Celebrity chef making a life size LeBron James in chocolate

Paul Joachim has a hard time eating any old candy bar.

“I’ve become quite the chocolate connoisseur,” says the Orlando chef who won $10,000 on Food Network Challenge in 2011. “I’ve tasted some really good stuff.” You can, too, this weekend at the Miami Fine Chocolate and Food Show at Pinecrest Gardens (www.miamifinefoodshow.com). Joachim will be there both days, doing what comes naturally: mixing his love of art with his love of all things sweet. His biggest trick will be sculpting a life-size confection of LeBron James outdoors with heat-resistant chocolate. The chef will work off a picture of the basketball great. “I’m a big, big sports fan and this is my tribute to Miami sports,” says the Florida State University graduate who grew up in Coral Springs. “I’m going to need all the time I can get. This is like my Oscars.”

The married father of two elementary school-age children feels appreciated at home. “My kids love my profession,” he says, laughing. “It’s a wonderful thing for them to see me going out there and doing my thing.”