming it the Las Vegas Baking Company in 2020, chef Cory Fields was a pastry chef and chocolatier for 35 years. Fields says he plans to expand and will offer chocolate classes in the spring. As far as gifts go, you can’t do better than The Luv Shack ($28.99), inspired by The B-52’s song. Made of dark or milk chocolate, it comes in various designs, accented with a white chocolate heart, and delivered with two chocolate-dipped strawberries. NOTE: This gift requires 48 hours’ advance notice.
The Dream Box
Master chocolatier Jean-Marie Auboine opened his eponymous chocolate factory in 2012 and recently launched his line of French macarons. Inspired by gemstones, the Valentine’s Day Couples Chocolate Box ($49.50) was created based on the concept: One for you, and one for me, Auboine’s executive vice president Chanelle Bautista says. The sapphire heart-shaped bonbon is filled with raspberry ganache in milk chocolate, while the white opal is cherry jelly and pistachio ganache in white chocolate. Auboine’s enrobed special chocolates, with combined flavors such as crème brulée and almond macaron praline, scream passion and romance. This box also includes Auboine’s New York Times award-winning double sea salted caramels — sea salt caramel and sea salt caramel ganache in dark chocolate. It’s available to ship nationwide and for in-store pickup.