There is a hint of irony in this. I did speak out a little about my contempt for traditional chocolate showpieces (http://www.thequenelle.com/2009/06/chocolate-showpiece-manifesto.html) and then I go and make a piece, put it up for judging (Salon Culinaire - Jacob Javitz Center, NYC) and win a gold medal.
Now, in my defense, it is not one of those pieces that is just a cluster of flowers and random objects that make no sense together (those were on the table next to ours). It was a well thought out piece based on Picasso's Guernica painting (google it, it's an amazing piece... in person it is breathtaking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guernica_(painting)) The point of the piece is that war is wrong and what should prevail above all is peace.
Each figure (there are 9 basic "characters") was isolated through photoshop, then made to fit a regular sheet of paper. I used this image to trace the shape on a slab of clay, which I then detailed with a scribe. I let it set overnight, polished it, then made silicone molds with the clay piece. Once the silicone set, I broke the clay pieces out, washed the mold and poured tempered chocolate into each mold, popped it out, polished each chocolate piece then sprayed and airbrushed each shape. The piece was assembled at the JJC. My staff was Bryan Graham, Matt Waldron, Justen Nickell and Kelly O'Neil... crucial to the success of making, transporting and assembling of the piece. Thank you for all you did.
Photos courtesy of B. Graham.