Alain Roby: Record-Setting Chocolatier Continues To Innovate
Alain Roby’s talents have taken him around the globe, but he enjoys serving up chocolate creations of all kinds in a small-town environment.
A certified master chef of pastry and sugar artistry, Alain Roby is internationally known for his sugar and chocolate masterpieces. His famous, out-of-this-world chocolate sculptures include the Guinness Tallest Chocolate Tower, the 650-lb. life-size recreation of Chicago Blackhawks player Eddie Olczyk and a 23-ft. tall enchanted chocolate tree, among many other breathtaking works of art.
Roby, the only chef to hold three Guinness World Records, has served as a celebrity chef during the Celebrity Chef Tour in Chicago and has been the head pastry chef at the NFL Commissioner’s Super Bowl Party for the past 19 years. No surprise then that Roby was named 2013 Pastry Chef of the Year by the Chicago Culinary Museum and was inducted into its Chefs Hall of Fame.
But like all creative chocolatiers, Roby refuses to rest on his laurels. To celebrate the third anniversary of his All Chocolate Kitchen, located in downtown Geneva, Ill., he launched a new line of chocolates dubbed Exclusive Aroma this summer. The newest chocolate creations, which use only the finest Grand Cru chocolate, feature 20 exotic flavors from around the world. The beautiful, individually hand-painted rectangular truffles come in flavors ranging from Georgia Peach and Caramel Cognac to Banana Flambé and Vodka Cranberry.
Like many dedicated artisans, Roby’s road to success was challenging and filled with many twists and turns. He began his culinary career by training at the world famous Lenotre pastry school in Paris and then going on to to work at various hotels around the world, including the Intercontinental Hotel in Tehran. There he was briefly held hostage. After his release, he continued his career in New York City and eventually Chicago.
In Chicago, he went on to work as the executive pastry chef for the Hyatt Corp. for 24 years before electing to return to a simpler life, opening up his café and chocolate shop in Geneva. An example of Roby’s amazing work can be seen on his website at www.AllChocolateKitchen.com.
If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one kind of candy, what would it be?
Dried fruit and nut chocolate bark.
What’s the last cool thing you saw online?
The Dragon Bridge in Vietnam.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What issues concern you most about the confectionery industry and why?
The importance of informing people about the difference between real chocolate and chocolate candy.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
To reach for my dreams and never give up.
What is your pet peeve?
People with no passion for their job and who are just in it for the money.
If given the chance to choose anyone, whom would you like to collaborate with?
What excites you most about your job?
I love being creative and seeing smiles on people’s faces after enjoying great food.