During a recent trip to New York to celebrate the opening of Valrhona Chocolate’s newest school École Brooklyn, I found myself standing in a room full of the best pâtissiers, chocolatiers and authors revered in the world of chocolate. What I thought to myself? This must be a (sweet) dream.
What unfolded afterwards was a healthy and steady transformation of myself and many of my colleagues into full-blown “fan-girls”. (Note: I was one of the few women in attendance and the grown men were also reduced to “fan-girls”, stopping just short of squeals and fluttering lashes.)
If you’re thinking of picking up something sweet for Mother’s Day, try to get your hands on some goodies from these chocolatiers in Paris, because mom deserves nothing but the best. And don’t worry — we’ve included three of the best chocolatiers in Canada as well.
Patrick Roger – Known widely as one of the best chocolatiers in the world, Roger creates wonderfully balanced flavours and is known for being obsessive about quality. During a talk he gave at École Brooklyn, I was amazed to discover that he had bought his own almond grove to ensure the highest quality nuts and praline used in his creations.
Try this: Delhi, lemon basil, or Amazon, lime caramel. (Visit the online boutique here.)
Sadaharu Aoki – Combining Japanese flavours with flawless French technique, Aoki creates confections with surprising flavours like yuzu, matcha, sesame and bamboo. He decorates his whimsical chocolate line with bright, solid colours in rectangles like a palette and named them maquillage or “makeup”.
Try this: Genmaicha white chocolate tablette.
Jean Paul Hévin – With boutiques around the world, Hévin is known for his high-end chocolate creations. Not only are his chocolates absolutely stunning, his pastries are also notable. He’s known for a billowing cheesecake, which seems humble next to his other elaborate creations, but ethereal and tempting all the same.
Try this: Rocher au lait, and the florentines. (Visit the online boutique here.)
Jacques Genin – In case mom prefers caramel, this chocolatier makes one of the most enticing caramels in France, with a perfectly smooth texture and delightful flavours like Mango Passionfruit and Cassis.
Try this: Mango Passionfruit caramel, and salted caramel.
In case you need a few places closer to home:
SOMA Chocolatemaker – Toronto
Try this: Chocolate covered corn nuts
Beta 5 – Vancouver
Try this: “MEAT & BREAD” candy bars
Jacek Chocolate – Edmonton
Try this: Petite Bar Collection
Jackie Kai Ellis is the owner and baker of Beaucoup Bakery, CEO/co-founder of The Paris Tours, JKE, Bespoken, Recette and The Invisible Thread. To Learn more about her, follow her on Twitter @JackieKaiEllis.