For Larry Abel’s art mosaic, one of his most challenging pieces, he used bonbons from every Godiva collection. Photo: Sara Jaye Weiss
From the initial concept to the finished design, Abel says he put more than 1,000 hours of work into the piece, which, to him, is more than a simple showcase of colorful chocolates. “I considered the art elements, how I would invent a really cool, unusual space with rich browns, varied textures, and mixtures of classic and contemporary designs,” he said. For Lapidus, the goal of the suite was to create a “unique culinary experience,” which, despite being edible, will hopefully be “more admired than nibbled on.”Playing with interactive components, Abel included a crystal ice bucket filled with white chocolate truffles, books that open to pieces of chocolate in place of pages, and even edible flowers. He also created interpretations of two paintings: a Jackson Pollock-inspired canvas splattered with multicolored chocolate and a re-creation of Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss.” “The Kiss” in particular was a challenge for Abel, who describes the piece as an explosion of gold, ribbons, foils, and mint cherry cordials. The Pucci-inspired chocolate upholstery on the armchairs and the chocolate mosaic on the dining room table are also deeply detailed designs that pushed Abel to come up with something visually appealing while using chocolates from every Godiva collection.
To add a little life to the suite, Godiva tapped Heroes star Ali Larter to help promote the competition (which anyone can enter by purchasing a $23 heart-marked gift box) for reasons beyond her pretty celebrity face. The recently engaged actress claims to carry tins of Godiva chocolates, and last year requested a Godiva cake for her birthday. “This year, Ali Larter, a huge Godiva fan and bride-to-be, best embodied the brand,” said Randi Peck, vice president of lifestyle at Alison Brod. Larter, the only non-press guest at the event, participated as the roving centerpiece and a draw for the photographers.
The Decadence Suite is only part of Godiva’s promotional package; other sinful goodies include a year’s supply of Godiva chocolates and a private chocolate tasting led by Godiva’s executive chef and chocolatier, Thierry Muret. “This is our most extraordinary prize to date,” Lapidus said of the suite, “which is why we’ve already started brainstorming ways to top it next year.” —Lauren Matison
Godiva Chocolatier’s Valentine’s Day Promotion Press Conference