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chocolate

Chocolate Tales & La Maison du Chocolat book giveaway!

18 July 2017
La Maison du Chocolat 40th anniversary book

When I moved to Paris at age 21, I arrived with an imperfect and shamefully limited palate and pedestrian tastes. I was acutely aware of how much I would have to learn about food to feel connected to my new home. To my husband, it was as if I had been living out only a portion of life. How could I not intrinsically appreciate the diversity in cheese, produce, meat and fish? How could I have subsisted on two-to-three-max ingredient dishes for so long? I didn’t have very good answers at the time, except to say that I was finicky to a fault (and damnit, my parents didn’t push me hard enough!), but I was eager to let my adopted city, with its culinary legacy and population of erudite eaters, impart its many lessons on me. If there is a taste I developed and honed quickly, it was, unsurprisingly, for chocolate. Reared on Hershey’s, Reese’s (which still hold a nostalgic place in my heart) and all manner of artificial chocolate bar, it was a veritable sensory awakening when I was given my first piece of artisanal chocolate. I experienced earthy, red fruit and peppery notes that I didn’t think were […]…

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Creativity in Chocolate with La Maison du Chocolat

29 November 2016
La Maison du Chocolat Petrossian Collaboration

One of the chapters of my book that I found the most fascinating to research and write was the one dedicated to sweets, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise for those of you that have followed me over the years. Beyond the beauty of these creations, I was on a mission to understand more about the industry and its evolutions overall. Locals and visitors might have a passing knowledge of the ways in which pastry and chocolate have changed in recent years — perhaps they recognize new flavors or new forms or even more creative packaging — but what I learned is that the shifts run much deeper. One of the references in my research was Nicolas Cloiseau, a Meilleur Ouvrier de France in chocolate and the creative director of La Maison du Chocolat, his home for the last twenty years. What intrigues me about Cloiseau’s work is not only his perpetual task of reinvention and keeping classics “fresh” but how he tries to innovate without steering regular chocolate clients too far off course. He’s adventurous but just so. He’s also smart: he knows that it’s a gradual process to get chocolate lovers to take a break from their reliable favorites and […]…

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