My Chocolate Sculpture is on the Food Network!
I never dreamed when I went to art school that I would end up being featured on Food Network making chocolate sculptures. Who knew chocolate could be an artist’s medium?
Starving Artist turns to Chocolate
I went to Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts to major in illustration. Clay had always been my passion but I wasn’t sure it belonged in this major. I was painting and drawing all of my illustrations and they came out “just ok.” In the back of my mind I kept thinking, “If I made it out of clay it would be so much better.” Fed up with the quality of my 2D illustrations, I decided to make one out of clay. I nervously brought my piece up to the front of the class with all of the paintings and drawings. It was the only 3D piece! My professor Fred saw it and said that this was the best piece I had ever made and should only create with clay from now on! That piece ended up in the senior show (I was considered a sophomore!). I never looked back.
Graduation came and reality set in. I was poor and needed to move back home to Vermont. Getting a job as an artist wasn’t easy. . I wandered up and down Church St. collecting applications. Walking by Lake Champlain Chocolates, I decided a treat was in order. As I was paying for my hazelnut truffle, the girl behind the counter saw my stack of applications. She said that I should consider applying here. I took the application and applied. I started working part time there. A couple months later I was promoted to Manager of the Pine Street store. My boss, Gary, knew of my 3D art background and a light went off. He figured if I could work in clay, I could work in chocolate. LCC sent me to multiple chocolate sculpting classes at the Barry-Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Canada and the Notter School of Pastry Arts in Florida. It was a smooth transition. Chocolate felt like the right medium for me. I was getting to use my art degree — and the Chocolate Sculptress was born!
I am a huge fan of watching Food Network. They used to have a show called “Challenge” where pastry chefs would compete for $10,000. I was obsessed with the chocolate showpiece challenges. I dreamed that someday I would get to be on Food Network Challenge.
The Chocolate Sculptress
For 11 years I managed the retail Factory store and made sculptures hoping that making chocolate art or as I like to say chocoart, would be my full time job. We opened the South End Kitchen in January 2014. This new space includes an education kitchen where we offer cooking and chocolate making classes. I was offered the amazing opportunity to be the chocolate educator. When I’m not teaching classes, I get to live my dream of making chocoart. Little did I know that my other impossible dream was right around the corner. I was contacted by an entertainment company working for Food Network. I didn’t believe it was real but holy cow it was! They were doing a special called “Outrageous Chocolate.” I needed to create a large Valentine themed sculpture — about 4 or 5ft tall! Whoa. I have never made a chocolate sculpture that large. I like a challenge and I wasn’t going to lose this amazing opportunity. 5ft it is. I had a week to complete it. Yikes!
The film crew came December 17th. It was one of the coolest days of my life. I was living the dream! The film crew was great. Cary was a wonderful director. She kept it fun while letting me know exactly what I needed to do. She also taught me some of the filming lingo like “spraying down the room,” which means to film the entire place! Cary and her crew made it a very memorable experience. I only hope I get to do it again.
The Big Premiere
Now the waiting begins. It’s been hard to keep this awesome news under wraps. I’ve been bursting at the seams with excitement! The spot will air February 7 at 8pm. I’ll see it for the first time when all of you see it. I’m so happy to be representing Lake Champlain Chocolates for their first appearance on Food Network. It’s truly an honor. Without LCC I never would have become the Chocolate Sculptress. Thanks Lake Champlain Chocolates and Food Network for making my dreams come true!
Have more questions about Emily’s sculptures? Read our latest blog post to find some answers.
Win a Chocolate Wonderland Getaway!
I should also mention, we’re running this very cool sweepstakes on our Facebook page right now and part of the grand prize is a private chocolate sculpting class with me — check it out and sign up! I’d love spend a day teaching you the art of sculpting with chocolate.