ALISON NELSON'S CHOCOLATE BAR www.chocolatebarnyc.com
One segment appears to have suffered less than others: dessert. Those who normally soothe their sweet tooth are not skipping — not tonight. No matter how tumultuous the times, the country's pastry chefs, confectioners, chocolatiers and dessert makers have your back (your middle, too). They are keepers of flames, breakers of rules, classicists, artistes and most of all hedonists, and they are enjoying their heyday in America's ongoing culinary revolution. "Even in a down-turned economy, dessert is an affordable luxury," says Alison Nelson, co-owner of two Chocolate Bar boutiques in New York City. "I think we still need to do things for ourselves and things that make us feel happier. If you're looking for a comfort food, dessert is one of those areas that people are going to turn to."