Patrice Chapon has lived a fascinating life. The Frenchman spent his early days in hot pursuit of a career in architecture, dreaming of constructing buildings not bars. Alas this was not to be, and he found himself at a loss as to what career to pursue.
Luckily for us, Chapon turned his attention to food, training as a chef. He attained a level of international renown that eventually led to his appointment as ice cream and sorbet maker to the Royal Court at Buckingham Palace.
As with many of our makers, his initial forays into chocolate were conducted in the dead of night, in the cellar of his family home. Chapon dedicated every spare moment he had to crafting fine chocolates, which he then sold to local Parisian confectioners.
While Chapon initially earned a reputation for crafting fine truffles and bon bons, he was not satisfied.
In 2010, Chapon set himself a new challenge. He wanted to craft his own chocolate directly from the bean. To him this meant more that just the best quality quality chocolate and a guarantee of the product’s sustainability (although both of these were important considerations).
More than anything, Chapon felt that for his creations to truly represent his own creativity and personality they had to be entirely his own.
These bars are exceptionally tricky to track down outside of his native France, so we are delighted to be able to welcome Chapon to Cocoa Runners today. Members of our Craft Chocolate Tasting Club have already enjoyed his 75% Ecuador bar, and today we’re introducing our edit of some of the finest bars of Chapon’s range.
The decadent flavours remind us more of a Dominican or Venezuelan bar. Wooded notes have been replaced by treacle and muscovado sugar. We also detected spiced molasses and a touch of liquorice on the finish.
This dark chocolate is made using rare cocoa beans from the Maranon valley of Peru. Patrice Chapon has crafted some spectacular and unexpected notes from these beans. This thin bar has a silky texture and a smooth melt that reveals striking flavours.
A lightly smoked aroma discernible throughout. As the bar develops, we discovered spicier hints and some dried fruits. These notes mixed with the smoke, creating an almost floral aroma.
The high cocoa butter means that the flavour is initially released slowly. As you let a small piece melt, notes of raisins and dried fruits are revealed. We detected a wooded notes mixed into the thickly textured bar.