Patrick Roger Chocolates

chocolate bees

I am often asked the difficult-to-answer question, “Who is the best chocolatier in Paris?”

There are very few parts of Paris where you can’t find something delicious made of chocolate. Luckily from my apartment, I’m just a few blocks from Dalloyau, Gerard Mulot, Lenôtre, and Joséphine Vannier near the Place des Vosges, a small chocolate shop whose window delights the tourists, but belies the more serious chocolates inside.

truffles

Surrounded by all this chocolate, how does one name a favorite?

I was thrilled when Patrick Roger decided to open a boutique in Paris. (His workshop is in Sceaux, in the suburbs of Paris). Instead of setting up in a super-chic arrondissement, his shop is close to the bustling Boulevard St. Michel. Each time I pass by, there’s always people pressed hard against the tinted glass (which is to protect the chocolates from the sun), peering in to catch a glimpse of Roger’s stunning bonbons and whimsical chocolate and marzipan confections.

Patrick Roger Chocolates

When it comes to chocolate, my philosophy is ‘Simple is Best’.
The finest chocolate bonbons allow the flavor of the chocolate to come through without interference from the other flavors and ingredients. The zippy notes of fresh lime juice enlivens a cushion of ganache, a hit of Sichuan pepper, smoky Earl Grey tea, and meltingly tender rum raisin-filled nuggets: all are examples of the masterful balance of flavors that compliment dark chocolate, not compete with it.

patrick roger chocolate Patrick Roger Chocolates

Little flakes of oatmeal embedded in a smooth ganache. Mounds of crispy slivered almonds enrobed in dark chocolate. Oozing caramel with the curious and welcoming addition of with pear juices enclosed within a vividly-colored, glossy half-dome. These are some of Monsieur Roger’s creations that continue to seduce me. They satisfy like classic chocolates do, but with curious new flavors that thankfully aren’t meant to shock, but to simply taste good.

Rochers, square cubes of chocolate, flecked with little crackly-bits then dipped in chocolate couverture are my second favorite chocolates here at the moment. My first love are perfect squares of nougatine, a caramelized melange of crispy nuts and burnt sugar, ground together to a paste, formed into cubes and neatly enclosed in chocolat amer.

Patrick roger

Most of the time I stop by, many of the customers either wandered in off the Boulevard St. Germain, lured by the simple, yet dramatic chocolate displays in the window and seem to walk around the shop in a daze, not sure of where to begin or what to taste.

The other customers I find there are food-savvy Parisians, who’ve stopped in to pick up a little sack of noisettes, wild hazelnuts dipped in crisp caramel and dipped in dark chocolate, a few pure chocolate tablettes, or a selection of chocolate bonbons in the easily recognizable green-blue box, which has become a frequent addition to my chocolate checklist here in Paris.


Check out my video: A Visit to Patrick Roger.


Dalloyau
Locations across Paris

Joséphine Vannier
4, rue du Pas de la Mule
Tel: 01 44 54 03 09

Lenôtre
Locations across Paris

Patrick Roger
108, Boulevard St. Germain
Tel: 01 43 29 38 42

And you can read about my experiences ultimately working at Patrick Roger’s shop in my book, The Sweet Life in Paris.

8 comments

  • How does Patrick Roger compare to Richart?

  • Hi Amy:
    The chocolates at Richart are smaller, and the flavors are more exotic. Michel Richart is fond of using exotic spices and herbs, and likes to make tiny chocolates that are just one mouthful. His chocolates are very contemporary in design and he incorporates a wider spectrum of flavors. He has a new chocolate that has coconut in it, as part of a ‘tropicale’ collection, and it’s wonderful and his Caramel, Buerre, Salé, (aka: salted butter-caramels) are the best in Paris but they make quite a mess if you don’t pop the whole gooey thing into your mouth.

    Patrick Roger’s chocolates are more ‘his take on the classics’. He’s not re-defining anything, like Richart is, but he brings a modern edge to the classics and tinkering with flavorings (like pear-caramel, an update on another, the classic caramel.)

    When are you coming to Paris to have some?

  • Oh, how I wish there was a decent chocolate place in my town!

  • David, this is so beautiful and simple, yet I am hungry for them although I’ve not had breakfast yet! I have sent this link to a woman who is doing something quiet and wonderful with chocolate in Portland: Sahagun chocolates…

  • Oh my. It is 1/2 hour before I’m out of the office, and those chocolate photos almost knocked me over. Terrible that I’m nowhere near a quality purveyor. I love these updated classics, and the photos are absolutely mouth-watering!

  • David,

    Thought you might be interested in the latest medical use for chocolate:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051001101803.htm

    your pal,
    Chubby

  • My daughter who lives in Paris came home for a visit and brought Patrick Roger chocolates. They were the best I have ever had. Where can I get them here or can they be shipped?

  • is there anyone doing inventive cooking in Paris with chocolate? coming over soon and will be a chocolate-dervish for two weeks!
    Hillary Davis