GENEVA, Ill.-- Among his astounding creations to date, Chef Alain Roby is known for his massive 1,200 pound chocolate tree and a 950 pound chocolate sculpture of ‘eros’ god of love.
Now another Willy Wonka creation is the visual center piece to a completely new venture.
“This came from a dream of mine. In the middle of the night I wake up and had the most crazy vision so i did a drawing and the next day i look at this drawing and say I gotta do this.”
“The pump pumps the chocolate and then you have this giant mechanism of chain and the wheels bringing the chocolate and flowing in this pool of chocolate.”
“I can’t stick my mouth under that.. No no.. We have a screen.”
Yes unfortunately this massive 22 foot tall chocolate rig with hand crafted sugar funnels is art. One of several sugar based pieces inside the acclaimed chef’s new restaurant opening next to his famed all chocolate kitchen in Geneva.
“Primo which means first dish in Italian—it’s going to be a wine tasting bar 3.14 – basically what we’re doing is small plates, charcuterie cheese, cheese for 8 different countries.”
So after five years focused on sweet – chef Roby is going savory. Primo has a cool lounge vibe, designed to attract the adult crowd. A wine and champagne list about 30 deep – bottles from France, Italy, Spain, and locally sourced.
Small plates range from caviar and salads to lamb shank with rosemary and a touch of mint sauce. Atop white beans sautéed in duck fat.
“My grandma used to do this a lot and my mom especially in the south of France we used to have at least once a week lamb.”
And then there are the meats and cheeses. Irish cheese mixed with red wine.
And from the man likely born 80% sugar, there is of course the desserts. And the sweet décor, the restaurants sign alone is more than 200 pounds of sugar.
It’s “350 degrees melted sugar with different color we pour on the top then once it sets we put it up with the light behind.”
This table-- it’s sugar too is the painting above it.
Primo is Chef Roby’s third expansion in three years, bringing a little of his sweet side to a whole nother level.
All chocolate kitchen
33 s. Third street
Grand opening February 24th
Tuesday – Saturday