Results tagged chocolatier from David Lebovitz

Rigoletto Noir from La Maison du Chocolat

Pardon, Monsieur Linxe, but I disagree.

La Maison du Chocolat

At a recent tasting at La Maison du Chocolat, I sampled at least eight chocolates—not to mention passion fruit ganache, chocolat chaud, plus two of their newest summer flavors: melon and star anise.

It was a lot to get through, let me tell you. I normally avoid any hot chocolate that’s offered in those kinds of situations, because I find that’s the tummy-buster, the stuff that puts you over the edge. And when faced with a plate of such fine chocolates, I want to enjoy and savor every chocolate-dipped bite. A warm cup of silky-rich chocolat chaud alongside? That’s just dorer le lys. (Gilding the lily.)

My favorite chocolate at La Maison du Chocolat is Rigoletto Noir.

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Patric Chocolate

New chocolate-makers are springing up across America, in the most unlikeliest of places. Like Missouri.

Who’d a thunk it?

Patric Chocolate

Using good ‘ol American ingenuity, a little over a year ago, Alan McClure started grinding up beans and molding them into lithe bars of very dark, and very sleek, bittersweet chocolate.

His company, Patric chocolate, makes bars that are “micro-produced,” and he’s got two in his line-up, both using cacao from Madagascar.

When I asked Alan what attracted him to the cacao from that region, he said “Since the bars are made from cacao that come from one single estate, and since the family there has owned it for quite some time, they really have been able to exert an extremely high level of control on the quality and consistency of the fermentation and drying, which is actually quite rare in the cacao world.”

Alan proclaims that this isn’t pure “criollo” chocolate, a much-touted term for a varietal that almost all chocolate experts say no longer exists in its pure form. (Some chocolate-makers are claiming to the contrary.) Right now, the all the beans for Patric’s bars are from a plantation in the Sambirano Valley.

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The Pâtisseries of Paris: A Paris Pastry Guide

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There’s a nifty guidebook to the bakeries, chocolate shops, and tea salons, called The Pâtisseries of Paris. This handy little book is full of great addresses and tips, and is just small enough to slip in your shoulder bag when hitting the streets of Paris, should you come to Paris on a mission for sweets.

I was surprised at how in-depth this guide takes you. Naturally, the usual suspects, like Ladurée and Stohrer, are in there. And chocolatiers like Jean-Charles Rochoux and Patrick Roger are always a stop whenever I’m on the Left Bank, so I was happy to see the nods toward them.

There’s few places that aren’t quite worth the calories. Such as Au Panetier bakery, where the pastries don’t make up for the glorious art nouveau tilework, although it is gorgeous.

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Taza Chocolate

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I’ve been a little lax in my duties around here reporting on chocolate. In my defense, I’ve been sidetracked by bacon, seaweed, and kimchi. But man cannot live by chocolate alone.

Even in Paris.

Speaking of chocolate, when I was doing research for my chocolate book, it was challenging to find people to talk about what they do. I met with one representative from a big chocolate company who said he would only talk to me, and let me visit, if I only wrote about their company in the book. (Uh…sure!)

When I was writing my ice cream book, I called a gelato chain here in Paris, asking if I could come in and see how they make their ice cream to include them in the book. After much hemming and hawing, I never heard back.

It’s always after the book comes out, you become a popular fellow. I seem to be always behind the curve on these things.

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Exceptions Gourmandes-Philippe Conticini

Now that you’ve all seen everything I have in my kitchen, I thought I’d show you a place I just discovered this week not far from where all that pastry magic happens.

(And I’m sure a few of you remember where all the magic that doesn’t happen around here ends up.)

nougat

Someone chided me for having French Wine For Dummies on my bookshelf, but gave me a pass for having Rocco’s book. Hey, it was a gift from him.

What was I going to say?—No?

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Gerard Mulot in Paris

There’s a new face in the Marais: Gérard Mulot. Sure there’s lot of shoe shops, sunglass boutiques, and questionable “art” galleries in the Marais. But there’s a dearth of bakeries and pastry shops.

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So imagine my surprise and delight when one not-particularly-good bakery near me closed (the surprise part), then re-opened the other day as…Gérard Mulot! (the delight)

For those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about, Gérard Mulot is most famous for his Left Bank shop on the rue de Seine, where he turns out magnificent fruit tarts, from simple to architectural, buttery pastries which include a rich-rich-rich chocolate coconut fondant that’s barely finish-able (if that’s a word), and an impressive selection of hearth-baked breads for the appreciative crowds that are always oogling the pastries in the shop.

Pear-Caramel Macarons

(A few months ago I was fortunate to visit his workshop and watch his chocolatier make all sorts of things, as well as the rest of the staff, who demonstrated how they make their rather colorful macarons.)

His new shop is just one block from the places des Vosges, so if you’re exploring the Marais or the Bastille, you’re not far from pastry paradise.

And even better…now I am too!

Gérard Mulot
6, rue du Pas de la Mule (3rd), at rue des Tournelles (Map)
Tél: 01 42 78 52 17
Closed Monday

76 rue de Seine (6th)
Tél: 01 45 26 85 77
Closed Wednesday

93 rue de la Glacière (13th)
Tél: 01 45 81 39 09
Closed Monday

Theo Chocolate

People often say I’m the luckiest person in the world for the kind of life they perceive that I lead. But I’ve found some folks who’ve got me beat, hands-down.

I’m back from my book tour, which was exhilarating but made me a tad homesick. Although really, if one thinks about it, how many times can one visit Target in a month? And don’t even get me started on Walgreens…I mean, how much chapstick does a guy need? (Well, plenty, it seems…)

With my suitcases stuffed to the gills, my last weekend was spent in Seattle, Target-free, where I had lots and lots of good things to eat and drink, from sipping espresso with gal-pal Shauna, to get-together with a gaggle of food bloggers that was well-oiled by lots of good wine mixed with plates of the freshest food overlooking the water. There was time to catch up with new and old friends, unwind, and after a few glasses of wine, a bit of comparing notes was in order.
So watch it out there, readers!

On this last day, a chocolate tasting was planned at Theo Chocolate, one of a handful of excellent small-scale chocolate makers in the United States. From the moment I walked in the unassuming front door on North Phinney Avenue, I knew this was going to be a heckuva lot of fun for me and the guests who stopped by to say hi and sample.

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It was like a big party going on inside, with lots and lots of chocolate everywhere. I’ve never seen such happy, excited people. Now those people are living the sweet life. But can you blame them? Being surrounded by all this chocolate, I’d be the happiest fellow on the planet as well. And for one afternoon, I was.

As mentioned, Theo is one of the few chocolate-makers in the US, making chocolate from the beans to the bar. Using organic and Fair-Trade beans, batches of beans are roasted, ground, then shaped into tablets of chocolate, many of them ‘origin’ bars, highlighting the nuances of cacao beans from various parts of the world. But unlike some of the other chocolate-makers, they’ve got chocolatier Autumn Martin, who’s crafting some of the finest chocolate confections I’ve ever tasted in my life.

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Do you mind if I talk about the richest, purest flavors imaginable?

Okay, don’t mind if I do.
With just two-and-a-half years of chocolate-making under her belt, Autumn’s managed to hit just the right notes with every chocolate I tried.

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Who Is Josephine Vannier?

A blog is an online diary where you can write about what you see and what you eat. It’s a marvelous thing that you can use to share your culinary experiences for everyone to read.

The flip side of having a blog is that others can, and do, read it.

A while back I wrote something about a chocolate shop in the Marais that I once walked by with a friend, a very talented chocolatier from Brussels. He looked in the window and didn’t find the presentation all that enticing. So I wrote a few words about the place here on the site, a comment he made in passing, that wasn’t necessarily glowing nor was it desultory. (Either way, I’m off the hook. He said it, not me.) But it was enough to invoke an email from someone at the company about a year later. But it wasn’t signed by Joséphine Vannier.
Maybe it was a pseudonym for Her Divine Greatness! herself.

Chocolates from Josephine Vannier

I can’t find the message, but it went along the lines of, “David: Let us assure you that our chocolates are very fine and we invite you to come and try them.”

Or something to that effect. There was definitely an emphasis on the words ‘us’ or something about coming in for a ‘meeting’ that I recall rather distinctly

Seizing the opportunity, I responded, saying I’d love to come in and get shown around, hopefully by the elusive Joséphine herself, and to be properly introduced to her chocolates with her expert help.
Alas, a response was not forthcoming: I never heard back.

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