“I love chocolate like every other person…it’s one of the legal drugs of the world,” says Max Brenner when asked why he’s obsessed with chocolate.
I sat down recently with Brenner (the bald man, himself) at his new restaurant, Max Brenner: Chocolate by a Bald Man, inside the Forum Shops at Caesars to taste some of his creations and chat about, well, chocolate.
Brenner isn’t your average chocolatier that magically knew from birth that his destiny was to fulfill the world’s chocolate needs. In fact, it’s something he more or less fell into.
“Working with chocolate was a complete coincidence,” said Brenner. He explained his original passion was to be a writer and he would work with European chocolate makers to get by as a struggling writer.
Since that time, Brenner has opened chocolate restaurants and retail locations in Singapore, the Philippines, Australia and his native Israel. He currently has restaurants in New York, Philadelphia and now Las Vegas.
I toured the two-story restaurant, (formerly Chinois and Poetry) which was lavishly decorated in deep shades of, well, chocolate and buttercream. Chocolate displays were throughout the restaurant, private rooms were available for private chocolaty affairs and the place seemed to have a chocolate factory vibe.
I knew I was going to a restaurant filled with chocolate, but I was hardly prepared for the onslaught of chocolate that came: Chocolate pizzas, chocolate waffles, mugs filled with chocolate, ice cream bars with chocolate dipping sauces, chocolate crème—and there was more.
One of my favorite things in Brenner’s chocolate shop is the chocolate syringe. For those of us who are choco-holics, consider this your IV injection of pure chocolaty goodness.
I couldn’t seem to put the chocolate pizza down, even though it came after five preceding courses of chocolate. It was made from traditional pizza dough, chocolate crème and toasted marshmallows, served hot and was absolutely delicious.
The “hug mug,” named for the way you hold the specially-shaped mug, is filled with rich, velvety, thick hot chocolate. After hugging my mug for a little longer than the rest of my party felt comfortable with, Brenner broke the silence.
“There is a similarity between me and chocolate because I think chocolate is very diverse and I think it has completely different personalities. It can be very wild, addictive, crazy, and on the other hand it can be luxurious, soft,” said Brenner. He admits he can have the same traits.
“It is easy for me to tell my life story through chocolate, and that’s what I’m actually doing,” says Brenner.
While there is no doubt Brenner brings his own unique brand to Vegas, I wondered what he wanted to bring to Vegas-goers. His answer, though unsurprising, seemed to be the perfect fit for everything I had experienced in my visit.
“The ultimate chocolate experience,” said Brenner.
Mission accomplished, Mr. Brenner.
Want to see more of my heavenly chocolate tasting at Max Brenner: Chocolate by a Bald Man? Click through the photo gallery below.
Hint: Click the “i” on the top right for descriptions!