Chocolate has no proper age or affiliation. Jonathan Grahm is the real-life "Willy Wonka" and his home is Compartes Chocolatier Los Angeles. Perhaps the youngest chocolatier in America, at just 21 years old, Grahm has taken over and revamped a historic chocolate shop that is one of the oldest confectionary houses in America. He makes all of his candy from scratch in old-fashioned copper candy kettles, which are more than twice his age.
Grahm makes his chocolates with all natural ingredients and a whole lot of love. "My grandmother is a foodie (his family owns Bonny Don Vineyard in Santa Cruz), and it rubbed off on me," he says. "Since age 14, I have devoted myself to the art of making chocolate, and I am still learning and experimenting. I began by decorating chocolates and my experiments led to the invention of Love Nuts. I live and breathe chocolate and will take any opportunity to develop something new. If I eat in a fancy restaurant, I take mental notes of divergent flavors and ingredients that taste great together and go back to the shop and experiment with the new taste sensations."
Grahm's signature Love Nuts are savory sweet nuts with the perfect blend of chocolate, which showcase his dedication to producing the best and most original chocolates around. He specializes in chocolate-covered fruits, homemade confections and a variety of other delicious sweets.
From old-fashioned homemade marzipan made in the European tradition to nouveau candies such as spicy dark chocolate truffles topped with Grahm's original designs, Comparte's is the Hollywood hotspot for chocolate lovers. A Desperate Housewives favorite, you can see Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross and Nicolette Sheridan picking out their favorites. Others spotted in this chocolate fantasy store have been Nicole Kidman, Jay Leno, Bruce Springsteen, Dustin Hoffman, Rob Reiner and others. "I make every effort to know each customer on a personal basis," Grahm says. "It is important to me to connect with individuals, learn about their favorites and get them excited about the new things I have in the works."
For Valentine's Day, Grahm will hand-fashion large chocolate hearts that can be personalized with that special someone's name on them. Limited edition chocolate truffles in caramel passion fruit, fleur de sel, cardamom and lavender will be unveiled during the season. The new confections will be added to his popular custom red velvet heart shaped boxes. They can also be filled in a handcrafted edible heart-shaped box made out of chocolate. Delicate double-dipped Oreo cookies will also feature handmade sugar decorations.
The new edibles will be tucked away with Grahm's addictive orange peels, signature dipped apricots, homemade dipped marshmallows and infamous truffles such as strawberry, framboise wine, freisa frizzante and other handcrafted epicurean delights. Visit Compartes Chocolatier Gourmet Chocolate Confections online at www.compartes.com or at the Los Angeles chocolate boutique located at 912 S Barrington Ave, Los Angeles, 310-826-3380.