For Love and Chocolate

At L’Affaire Chocolat, the desert’s most imaginative pastry chefs created first-class confections for a good cause.



Does chocolate say love or does love say chocolate?

Our love affair with chocolate goes back centuries — since the cacao bean appeared in the Western world, its magical powers warmly embraced. For this we thank the Aztecs, who generously shared their discovery.

We have since used many words to describe this brown elixir — sensuous, intriguing, delicious, addictive. The Latin name of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the Gods” — and who are we to disagree?

While connoisseurs consider Belgian chocolate the ultimate, the Swiss and the French also have cultivated the cocoa bean to a fine art of sweet taste. We Americans unabashedly savor imports, but assert affection for familiar chocolatiers such as Godiva, Ghirardelli, and See’s.

Meanwhile, the powerful confection has been feted in books (Chocolate French showcases all aspects of the French adoration of chocolate), films (Who can forget Chocolat?), and museums (Chicago’s Field Museum mounted a tasty 2002 exhibition covering chocolate’s 2,000-year history — From Seed to Sweet — that went on a national tour).

Palm Springs’ chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a group of women in culinary professions, celebrates chocolate at its annual L’Affaire Chocolat — a mouth-watering dream that also raises money for scholarships, part of the organization’s “Young Chef in the Making” program.

And what a party! Chocolate tastings, professional chef competition, celebrity judges, cooking demonstrations, an auction, and champagne — an all-out gala hosted by Miramonte Resort in Indian Wells and sponsored by Palm Springs Life.

Best in Show and Most Romantic (see photo above)

L’Affaire Chocolat
Yasmin Martin, pastry chef
The Vintage Club, Indian Wells

A double whammy for this talented young pastry chef, A Passion for Butterfly Kisses bespeaks her romantic approach and won the hearts of the judges. Chocolate mousse made with Alize passion liqueur with a passion cream and caramelized hazelnut center, a praline royaltine crust, topped with a chocolate glaze and passion fruit tuile. The dreamy butterflies and flower are made carefully of milk chocolate. Plated with a polka-dot jacande cake and raspberry and passion fruit coulis, this entry was truly a romance in chocolate.

Edit Module
Palm Springs Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival Brings Vintage Movies to Camelot Theatre Screens

When Alan Rode took over the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in 2008, he made sure it remained true to has remained true to its namesake by paying tribute to black and white vintage films.

Jon Polito Will Appear for "Miller's Crossing" Screening at Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival

Miller's Crossing will return to the big screen as the opener to the 16th Annual Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival on May 14, and with it will be actor Jon Polito, who gained his first role in a Coen Brothers-directed film.

Songs From the Heart

After decades of singing backup for such legends as Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick, Marvin Gaye, The Righteous Brothers, and Tom Jones, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love — now 73 — is busier than ever.

Jane Lynch, The von Trapps, Igudesman & Joo Lead Picks for McCallum's 2015-16 Season

Mitch Gershenfeld’s successful track record in booking shows audiences love led him to establish “Mitch’s Picks” to showcase artists the public may not be familiar with appearing at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.

Good Libations

Loads of atmosphere, specialty drinks, and a niche vibe define the desert’s best bars.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.