Inside a Chocolate Wonderland

Bob Sendall handcrafts Toffee Taboo at his North Side chocolate factory.

He’s Pittsburgh’s version of Willy Wonka, and you don’t need a golden ticket to get inside his North Side chocolate factory. Bob Sendall and his staff at All in Good Taste Productions create his decadent signature dessert, Toffee Taboo, by hand.

“This was a total fluke,” Sendall says of starting the confectionary business. “I had these nuts, and I thought these would be great on chocolate. Then, I didn’t like how they looked so I put white chocolate on it. I started making it in my kitchen. People love it. People are addicted to it.”

Unlike the reclusive Wonka, Sendall is well-known in the party circuit for masterfully, creatively—even jar-droppingly—producing the city’s most spectacular events. In 2009, when Pittsburgh hosted the G-20 Summit, event planners called Sendall and his staff and asked them to cater for the Obamas. When Elsie Hillman or Theresa Heinz need an event planned and produced, they call Sendall, too. Pop artist Burton Morris asked Sendall to plan his wedding, and nonprofits call Sendall because nobody else can spoil a gala’s guest list quite like he can. No one can get enough of his cooking, which was honored in 2009 with an American Culinary Federation Award of Excellence. And lately, no one can get enough of that awesome chocolate either.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, From the Magazine