Larchmont’s Angela Ingrao cites two artistic influences: Marc Chagall and Uncle Herb. One wowed her, during family forays to the Metropolitan Opera, with paint, the other at her kitchen table with paper.
“Uncle Herb was an art teacher and lived near us in Bronxville, so after school we’d do art projects,” she says. There were Calder-like mobiles and Mattissean cut-outs. “He inspired my artistic aesthetic, which plays into my chocolate making. I always loved working with my hands.”
We’re sitting in her confection of a confectionary, powder-pink walls enveloping sheaves of nut-stippled bark, peanut-butter cup domes and bonbons gold-flecked like fairy dust. Uncle Herb’s portrait gazes down upon it all. “He passed away, but got to see the shop,” she says softly. “He was thrilled to have the portrait here.” But his influence extended past art. He’d take her out for Chinese food, exotic to her family’s traditional Italian fare. “He always pushed me to try new flavors; he opened my eyes.” She named a bark in his honor, as she does for cherished family and friends. His is gingerroot. It’s a top seller.