Pastry Chef Alain Roby, holder of two Guinness World Records and guest favorite of Martha Stewart on "The Martha Stewart Show," has yet another reason to celebrate.
Roby, also a contestant and judge of numerous Food Network challenges, is celebrating the one-year anniversary of his popular All Chocolate Kitchen (ACK), 33 South Third St. in Geneva, Ill.
Not only does his unique dessert destination include an array of his signature chocolate creations, but also his delicious authentic Italian gelato and sorbetto.
A Certified Master Chef of Pastry and Sugar Artistry and Hall of Fame member in both Pastry Art & Design and Chocolatier magazines, Roby is internationally known for his talent in creating sugar and chocolate masterpieces.
"One of the last times I did Martha Stewart's show, I surprised her with a 1,250-pound, seven-foot-tall chocolate devil's food cake," Roby told me.
"My son had to drive it from Chicago to New York in time to be assembled for the show's taping."
His Chicagoland restaurant offers guests the opportunity to indulge in exquisite desserts and truffles from the finest grand cru-quality Belgian and Swiss chocolate. Roby and his team also create artistic sugar sculptures, as well as the authentic Italian gelato made with ingredients imported from Rome.
Some of his life-sized chocolate sculptures, as seen on the Food Network, are displayed at the cafe.
Roby studied and learned his culinary art in Paris from the world-famous pastry chef Lenotre.
And he is the only pastry chef in the world to hold two Guinness World Records: one for the "World's Tallest Cooked Sugar Building" and the other for the "World's Tallest Chocolate Sculpture."
Roby has also served as a celebrity chef during the Celebrity Chef Tour in Chicago and has been the head pastry chef at the NFL Commissioner's Super Bowl Party for the past 19 years.
Before opening ACK, Chef Roby worked as the corporate executive pastry chef for a major hotel corporation for 24 years and is the author of the cookbook, "Alain Roby’s American Classics: Casual and Elegant Desserts."
"When guests come to ACK, they are surprised to see me here working away and greeting the diners," he said.
"This is my life now, and this is where I want to be."
He is especially proud of his gelato, which is 96 percent fat free and all natural. Selections of gluten free flavors are also available. His sorbetto is 100 percent fat free and does not include dairy, and is gluten free, egg free and gelatin free. (A very unique flavor is ACK's Chocolate Sorbetto, particularly enjoyed by those who are lactose intolerant, to still satisfy that chocolate craving.)
The walls of ACK are adorned with photos of Chef Roby's award-winning event. Also showcased is a 700 lb. sculpture of Neil Armstrong in an astronaut suit, created out of white chocolate for the Adler Planetarium that was featured on the Food Network and the Learning Channel and a life-size, 650 lb. white chocolate Blackhawks player, honoring Chicago native/former NHL player Eddie Olczyk, presented to him at the Blackhawks' celebration of the 2010 Stanley Cup.
ACK is open 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. FYI: AllChocolateKitchen.com or (630) 232-2395.
"A Century of Music: Under the Stars" continues 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday at The Gazebo at Main Square Park, off 5th Street and Ridge Road in Highland. The date listed was incorrect in Monday's column. FYI: (219) 838-0114