John-Charles Rochoux, Parisian Chocolatier

jean-charles rochoux and denise acabo paris chocolate shop

I’m fortunate to live in Paris, a city where there’s an unusually large amount of very good chocolate shops. With so many to choose from, it’s hard to whittle it down to just the few, most perfect ones. But I must. And one of them is John-Charles Rochoux. His jewel box of a shop is located just off the bustling rue de Rennes. It’s not just a refuge from the busy boulevard, but it’s an homage to all things chocolate.
jean-charles rochoux and denise acabo paris chocolate shop-2
At Jean-Charles Rochoux you’ll find lots of wonders of chocolate to keep you enchanted, including the amazing chocolate sculptures that Monsieur Rochoux creates in his workshop just beneath the tidy boutique. This kind of craftsmanship is rarely found anymore, even in a chocolate-obsessed city like Paris. And it’s hard not to be wowed at the sculptures made of pure chocolate, in whimsical shapes of all sorts and sizes.

jean-charles rochoux and denise acabo paris chocolate shop-4One particularly amusing one is of a man’s torso with six-pack abs. Of course, in France those are called “tablets of chocolate” and here, Monsieur Rochoux makes them out of actual chocolate. (What I wouldn’t give for the edible, and non-edible kind!) But I’m not complaining because there’s plenty of chocolate here to make me happy. Very, very happy.

jean-charles rochoux and denise acabo paris chocolate shop-5

His gianduja-enrobed almonds are made by taking a toasted almond and coating it with crackly caramel. Then they’re hand-dipped individually in thick chocolate and hazelnut paste before a final dip in dark milk chocolate. They come packed up in little sacks, as well as larger boxes, but the little baggies I find are easier for rifling through and snitching a couple out of on the métro ride home. Other treats to look out for are the tiny squares of chocolate truffles, each little cube melts perfectly in your mouth. They only last a couple of days, due to the fresh cream used to create them. So eat them fast!

When I recently brought some visitors into his shop, I insisted they try his housemade caramelized paste, which is one of the best things in Paris. Actually, it’s one of the best things in the world. I’m also crazy for his dark chocolate bar with caramelized hazelnuts inside, each bite a revelation of flavors, with the crunchy Italian nuts melding with the bittersweet chocolate, to create the perfect flavor combination. Of course, his regular chocolate are great as well. I often like to get a box to give as a gift – although I’ll sometimes just pick up one for myself.

John-Charles Rochoux
16, rue d’Assas (6th)
Tél: 01 42 84 29 45
Métro: St. Sulpice or Rennes

Related Links

My Paris Pastry App and Guide

Rochoux’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Paris Favorites

Never miss a post!


  • Judith in Umbria
    January 8, 2007 4:48am

    True love doesn’t need great abs, but I can tell you that simple knee lifts are more effective than crunches and sit ups because you can do many more of them without hurting yourself. And you can do them anywhere, which might just alter your experience in Paris by a huge increment.
    He is very cute, that one.

  • GuyDebordAimeLeChocolat
    January 8, 2007 5:12am

    I tried La Maison du Chocolat by myself, Michel Chaudun thanks to you, but so far I haven’t experienced chocolates as extraordinary as those of Pierre Hermé. What about you?

  • January 8, 2007 5:50am

    Oh dear, I can still taste those wonderful truffles from our visit, David! And now I’m feeling extremely guilty because those were my husband’s absolute favourites from the selection I brought home, too, and I didn’t get him any for Christmas.

    Thank heavens Valentine’s day is just around the corner!!

  • January 8, 2007 7:33am

    Thanks David, I’m going to have to find cash for an airfare to visit John-Charles Rochoux. There is nothing that I have seen in Melbourne that comes remotely close to those wonderfully cute sculptures. I’m jealous & your lucky living in Paris. Now I have to go find a chocolate fix….

  • January 8, 2007 9:15am

    The mere sight of Rochoux’s brown crocodile-embossed box tied with its satin ribbon makes my heart beat a little faster. The bonbons are divine and it’s a wonder to watch Madame as she carefully assembles each and every box to order.

  • Sil (Bs As)
    January 8, 2007 10:40am

    I’m not original, but I wish I were you… (in the chocolate-sense only =) )

  • January 8, 2007 1:38pm

    Ummm, we have one box of orangettes left Rochoux and I gaze at the bespoke ribbon from my last ballotin from there. I have to say,their boxes are the best and I have them all.

    Good thing I have a ticket and hotels booked for the last week in February.

    I also was going to blog this week about the fact you spend too much time in Paris patisseries when you are using pierre herme bags to line your wastebaskets.


  • January 8, 2007 2:03pm

    Wonderful blog, David. That sweet little rabbit is adorble!

  • barb
    January 8, 2007 10:28pm

    oh, my goodness, looking at those orangettes and hearing your description was a rapturous event … it’s not fair to tease like that!!!

    but on a serious note, david, i would be interested in hearing your opinion on belgian chocolate as well. i got to sample some from neuhaus only on my last trip.

    btw there is an awesome handmade confectioners shop called LA CURE GOURMANDE, in the lower town, which makes heavenly caramels and nougat … i’m sorry to say that i selfishly haven’t shared what i brought back, as much as i intended :@( …

    and that recipe for the lemon buttermilk sherbet sounds divine…thanks!

  • barb
    January 8, 2007 10:38pm

    oh my goodness, seeing those orangettes and hearing your description was a (gasp) rapturous (sigh) event…it’s not fair to tease like that!

    but seriously david, i would be curious to hear your opinions on belgian chocolates as well…i was only able to experience the neuhaus variety, which i thought was good … but somehow i remember some years back someone bringing some truffles back which were absolutely org@$mic… so i’m thinking there’s more to explore.

    btw there is an awesome handmade confectioners shop (in brussels) called LA CURE GOURMANDE in the lower town, which has divine caramels and nougats.

    thanks so much for the lemon buttermilk sherbet recipe, and good luck with your book!

  • barb
    January 8, 2007 10:41pm

    thought that first one got lost lol!

  • petra
    January 9, 2007 1:25am

    Hi D.
    Happy 007. I write to thank you for your inspiring newsletter. After reading it I made the Lemon Buttermilk Sherbert AND the Dulce de Leche Brownies….what can I say, my guests were beside themselves and 4 days later my evenings are still ending in lemon chocolaty bliss.
    Who needs James Bond?
    I look forward to this sweet year with you!

  • January 9, 2007 4:08am

    Barb: I actually am working on a post for this chocolate-filled month about Belgian chocolate(s). Stay tuned…

    Petra: Who needs Daniel Craig? Well, if you don’t I know a few folks who do!

    (Glad you like the sherbet & brownies, although obviously he doesn’t eat any of those things. So he’s not perfect.)

    Doug: Madame is Murielle! Next time you go in, tell her I said hi for me (and watch they way she slips on that silky, black-lace glove!)

    Paul: I wish it was luck that I got to live here…you should see me Visa paperwork, aka le doissier! I have another appointment at the Préfécture later this month since since my last 3 visits, they were unable to finish the paperwork and I need to go back for some unspecified reason.

    Luckily it coincides with when I need to begin the renewal process for next year’s renewal…

    (PS: I hear Melbourne has some terrific food…maybe we can do an exchange!)

    GuyAimeChocolat: I haven’t tried Pierre Hermé’s chocolates in years, since it’s almost impossible to shop in the rue Bonaparte shop with the crowds (I guess I could go to rue Vaugirard…) But I do remember liking them very much & they’re all make right downstairs, which I got to see once.

  • GuyDebordAimeLeChocolat
    January 9, 2007 6:25am

    Lucky you David, you have seen all the most wonderful secret places of Paris that smell of chocolate!
    I tasted Pierre Hermé’s chocolates by chance around christmas 2005 when in line rue Bonaparte; Pierre Hermé had been kind enough to hire waitresses to give us chocolates while we were in the longest waiting line I had ever seen in front of his tiny shop. He did the same on new year’s eve. I had never thought of buying his chocolates, and in the end I had the best chocolates of my life for free while freezing on the pavement. Now I think he is the most under-estimated chocolatier in Paris.

  • January 9, 2007 10:18am

    you ARE fortunate. i’ve found one good one here in naples (although david may be able to help me with that one) and my island of ischia has none.


  • January 9, 2007 10:42pm

    I have been enjoying your blog for a while now and it always makes me miss Paris. Congratulations on your nomination for the best food blog and best wishes for a very good 2007.

  • January 10, 2007 12:06pm

    This post is definitely one of my favorites. You are at your absolute best here–both in writing and physical form. Love it. Love you. Love all that sculpted chocolate!

  • January 10, 2007 7:30pm

    I found your blog while searching google for “chocolate torsos.” THank you so much for aiding me in my search. Love the blog, love you. Will be back often. Please post more chocolate torso photos too…they are divine.

    Big wink and lots of kisses,