Losing Oscar nominees to get their own sweet rewards
If frontrunner Colin Firth doesn't win the Best Actor Oscar Sunday night, "The King's Speech" star can console himself on Monday with gourmet cookies baked in Wheeling and chocolate truffles shipped from Schaumburg.
Cookies by Joey in Wheeling and Chocolatines of Schaumburg are two suburban shops selected to have their sweet creations placed in the ninth annual "Everybody Wins at the Oscars" gift bags.
The bags, filled with everything from personal training gift certificates to "Doggie Slobber Window & Glass Cleaner," will be hand-delivered to non-winning nominees on Monday, Feb. 28 -- the day after the 83rd Annual Academy Awards show.
"We try everything before it goes into our bags, and both Cookies by Joey and Chocolatines were ones we thought the celebrities would really enjoy -- who doesn't love a tasty dessert?" said Dina Rezvanipour, vice president of marketing and public relations for Distinctive Assets, the Los Angeles-based company that is supplying the gift baskets for the ninth year.
Last year's gift bag contained $92,000 worth of products, Rezvanipour said.
For Joanne "Joey" Sherman, owner of Cookies by Joey, being asked to have her gourmet cookies included in the Oscar gift bags has been a dream come true.
"I'm still trying to absorb it all," Sherman said. "It's very exciting. And I know I'll have a nice smile on my face on Feb. 28 -- knowing which stars are getting my cookies. That will be a good day for me."
Sherman will be in the kitchen this week with her staff, helping to bake the five varieties of cookies for the nominees.
"I think we will all be a little giddy," she said.
The cookies -- chewy chocolate toffee, chocolate almond crunch, chocolate peanut butter passion, white chocolate brownie bliss and classic chocolate chip -- will be shipped to California on Saturday.
Sherman, who will be watching the Academy Awards broadcast on Sunday, said she wishes all of the nominees the best of luck ... sort of.
"I almost hope they don't win, so they can get the cookies," she said with a laugh.
Being in the Academy Awards nominees' gift bags is not a new honor for chef and master chocolatier Rieko Wada, owner of Chocolatines in Schaumburg.
The chocolate shop, which creates chocolate products relating to fashion, provided sweets for the Grammy, Emmy and Academy Awards gift bags in 2010.
Wada creates a unique chocolate product for each, and the public cannot purchase that item until after the awards show has aired, said Lauren Young, spokeswoman for Chocolatines.
Wada's creation for the 2011 Academy Awards? A Chocouture jewelry box with 16 colorful dark chocolate truffles -- each designed to resemble a different type of jewel.
"We feel very close to the Oscars," Wada said. "And we try to imagine a nominee tasting our chocolate and wondering about the ingredients."
Chocolatines will host a Pre-Oscar Open House from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 1101 Tower Road in Schaumburg. Visitors are invited to fill out ballots with their Oscar predictions, and everyone receives a sweet prize of some sort, Young said.