Route 66 Casino Hotel Director of Food & Beverage, Gilles Desnous, and pastry chef, Kristen Galegor, competed amongst New Mexico’s finest chocolatiers at the 23rd annual Chocolate Fantasy competition held on Saturday, March 14, at the Sandia Resort and Casino in Albuquerque.  The Route 66 team took the People’s Choice Award, and placed 3rd for most artistic sculpture in the Casino/Hotel category with a delectable creation entitled, “Raising of the Phoenix.”  

This black-tie event benefiting the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation.  The theme for the 2015 event was “Soaring into Paradise,” based on the National Geographic traveling exhibition “Birds of Paradise: Amazing Avian Evolution,” which opened this past January at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

Chocolate Fantasy uniquely binds the celebration of science and culinary art together.   Recognized food professionals judge the chocolate spectacles created by numerous chocolatiers from across the state of New Mexico.

Gilles is a Chocolate Fantasy veteran and knows how challenging and rewarding the event can be; he has participated in the past four Chocolate Fantasy events, lending his talents to different teams and categories.  Every year Gilles and his team represent Route 66 at the charitable event and each year they have brought home a victory.