Gerard Coleman, founder of Artisan du Chocolat, talks about his passion, "When I was in my early 20s, I decided to retrain as a chocolatier and I haven't looked back since. My love affair with chocolate is all consuming."
Our Interview with Gerard Coleman
What motivated you to open a chocolate business?
I am a chef by training. After spending several years as a chef and pastry chef in Ireland, the UK, France and the U.S., I felt increasingly frustrated by how little chocolate is used in kitchens – mostly due to lack of space, smell and humidity. The problem is that most kitchens in restaurants are too hot, too small, too humid and the chocolate/pastry section is in between other areas where strong smelling food is being prepared! Far from ideal.
Did you have any formal training in chocolate making?
I trained with Pierre Marcolini before moving back to the UK and starting Artisan du Chocolat.
Where do you get your inspiration for the different flavors and textures you include in your chocolates?
We get inspiration from nothing and everything. Often we find that it is cooperation with customers, suppliers or other artisans that really inspire us and push our boundaries. We don’t have a commercial way of developing new products. We essentially follow the things that inspire us and use our own taste as a reference point.
If you had to describe your product line in a couple of sentences, what would that be?
Creative, consistent and personal. We don’t copy others or aim for a formula. Our product range reflects our own interest and sensibility. We like to produce chocolates that you can't find elsewhere and strive to be innovative, quirky. We use technology to help develop products that are not easy to copy as it seems these days everyone copies everyone else – from tiny shop owners to big buyers. That is a shame as the whole point of having one's own business is freedom to create.
What is your personal favorite out of all the products you make and why?
This is like asking to choose between children. Our liquid salted caramels are by far our best-sellers and have generated a salted caramel trend still raging in the UK. I am usually more excited by the latest products I am working on as they are closer to my heart, so at the moment it is the Christmas collection.
89 Lower Sloane Street
London, SW1W 8DA
+44 (0)845 270 6996 (Option 3)
400 Oxford street
Tel 01233 505 170 (Option 4)
236 West End Lane
London NW6 1LG
Tel 01233 505 170 (Option 3)
8 Southwark St
London SE1 1TL
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