NEW YORK—On December 4, Grand Hyatt New York added another title to its repertoire: chocolatier. Executive Pastry Chef Gonzalo Jimenez unveiled the hotel’s first-ever artisanal chocolate line. Available exclusively at the hotel’s Market—an upscale café located in the hotel lobby featuring grab-n-go items from famed New York area food and beverage brands—the line will feature handcrafted truffles, chocolate bars, and chocolate-covered fruit.
“I’ve always thought of chocolate as more than just a dessert or ingredient,” said Jimenez. “I believe it’s an experience with each flavor and texture delivering a new surprise and emotion. I’m flattered to have been entrusted with this endeavor and even more thrilled to share my passion for handcrafted chocolates with our international guests and travelers.”
Truffles will be available in five flavors: passion fruit, citrus, gianduja and white truffles, coffee, and dulce de leche. Each flavor will feature its own signature color and design, reminiscent of Chihuly glass, from a speckled bold blue to a swirled deep green. Truffles will be sold in assortment boxes of nine and sixteen. Guests can also purchase chocolate-covered orange wedges as well as milk, dark, and white chocolate bars. The bottom of the chocolate bars each feature ingredients that enhance the particular type of chocolate; the dark chocolate with granola, the milk chocolate with cereal and candied oranges, and the white chocolate with crunchy chocolate pearls and dried cherries.
The Argentine-born chef developed a passion for cooking at a very young age, enrolling in university at age 19 to study Culinary Arts before continuing to IAG in Buenos Aires, Argentina to pursue a degree in Pastry Arts. His career in Argentina spanned several five-star hotels, as well as the restaurants of internationally acclaimed Argentine chefs, Donato de Santis and Maru Botana. In 2009, Jimenez moved to Boulder, Colorado to serve as Pastry Chef of St. Julien Hotel and Spa before becoming executive pastry chef at Hyatt Regency New Orleans and ultimately, executive pastry chef at Grand Hyatt New York. Cultivating a passion for chocolate artistry along the way, Jimenez has transformed his study of chocolate into a religion, tirelessly learning and perfecting new techniques and procedures, which have earned him several national awards, as well as international acclaim.
“Chocolate artistry is no easy feat, as it requires an in-depth understanding of the science and mechanics of working with chocolate, while still maintaining a certain whimsical, and perhaps less practical, flair,” said Edan Ballantine, director of food and beverage at the hotel. “But Gonzalo is able to balance both form and function quite effortlessly and the result is as beautiful as it is delicious. Our new chocolate line would not have been possible without him, and we’re thrilled for its debut.”