We have chosen to use the world famous Valrhona chocolate. The origins of Valrhona Chocolate go back to 1922 in the Rhone Valley of France. Since then, the mission of Valrhona has been to create exceptional chocolate, utilizing the natural aromas of the various cacao growing regions throughout the world while keeping with the traditions of the French chocolate making art. Valrhona has rediscovered the best cacaos, Criollos, with the aroma of flowers and fruit, and the Trinitarios, typified by a strong bouquet, and mixed them all together in an exceptional taste. The intense flavor brought out by hints of flowers and fruits reveals intensity - exceptionally long on the palate. These “top of the Line” Valrhona chocolates are known as their Grand Cru’s. And just as with fine wines, a Grand Cru only receives its designation based on superior taste and texture. We then take the Grand Cru, be it a dark chocolate such as Manjari, Craribe, Guanaja or Araguani, or a milk chocolate, such as Tanariva Lactee of Jivara, and create a ganache. This ganache will then form the base for a truffle center, bon bon filling, cake filing or the high sheen glaze on a “death by chocolate” cake. In addition to being used as the base for our centers, Valhrona Grand Cru’s are melted and tempered to perfection, as the final couverture for each of our finished products. In this way, we are assured that you are not only looking at and smelling the finest chocolate on earth, but you're about to taste it.
Chocolate, cacao butter, fruits, flavorings, nuts and various other components are merely raw ingredients. Like musical notes, its how they’re combined that makes the symphony. Fine chocolate is a study in texture. Does a given set of ingredients meld to caress the palate or conflict and assault it? The chocolate craftsman chooses when an assault of texture is warranted and when it's offensive. Fine chocolate is a study in flavors. When should a confection contain enhancement and when should it just taste like chocolate? The balance that’s struck between these disciplines determines the quality of the customer’s experience. Only years of study can provide the scale upon which to achieve this balance. Our Master Chocolatier has them. Joëlle Mahoney, born in Amiens, France heads the creative team for Chocolaterie Maya. She has studied with Andre Renard, member of the Academie Culinaire, Sylvain LeRoy, coach of the winning USA World Pastry Team in 2001 and Betty Van Norstrand, two time Gold Medalist of the World Pastry Olympics, just to mention a few. Joëlle has been a featured instructor at the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Annual International Chocolate Shows held in New York City as well as an invited participant in the Chocolate Fashion Show from 2005 through 2008. In her spare moments, she's a Master Instructor for Cake Decorating. She also holds Gold and Silver Medals from Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, as well as the Otto Gench Medal for excellence in her field. The sign on her desk tells it all . . . “If you can imagine it, I can create it in chocolate, sugar or cake !”. If you think she’s kidding, give her a challenge.
Being born in France, it seems that every week brought another reason to bake something. The holidays started on New Years day, then the Three Kings Festival, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations and finally it was Christmas again. Later in life, after I started Signature Cakes & Confectionery, LLC, joining the Retail Bakers Association and I.C.E.S. (International Cake Exploration Society), I realized everyday was truly a holiday for someone, somewhere. Hence, I specialized in creating custom pieces for YOUR “holiday”. Cakes, chocolate or any other pastry discipline, can be used to form anything a person can imagine. Their favorite car, an animal, a building, or the wedding cake of their dreams.
Pastry and confectionery arts are my passion. I've been lucky enough to learn from the masters; sugar work from Ewald Notter, pastry techniques from Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sebastien Cannone, chocolate artistry from Elaine Gonzales, corporate showpieces from André Renard, taste from Sylvain LeRoy, pastiallage from Pat Rocco and gum paste techniques from five time World Pastry Olympic Gold Medalist, Betty Van Nostrand.
Each year since 2002, during the International Chocolate Show in New York City, my sponsor, the Valrhona Company, fills the theater with 100+ “chocoholics”, where I demonstrate my chocolate artistry.
In competitions, such as the annual Sociètè Culinaire Philanthropique, Salon of Culinary Arts, held in the Jacob Javits Center in NYC I’ve won several Gold Medals for my cakes, Silver medals for my Chocolate, the Otto Gench Medal for excellence in the field of chocolate and in 2008 another Gold for the Best Pastry Display of the Salon
In my earlier role as a Master Wilton Method Instructor, I've taken a harried mother, who first learns to bake, tort, dam, fill, ice and decorate her cake with a single rose . . . . and in only a few sessions, transform her into a budding Pastry Artist who creates a multi-tier wedding cake.
My life wasn't always in the kitchen. In 1997 I won an International Pageant and spent a year cris-crossing the country, while of necessity, honing my "lite" cooking and baking skills. Being tri-lingual, I’ve addressed groups in English, French and Spanish, and often graced the pages of Pageantry Magazine.
Like baking, public speaking was an early acquired skill. My first televison appearances were with the late David Suskind, and most recently on both Rachel Ray and “The Today Show”, with Kathy Lee.
My radio debut was with ABC's Ross and Wilson Show followed by New York's WHTZ "Z Morning Zoo" and a myriad of local stations throughout America. As for publishing, I was a featured columnist for a major NYC metropolitan magazine and I've just started writing my first cookbook and DVD series, "Every day's a Holiday in kitchen with Joëlle".
November 11-14, 2010
November 10, 2010
Joelle will be making a haute couture "chocolate" dress for the fashion show which starts at 7:30 p.m.
November 17, 2008
Joelle's Photos and results from the NY Chocolate Show and the Salon des Arts at the Javits Convention Center
November 7, 2008
Joelle will be on the TODAY SHOW this morning in what is called their 4th Hour, 10:00-11:00 am, Chanel 4 on WNBC. The same model who wore the chocolate Xena costume yesterday will be with Joelle today as well.
November 5, 2008
Joelle is also in the Journal News today in the Food section. They did a 2 page write up on her which is great. Complete with a color photo of Joelle and Xena. You've got to get it. The Journal News also did a video on her which can be seen on their site LoHud.com You'll see a small close up of the wedding shoes, go from there.
November 4, 2008
Joelle will be appearing at the NY Chocolate Show.
November 6, 2008
NY Chocolate Show
Thursday November 6th, 2008,
Pier 94, 711 12th Avenue at 55th Street, NYC,NY
November 9, 2008
Salon of Culinary Art
Sunday November 9th, 2008
Jacob Javits Convention Center,
11th Avenue at 34th Street, NYC, NY