Imagine your very own chocolate workshop - shelf space for all your molds, spatulas, pots, pans and junk; room for all your machines which nobody loves but you; boxes and boxes of your fine couvertures from around the world. What is the one thing you need to make your vision complete?
You need a marble slab! I am the proud owner of a new marble slab which now lives in my state-of-the-art-on-a-twizzlestick-budget chocolate studio formerly known as….my basement. Here I can store all my chocolate gear, develop new recipes, make chocolate decorations and tinker with the gadgets of artistry: molds, bands, transfer sheets, paint sprayers, flower cutters, leaf veiners, exacto knives. Endless fun. From here, I cart the new ideas & designs to my co-op commercial kitchen for production, which is now a heck of a lot more efficient. In the words of Virginia Woolf, I have “a room of one’s own”. Shopping for marble? I considered granite and marble and started pricing pieces from the usual suspects: Home Depot and Costco. You can beat those prices! I wound up in the stone works district of Los Angeles which is in North Hollywood (who knew?). This big boy pictured above cost me $400 with no delivery (borrowed my friend Gary’s truck and also my friend Gary to help carry the damn thing) which is 1/4 of the price Home Depot quoted me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my peeps at Home Depot but these shiny slabs require some muscular shopping. I hear you get good deals at the graveyard but I had to draw the line! Granite is a little cheaper than marble; both natural stones are pourous so you have to use some caution with food colors and cleansers, but I chose marble because of this wonderfully clean color (against which all chocolate is easily visible) and its long history as the cool, clean favorite of confectioners.