Chef Grace (top row, second on the left) along with the Season 8 cast of Holiday Baking Championships. 

Houston's signature chocolate factory, The Chocolate Bar, known for serving homemade ice creams, cakes, cookies, and chocolates has been a staple in the Houston area since 2000. Houstonia reported in late July that the dessert emporium would close it's flagship location in Montrose, and consolidate their operations to its outpost in Rice Village.

Now, Houston's all-chocolate alternative has announced its new pastry chef, Grace Lapsys. Chef Grace joins their team with over 10 years of experience working with pastries and chocolates, having worked at Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as well as the prestigious Maitre Chocolatier from Ecole Chocolat in France. Her creations vary from complex sugar sculptures and edible holiday ornaments to vegan truffles made with dark chocolate mint, and dark hot cocoa bombs. Lapsys plans to inspire her team at The Chocolate Bar to create new desserts, and wants customers to be excited for their upcoming chocolate flavors, housemade ice cream, and decadent pastry dessert offerings. 

According to Food Network, Grace likes to say, "when it comes to chocolate... if you can dream it, I can make it."

Chef Grace's expertise also helped land her a spot on the big screen. Lapsys appeared as a contestant on Season 8 of Food Network's Holiday Baking Championship, earlier this month. "Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship is one of the most nerve-wracking competitions that I’ve ever done," Lapsys tells Houstonia.  I’ve competed in chocolate sculpture competitions for years but without cameras. It’s tremendous pressure to have cameras all around you and keep your wits about you while you’re baking but I’m glad I took on that challenge because I learned a lot about myself and if I take on another competition I’ll be better than ever!"

In a post on Instagram she writes, "This year has been full of blessings!!! Truly grateful to be in the cast of Season 8 and meeting all of these amazingly talented and delightful people. Many cheers to us!!!"

You can watch Lapsys on this season of Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network, on Monday's at 7:00 p.m. CST. 

The Chocolate Bar is located in Rice Village at 2521 University Boulevard. For more information, visit, theoriginalchocolatebar.com or follow @ChocolateBarHTX on Instagram and Facebook. 

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