The New York Optimist
August 2008
Max Brenner home page
About Max Brenner
It's not only about mixing
exotic spices or creating
delicate mousses. It is
more than just an excellent
gourmet product.
Chocolate, more than any
other food, is integrated in
to many aspects of our
lives. It is a symbol of
contradicting emotions and
sensations. On one hand, it
is the most romantic gift,
on the other hand it is a
commodity which is traded
on the stock exchange. It is
sold like a prestigious piece
of jewelry carefully
selected from a glass case
but also as an addictive
snack available at every
corner store. It is tasted
like a fine wine and licked
off of fingers dipped
straight in to the bowl. It is
sexy, nostalgic, and forever
an object of fantasy for
children and grownup
children. These diverse
chocolate associations are
the inspiration behind Max
Brenner's new chocolate
Chocolate Love
By John Sebastian

“Some People think that Love is an
overrated emotion”
And the euphoria and feeling produced
by love can also be achieved
By consuming large quantities of
chocolate.If this is true then I know
of the perfect place where almost
everything is made of,
Chocolate and love is being served in
the form of candy delights to spark
the inner child in all of us. Max
Brenner in Union Square really puts
the Chocolate Love theory, (or should
I say the love of chocolate) to the test.
With an eye for design and color the Max Brenner restaurant is like an adult theme park where children and grownups can indulge in their inner
most yummy chocolate fantasy’s, On the menu you can order chocolate pralines and roasted marshmallows over  your own personal flame in a
croc pot served at the table and then dipped in a chocolate fondue made with Dark, Milk or White Chocolate, there Is Chocolate Peanut Butter
snacks and Banana
Split Waffles with Chocolate Sauce and Tutti Frutti waffles topped with Strawberries and Blueberries and Toffee Bananas!!
Chocolate pop rock candy that snap crackles and pops in your mouth, Chocolate Martinis for the grownups and after tasting the frothy chocolate
milkshake martini served with a lime shaped Jelly candy I was so happy that I am a grownup, there’s chocolate beer and chocolate pizza which is
actually a thin crust dough with chocolate sauce and melted marshmallows on top. You can order the Hazelnut Cream, Peanut Butter or Melting
Marshmallow crepes. When I arrived I was little hungry and wanted to try something from the food menu and was treated to a spinach and
asparagus crepe and only tasted the chicken sandwich to try to make room for what Max Brenner is famous for Desert!
After several of his special deserts that I have mentioned above I decided to browse around and stretch my legs a little. Strolling over to the
chocolate store in the restaurant, which has a large selection of chocolate items. I picked out a few little goodies to take home with me and
surprise my friends and family.
The knowledgeable and courteous staff pointed out several items like the patented hug a mug which is held by both hands to drink hot chocolate a
truly warm and sugary experience but I chose to take home the Pralines which are little chocolate squares that come in many flavors and are
painted with hearts and many other decorative designs.       
When I returned to my table I glanced over the entire restaurant and noticed almost every person at every table had a big smile as they grooved
along to the music playing in the background and enjoyed this truly unique chocolate experience.
Two children passed my table and they seemed to be doe eyed and mesmerized as they almost bounced instead of walked behind their parents.
So believe me Love is not overrated, its an absolute essential and Max Brenner
Is feeding the flames of Love in his Chocolate restaurant locations all over the world.
You can visit the Max Brenner website at
And remember children listen to your parents and everything in moderation you don’t want to end up like Little Violet Beauregarde and turn into a
giant blueberry.
Tune in next week to get a different take on Max Brenner by Jason chase The New York Optimist dining arts and nightlife writer.
I don't invent anything in
chocolate. It all exists in
people’s minds and hearts. I
just express it in the most
evident way- a way that
everyone imagines chocolate
and wishes to experience it.
Until now, chocolate was
sold in a manner that
contradicts its sensual,
warm and joyful character...
Restrained ambiance.
Untouchable. Closed behind
a glass barrier. I have
"freed" chocolate from its
cage. I let people experience
it to the fullest. I allow
people to enjoy it to the
max. It's so simple. All you
have to do is just really love
In order to create a
chocolate culture we must
broaden our perceptions of
chocolate. Chocolate should
no longer be viewed solely
as a gourmet product, but
also as a symbol of diverse
human emotions. The new
Max Brenner chocolate
culture is experimental and
emotional and incorporates
each aspect of chocolate
and its relation to our lives.
This new culture respects
the chocolate tradition,
recognizing it as one of the
many elements on which it
is based, and it has its own
take on every chocolate
product existing within the
traditional market.
The chocolate bar is the
shrine of the new chocolate
Chocolate is expressed
everywhere: in music, in
design, and on the menu. It
surrounds you and carries
you away into the intimate
excitement of your own
chocolate mood. Imagine a
world of huge chocolate
bricks, delicate candles, fine
pralines, French chansons,
crates of cocoa beans from
exotic countries, colorful
toy tins with ribbons, and
melted chocolate poured on
warm pastries. Smell, see,
listen, taste, and touch
chocolate. Surrender
yourself to a holistic sensual
experience. Taste now!!
Online Shop
Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man
Creating a New Chocolate Culture Worldwide

1991 – 1995: Max works as apprentice throughout Europe, alongside world renowned pastry and chocolate experts
such as George Maushagen in Germany, Fauchon in Paris and chocolatier Michelle Chaudun.  This traditional way of
teaching, in which knowledge is passed on from teacher to disciple, enables Max to acquire valuable insight into the
vast tradition of chocolate making.  It is also highlighted with stories and recipes that have long been forgotten, but are
destined to become a valued base for the creation of a new chocolate culture.  Through his work in Paris, Max is
exposed to some of the leading, young and trendy designer of the time: Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier.  These
figures serve as a stimulus for Max and awaken his passion for aesthetics, design and contemporary branding.

1996 – 1999: Max opens a small workshop where he markets his first confections, selling them at a small retail point
at the front of his workshop.  He sprinkles chocolate in people’s hands and offers tastes cut off of huge chocolate
slabs at a shop that resembles a top fashion designer’s atelier.  He begins to expose people to the wild side of cocoa.  
Intuitively, Max begins to sense what lies in the future for his concept after establishing the basic idea of the company’
s vision: chocolate is not just about taste; it is an emotional product that should be experienced through all senses and
emotions.  Ten chocolate stores are opened during these years in Israel.  The love expressed by the public towards the
brand reveals the emotional connection achieved through this new form of presentation and experience surrounding

2000: Max attends the Fancy Food Show held in San Francisco.  Based on the experience he has acquired throughout
the previous years in Israel, he decides to redefine the look and message of his company.  Max aspires to raise his
initial visions of chocolate to a whole new level.  He begins to create the new chocolate culture, backed by a clear
message that expresses the meaning of chocolate in people’s lives.  Max opens the first chocolate bar and restaurant in
Israel, offering patrons a holistic and all-encompassing experience of this new chocolate culture.  It is the first time
people get the chance to sense all the virtues, qualities, and associations linked with chocolate to the Max.  Max opens
similar bars in Australia and at Harrod’s in London.

2001: The Strauss Group, one of the largest food corporations in Israel, acquires the brand, adding the professional
management skills, operational production abilities and financial strength that will support the company’s strategy of
global growth.

2002 - 2005: The chocolate culture concept is continuously developed and enhanced, to bring the company’s vision to
its fullest expression.  Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man, opens in Singapore and the Philippines.

2006: The chocolate culture experience is exposed to the American Market.   One Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald
Man, opens in New York City in Union Square in July. Another Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man, opens in
New York City in The East Village in November.
Max's Favorites, Coconut, $6.90
100% Pure Milk Chocolate Thins, $7.50
Violet Beauragrade-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005.