Chocolate Purveyors 10- Patrice Chapon
Chocolate Purveyors is a blog series where we connect and discuss everything chocolate with both makers and enthusiasts. This discussion is with Patrice Chapon the founder of Chocolat Chapon.
Before becoming his own chocolatier, he worked various culinary jobs. One of Patrice's early culinary jobs was as an official ice cream maker for Buckingham Palace, where he satisfied the British royal family’s sweet tooth with his fresh fruit sorbets and ice cream. In London, Patrice found his true calling, chocolate. He fell in love with chocolate displays at Harrod's department store. When he returned to France in 1985, he began making chocolates in his workshop. Fast forward to the present day and his chocolates have won numerous awards, Chapon now has six stores, five in France and one in Japan.
Do you remember your first experience with real chocolate? What was it?
In apprenticeship at 14, I dipped orangettes in chocolate and I adored the smell of chocolate.
What fascinated you about the Chocolate at Harrod's Department store, was this your start in chocolate?
When I found myself in the Harrods food hall, I was fascinated by so much food and movement from the customers. In front of the showcase of cakes and chocolates, people were amazed and seduced by so many products.
I loved these people's love for chocolate. From there I wanted to make chocolate.
What chocolate are you eating from other makers these days?
Different dark chocolate bars of different origin and single-origin.
How do you select the cacao to work with?
A good cocoa is a cocoa that is well maintained by the planter. The planter must not have a huge plantation. A bean must be clear and well cracked.
What makes Chapon Chocolate special?
I only work with pure origins only.
If you could only eat one chocolate bar for the rest of your life, what bar would it be?
A chocolate bar with porcelain bean from Venezuela.
You personally visit cacao plantations, what is the feeling when you are at one?
It's fantastic, smells like grapes. With its smells of wet tree stumps, lichen and the sound of dried leaves on the ground.
What can someone experience visiting one of your chocolate shops?
The customer experience in a Chapon shop is to live a moment when cocoa is offered as a raw material. To taste the different provenances. As an oenologist, help customers to discover the differences in fragrance. Experience cocoa that is placed in the palate and that releases several flavors.
For someone trying Chocolate, what chocolate would you give them to try?
100% Venezuela, afterwards Pérou 75%, Tanzanie 75%, and Chuao 75%.
What does the future hold for Chapon Chocolates?
Develop the chocolate mousse bar I started 10 years ago.
We want to thank Patrice for taking the time to participate in our interview.
To get started with craft chocolate, start with our Kekao Box. We search the world for the finest chocolate bars and bring them right to your doorstep monthly. From rich dark Peruvian chocolate bars to new start-up chocolate bars on the come up, you never know what you'll get inside the box! Each month we will curate 4 to 5 premium specialty crafted chocolate bars.
If you want to just try a couple of bars, check out our online chocolate store.
If you have any questions regarding this blog, our Kekao Box, or premium specialty crafted chocolate bars, feel free to contact us! Keep up with us by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.