FRESHNESS AND LOTS OF CREATIVITY

MELISSA COPPEL ONE OF HER GREAT OBSESSIONS IS MOVING CHOCOLATE-MAKING TOWARDS THE FRESHNESS AND CREATIVITY OF PLATED DESSERT. Imagination and sensitivity of restaurant pastry is something which the Colombian Melissa Coppel feels is missing in chocolaterie. It is one of her greatest challenges, achieving the break from the inertia that leads to monotonous flavor combinations, like the typical ‘chocolate ganaches with infusions,’ she says.

SHE DIRECTS AN INTERESTING CHOCOLATERIE ALONGSIDE JEAN -MARIE AUBOINE IN LAS VEGAS WHICH IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST A STORE. It is also a product showroom and a recognized training school. Jean -Marie Auboine Chocolates works primarily to sell to big hotels and restaurants, and also has an assortment of savory candies and dragées which has gained much prestige. One of the keys to its success is precisely integrating flavors with wide acceptance in the USA, such as peanut butter and white chocolate.

‘Just by leaving ego aside you can become better every day’

You’ve trained with the best professionals in the world. What would you highlight?
It has been a process of evolution. I felt dazed with the first classes, everything was wonderful. Now I can be a little more objective. It is important to see the work of other professionals; this inspires you to be better every day. But in the end the important thing is to develop your own sensibility: to know the products, understand the reactions, the percentages... and to create your own style and recipes. Only with a lot of practice, dedication, and leaving ego aside you can become better every day!

France and Spain are two references in your training. What do you think each of these pastry traditions has contributed to you? France has given me techniques, products and respect for tradition. Spain, an adventurous spirit, the courage to question the techniques, creativity in combining flavors... I admire French pastry, but I feel much more identified with the Spanish style.

What differentiates your chocolaterie from that of the competition? What makes us unique is working with high quality ingredients and also the ability to respond immediately to requests for high volume. Whether you’re in Las Vegas or anywhere else in the U.S., we guarantee delivery within just 24 hours.
In addition, unlike other French chocolatiers in the U.S., Jean -Marie Auboine does not reject the typically American products, hence we incorporate flavors like peanut butter, and our products have more color

In addition to the store, you offer an exhibition space and educational courses. Everything complements each other. First, we start with the wholesale of chocolates and confectionery. Then we introduce the exhibition space, which in turn serves as a retail store. And then, as a marketing strategy, we started with the training courses, which have been a total success! And now they are quite an important source of income for us.

What do Jean-Marie Auboine and you contribute in your respective areas of work?
I try to be more focused on the production and organization of classes. Jean-Marie is a little more involved in the business side. I think what happens to us happens to everyone; there are things that he enjoys doing a lot more than me. For example, I love spraying and making molded bonbons, he is passionate about dragées. The truth is that we work as a team and each brings their own sensibility to the products.

You integrate flavors and textures of the world of desserts into your chocolates... Before making chocolates, I made plated desserts. It is something that has always seduced me. Imagine a bonbon replacing a dessert! Playing with the concepts for a plated dessert, bonbon or bar of chocolate seems like a great idea! First you have to understand what a plated dessert is, in which, unlike a chocolate, immediacy is present, and the components cannot wait long before being consumed, as happens in the sautéed apples, fruit granita, ice cream quenelles, etc. When a bonbon is offered, the diner does not expect anything more than a chocolate ganache with some sort of infusion, which they can also save for at least three months. Always the same... What monotony! There is a lack of imagination and sensitivity in chocolate- making. Playing a little around with the techniques, flavors and compositions in this field is the future. I believe in a real synergy between plated desserts and chocolate-making.

melissa coppel

I WAS ABOUT TO ABANDON PASTRY MAKING WHEN… I WENT THROUGH THE HARDEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE SOME YEARS AGO. AND THE LIGHT AT THE END OF MY TUNNEL WAS THE PASSION I FELT AND STILL FEEL FOR PATISSERIE. I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT LEAVING MY PROFESSION ASIDE. I CONSIDER MYSELF THE LUCKIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD, SINCE MY WORK IS ALSO MY PASSION!

SOMEDAY I WILL… SOMEDAY I WISH IT WEREN’T NECESSARY TO PROVE TO THE WORLD TIME AND TIME AGAIN WHAT WE ARE CAPABLE OF. WOMEN HAVE TO FIGHT FOR OUR DREAMS, EVEN WHEN THE WAY SEEMS DIFFICULT AND STORMY. WE HAVE TO LET THAT INNER FIRE BE WHAT GIVES US THE STRENGTH TO KEEP FIGHTING. IN THIS MODERN WORLD, WE TALK ABOUT EQUALITY BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN. BUT EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US, PROFESSIONAL WOMEN, KNOW THAT THAT IS NOT TRUE. IN MY WORLD, THE WORLD OF KITCHENS AND WORKSHOPS, WE ARE NOT TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN THE SAME WAY YET.

THE PROS AND CONS OF BEING A WOMAN IN PATISSERIE FOR YOU ARE… FOR ME THE BIGGEST DISADVANTAGE OF BEING A WOMAN IS IN FINDING THE BALANCE BETWEEN FAMILY LIFE AND WORK. TRYING TO BE A PROFESSIONAL, AND ALSO A GOOD MOTHER IS NOT EASY. THAT IS MY DAILY CHALLENGE. AND THE BENEFITS? SUBTLETY, SENSITIVITY. A CERTAIN MAGIC THAT MAKES US UNIQUE. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: OUR INNER STRENGTH, WHICH, IF WE ARE ABLE TO IDENTIFY IT, WILL MAKE US INVINCIBLE!

LULO PIE

TOMATO - CHEESE – BRIOCHE