Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and the only better thing to celebrate with than chocolate is local chocolate, of course! This week, we’re highlighting a different Finger Lakes chocolatier each day. Today we’re paying tribute to the head chocolatier of Preliminaires Chocolat: Christian Thirion.
“Glass, like chocolate, are similar mediums. Both start out as hot, liquid fluid that can later be formed, shaped and created into beautiful solid objects.” —Christian Thirion
Located in Millport, Preliminaires specializes in individual chocolates, sold in smaller boxes. They are decorated with ornate designs and come in flavors like Hot Peruvian, Black Tea and Spice Orange. These bite-sized pieces are perfect to concoct a surprise box of chocolates for that special someone.
A glassblower for more than 25 years, chocolatier Christian Thirion has long been influenced by art. The playful creativity of Thirion’s art meets the precision of chocolate-making in his impeccably organized kitchen. He honed his skills in Switzerland, western France and Chicago before moving to Santa Barbara, California, and becoming engrossed in glassblowing. All that experience helped him develop a mastery for working with temperamental chocolates.
Thirion makes 12 chocolates, taste-tested on friends and colleagues for months and sold retail at a number of Finger Lakes wineries and stores. In addition, he crafts custom chocolates for some wineries using their own wines and liquors, including Damiani, Atwater and Finger Lakes Distilling. Preliminaires chocolate will be featured at Damiani’s Winery for chocolate and wine pairings on Valentine’s Day. Check out our events calendar for more Valentine’s weekend events.
2011 Maple Street, Millport, 607.738.3053, preliminaireschocolat.com
Excerpted from Amelia Sauter’s piece in our Winter 2011 issue