• Meet Chefs David Lewis and Gonzo Jimenez, Miette et Chocolat

     
    POSTED May 6, 2018
     

    These two have been on a wild confectionary ride since opening Miette et Chocolat in Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace one year ago.

How do two men, one born in rural Illinois and the other in northern Argentina, form a chocolate connection?

“We met at a pastry forum, and six months later Gonzo called me to be his partner in a chocolate showpiece competition, where we took Best Artistic Award,” explains David Lewis, who, upon graduating with a degree in culinary arts, worked for restaurants and hotels in Las Vegas before heading to sea with Norwegian Cruise Lines. 

Realizing life on land was pretty tempting, Lewis returned to Las Vegas and served as pastry chef for Paris, Bally’s and Planet Hollywood. With a simpler lifestyle in mind, he moved to Colorado with his wife and daughter and was appointed executive pastry chef at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa in Denver. Already, at a young age, he has been named American Culinary Foundation (ACF) Western Region Pastry Chef of the Year and runner up for National Pastry Chef of the Year in 2015 and served as president of ACF Colorado Chefs Association in 2016. 

Gonzo Jimenez attended pastry and culinary school in Buenos Aires before traveling around Argentina working for Five Star hotels and celebrity chefs. From 2009 to 2013, he was employed by St Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder and Hyatt Corporation in New Orleans and New York and launched a line of chocolates sold to Manhattan hotels. Grand Hyatt Santiago de Chile lured Jimenez back to South America, where he was hired soon after by Barry Callebaut Group as corporate chef for the South American Region and director of the Chocolate Academy Chile. 

“While Gonzo was in Chile, we came up with the concept of Miette et Chocolat, and he applied to come back to the United States,” Lewis explains. Jimenez and his wife returned to Boulder. 

Together, the gifted pastry chefs and chocolatiers established their “French patisserie with a modern twist” to offer everything from traditional bon bons and unique candy bars to beautiful desserts and chocolate showpieces. Miette et Chocolat has worked with several corporate clients, creating beautiful holiday gift boxes and setting up VIP functions for Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, set to open in late 2018. 

Much of their inspiration comes from art. “The way we garnish everything is very artistic in design,” Lewis explains. “We also both have hotel backgrounds, so we know how to put on a show if clients want something high-end that will impress.” 

As CEO of Miami-based Loni Paige Events, Loni Paige has launched and managed experiential campaigns for high-profile brands such as Bacardi, vitaminwater, T-Mobile, American Express and Target. While many people used quarantine cocktailing as a coping mechanism during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the bars and everyone’s favorite mixologists who needed their own shot of help. Paige set out to do her part by creating Mixology Mixer

 

League City CVB manager Stephanie Polk shares her career journey.

Originally from Kentwood, Louisiana, Stephanie Polk, TDM, CTE, first made her mark on the travel and tourism industry as director of marketing for the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau. There, she helped to elevate the city as a destination for recreation travelers and business groups. Wowed by her accomplishments, in 2020, League City brought her on board to lead its marketing efforts. She shares with us highlights and advice from her experience in the industry. 

 

Event planning and experience design go hand in hand. Just ask Maria Moyano, experience designer for the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC), based in NYC. “I think that everything is an event. You can go have coffee, and that’s an event. Everything is also an experience. You feel happy, and that’s an experience. It’s about what you are trying to get out of the event—and then how does an experience elevate it,” says Moyano.