PSST - Chocolate Lovers Indulge With Oprah!

Oprah Winfrey invited audience members to come on stage and walk off with pieces of the Godiva Chocolate set.

At the end of her Feb. 22 show, Oprah Winfrey invited audience members to come on stage and walk off with pieces of the set. It wasn’t the icon’s early exit from network television to cable (scheduled for 2011), but rather her largesse in fulfilling chocolate-lovers’ dreams. And it eased deconstruction for set creators Larry Abel (shown on right) and Raymond McCallister, owners of A•S•I in Hollywood and Palm Springs.

With Godiva Chocolatier as one of their clients, the event planners have furnished entire rooms in chocolate, including a Bryant Park Hotel suite that featured a chocolate headboard. They made a chocolate lounge for a Golden Globes party and used 3,000 truffles to create a full-size grand piano for a pre-Oscar party.

Five days after taking a call from Oprah’s office, Abel and McCallister were in Chicago with 800 boxes filled with 52 different kinds of Godiva chocolates (more than 15,000 pieces) and a crew of 22 people. “In the entertainment industry everything happens very fast, and we have gotten used to that,” McCallister says.

One could expect, given the small window of time, they would repeat tried-and-true designs. But, Abel says, “The stuff we have done before has been picked up by AP and seen all over the world. Since it was our first time on The Oprah Show, we wanted to do something we haven’t done before.”

That included chocolate martini glasses, white roses, fireplace logs (using yellow and gold foil-wrapped caramels for flames), the Chicago skyline, picture frames for photos of Oprah and her dogs, and a new mosaic pattern.

“We don’t have any preconceived idea of what we are going to do,” Abel says, referring to the mosaic. “We look at the pieces and start putting it together. It takes a number of hours to get a pattern.” A chocolate chandelier, however, took the most time to make, including more than 20 hours of stringing chocolate strands. (Man hours for the entire set: 1,400.) Abel emphasizes the input — creative and technical — from the whole team. “It takes a
village,” he says.

“We do have a general idea of what we want — the spirit of what it needs to be. The devil is in the details,” McCallister says. “That’s where we get creative.”

ASI Art·Style·Innovation
668 North Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do not use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

The Real Thing

Coachella and Stageoach festivalgoers have no excuse not to sample some of the best Mexican food in the valley.

Best Bars Open for Late Night Owls

While many watering holes in Greater Palm Springs close their doors by 11 p.m., many go past midnight to wrap up the party.

I’ll Take Manhattan

Over the last 156 years the Manhattan has had myriad incarnations from the Dry Manhattan, the Rob Roy, the Metropolitan Manhattan and the Fourth Regiment.

Love Bites

Here’s where to fuel the passion with special Valentine’s Day menus.

Eat This Now

This 'best of' list fulfills its premise, but mostly it's about passing along a tasty morsel in the Coachella Valley that might be overlooked.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Celebrate the Coachella Valley’s most dynamic women in business at the May 12 luncheon featuring keynote speaker Laura Schwab, President, Aston Martin The Americas. The luncheon takes place at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage.
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2016.
Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Enter for a Chance to Win a Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2016 Grand Experience
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.