Alain Ducasse has thrown his chef’s hat into the increasingly saturated Parisian chocolate scene with a bean-to-chocolate store that will open this week.
Set in the heart of Bastille inside what was formerly a garage, Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse is the culmination of a 30-year-old dream for the Michelin-starred chef who put chocolatier Nicholas Berger in charge of the boutique.
The premise? A bean-to-bar chocolate shop, where cacao beans will be roasted on-site before being melted, tempered and handcrafted into bonbons, bars, pralines and ganaches.
Cacao beans are sourced from countries as diverse as Madagascar, Peru, Trinidad, Venezuela, and Vietnam, while ganaches and bonbons are flavored with everything from lime, blackcurrant, mint, prune-Armagnac, coconut-passion fruit, vanilla, coffee and lemon-tea.
Other ingredients used include peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and dried fruit such as orange, ginger and raisins.
Concrete, exposed brick walls, and vintage antique shop finds such as steel gates which once guarded the former Bank of France lend the space an industrial feel, in tandem with the boutique’s bean-to-bar concept.
Meanwhile, Ducasse opens his chocolate boutique a few months after luxury tea house Ladurée threw open the doors to their first shop dedicated to chocolate. In similar vein to their tea shops, Les Marquis de Ladurée is likewise an 18th-century-inspired boutique that sells everything from rum, violet, rose, black tea and sesame chocolates.
Ducasse’s newest boutique sweetens the already saturated chocolate scene in Paris, where top chocolatiers include Debauve & Gallais, Jacques Génin, Michel Cluizel, and Jean-Paul Hévin inspire pilgrimages among local and visiting chocolate gourmands alike.
Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse opens in Paris February 20.