Vegas’ own Willy Wonka
Wed, Oct 7, 2009 (5:22 p.m.)
Photo: Barry Callebaut
Growing up in France, Lionel Clement created elaborate desserts with his mother, and dreamt of doing so on a larger stage. This weekend, the Wynn Hotel’s chief chocolatier will do just that, representing the U.S. in the prestigious World Chocolate Masters competition, back in his home country. “It’s a big deal,” the 30-year-old Clement says. “I’ll be working in front of family and friends and professionals and press from around the world.”
Clement will be joined in Paris by 19 other national champions, for three days of chocolate-making, October 14-16, centered on the theme haute couture, or high fashion. Clement’s planned showpiece calls for 25 pounds of chocolate. He’s been “training” since January.
So does Clement still enjoy eating chocolate? “I’m kind of skinny, so you might think I don’t eat any chocolate,” he laughs. “But I eat a couple of pieces sometimes. I have to check for quality.”