Flaunt Magazine Chocolatier Jonathan Grahm Interview
What’s black, white and red all over?
Jonathan Grahm’s Chocolate Double Dipped Oreos in heart-shaped box, that’s what. Highly addictive. The Chocolatier to the stars and virtuoso behind the Los Angeles based Compartes gives us a little insight into how a Wonka-esque wunderkind gets down and dirty. He was also named one of Forbes “30 Under 30” and makes over 100+ gourmet chocolates with his bare hands. Shortness of breath anyone?
Whats the sexiest thing you’ve ever dipped into chocolate?
I think that chocolate dipped strawberries are super sexy. Some may say they're cliché but they definitely evoke sexiness and elegance in our minds. The juicy red strawberry and the way it bursts in your mouth and the crunch of a good layer of gourmet chocolate (preferably my chocolate dipped strawberries I make at my Los Angeles chocolate boutique and workshop) is a very sexy treat!
What’s your edible go to Valentine’s Day aphrodisiac?
Definitely my Compartes chocolatier gourmet chocolates. We have a special limited edition Valentine’s Chocolate Collection of chocolate truffles with flavors like raspberry rose, strawberry champagne, passion fruit, huckleberry balsamic, blueberry rhubarb and more! They all feature beautiful patterns and prints like hearts, geometrics, lips, a vintage rose print, etc. They are modern yet sophisticated and refined at the same time. Another of my favorite Valentine’s Day (or any day) aphrodisiacs is our new Love Potion chocolate bar which is part of my new collection of gourmet chocolate bars, The Infinite Dream Series. This bar features a gorgeous black and white graphic accented by a woman’s supple delicious juicy red lips on the cover holding a disco ball in her mouth. It says “One taste and they’ll be forever yours” and is a 73% cocoa content dark chocolate bar infused with orange peels and pink peppercorns—a little bitter, a little sweet, a little citrus-y and a little spicy; it truly is a Love Potion of aphrodisiac delights!
What’s the strangest position you’ve ever found yourself in on Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s is a tough one for me because I can’t really give someone a box of chocolate since I am a chocolatier and make chocolate, but generally I am a tasteful and thoughtful gift giver so it’s always tough for me to find just the right thing if I have a valentine. One thing is that it’s always at the last minute since I am so busy leading up to it I can’t get out to get anything. I also used to do these amazing “Chocolate Decadence Dessert Dinner Parties” (tongue-twister) for many years. I would prepare a 6-8 course chocolate dinner at my LA chocolate boutique for couples which included chocolate pasta, heart shaped chocolate molten cake, homemade hot chocolate, the whole nine—it was insane and intense and crazy to turn my chocolate store into a pop up restaurant for Valentine’s. So yeah, those years I definitely found myself in a strange position, or many strange positions rather, and out of my element but the challenge was fun. I hope I can bring back the dinner parties next year or some time later this year for Mother’s Day or something; they are super unique and definitely a one of a kind experience.
Do you think the act of Valentine’s re-gifting is morally acceptable?
I think that I can only speak for chocolate in that realm because I don’t think you can re-gift flowers for Valentine’s Day or a nice piece of jewelry, but for chocolate, I think everyone loves chocolate so its not really a problem to think about. I am always suspect if someone tells me they don’t like chocolate, they are a very rare breed, those type of people, so I think twice about them regardless. But in all seriousness, our Compartes chocolates in particular are really a blend of chocolate, design, art, fashion, food and flavor so I think people probably don’t want to re-gift them. The biggest issue I always hear is that people think they are too pretty to eat and they want to keep the box to look at it and admire—that is until they taste one, then they come back for more quite rapidly!
Have you ever made your own pair of edible underwear? Be honest.
Ha! I have not yet, but I think it’s a great idea! I have been working on a lot of interesting concepts lately to take my chocolate art even further and keep creating. In fact, I just was working on a prototype for a project where I made a mold of my face out of chocolate. It was crazy! They scanned my whole body in a special machine and I saw this huge 3D image of myself and they were going to use my face. In Japan, I also recently collaborated with Diesel where we did a really cool special gift set where they sold underwear with matching chocolate we created with a special custom Diesel brand print. I definitely would love to make underwear though, edible and not edible; that’s another thing I am going to be working on this year. I want to do a line of underwear and bowties, so underwear, bowties and chocolate—now that’s what I call a party!
What’s your definition of eye candy?
What a great question. I think Compartes Chocolatier chocolates are the literal definition of eye candy. They are such gorgeous and stunning chocolate art—like individual pieces of art with the patterns and prints and colors on them—that they are candy to the eye. Then the fact that some people would call them “candies” (even though I’d correct them and say “They are chocolates”) takes it a step further even and makes them truly eye candy. They are both sweet on the eyes and sweet on the tongue, haha.
Well you heard it folks, from the mouth of one delicious babe. So grab your partner do-si-do, whether flesh, plastic, dipped in chocolate or all of the above- FLAUNT style. Happy Valentine’s Day, Bitches!