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 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 tmay@palmspringslife.com and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Palm Springs Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Warm Up With A Taste of Summer

If your lips pucker at the thought of sipping traditionally bitter grapefruit juice, fear not: This Ruth’s Chris Steak House recipe calls for a delicate, semisweet surprise of ruby red that will lure you over to the pink side.

The Purple Palm Takes "Pride" in Crafted Cocktails

Palm Springs takes pride in many things, and with the approach of Pride Weekend, cocktails will be at the heart of the many parties and events.

Purple Room Restaurant and Stage Brings Top Entertainment to Town

Purple Room Restaurant and Stage has become Palm Springs’ entertainment center with amazing talent matched with a fun happy hour and great food.

Creative Mexican Cuisine Marks Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club's Reopening

New entertainment, special events, and a new executive chef in Ruben Galvez mark the reopening of Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club in South Palm Springs.

Imaginative Edge Marks New Chef at Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

The newest restaurant by celebrity chef Kerry Simon, Simon Kitchen + Bar, just opened at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, bringing talented Executive Chef Jeremy Saccardi into the arena.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

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.
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.