L.A. artisans Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections and designer Clare Vivier of Clare V. have joined forces to create two artisan chocolate bars with habit-forming flavors. As one might expect, both Le Bonbar (darkened milk chocolate, roasted peanuts, fleur de sel) and Croquant (bittersweet chocolate, toasted brown rice, fleur de sel, cracked black pepper) are wrapped in Clare V’s signature Paris-meets-Silverlake style.
Clare’s French girl-inspired aesthetic is just as addictive as Valerie’s James Beard-nominated chocolates, pastries and preserves (try this fig and port jam ASAP), so it’s no surprise to see the pair collaborate. We asked both of these beloved LA makers to share with us about what’s inspiring them now…
Fave LA haunt:
Clare: The NoMad Hotel.
Valerie: Petit Trois is my perennial fave haunt – the food, wines and intimacy of the space are perfect.
Wellness habits lately:
Clare: Drinking less wine and more herbal tea at night.
Valerie: I vowed to sleep more at the beginning of the year. Seven hours is my new minimum and it truly makes a difference in my mood and focus.
Clare: Anything with my new red boots: skirts, wide-legged pants, culottes. And always, a string of big pearls from Sonia Boyajian.
Fave bag this season:
Clare: Rainbow snake Flore.
Best thing you've eaten in LA lately:
Valerie: The bison tartare at Native in Santa Monica.
One thing LA girls do better than French girls:
Clare: The only thing that I can think of is exercise, not that that’s something to necessarily to be proud of…
Fave French cuss word or phrase:
Clare: Putain de merde.
3 hostess gifts that never fail:
Valerie: Three packs of Beurre de Baratte (the most delicious salty French butter packaged in gold foil) wrapped in a huge gold ribbon; Le Feu de L’eau Candle, Grapefruit + Tobacco; teas from Kettl or Leaves & Flowers.
Goodies you're most thrilled to bake this season:
Valerie: Cookies. I am working on several new recipes right now including rice flour shortbread, sandwich cookies and the perfect snickerdoodle.
Any tips for those famous candied roses?
Valerie: Funny… they are the beautiful albatross of Valerie Confections. Choose very fresh flowers with firm petals, if they are droopy or browned on the edges, you will have a struggle.
Scoop up a sweet recipe for Valerie Confection’s stone fruit jam here!