Last week I was invited to a wonderful chocolate tasting taking place at the French Senate in Paris. We were welcomed by the President of the Chocolate Club of Paris, Danielle Monteaux, a charming lady who shares her passion for chocolate with a few hundred privileged members of this prestigious club.
The club invited 4 of the most famous chocolate masters: Pierre Hermé, Jean-Paul Hévin, Michel Richart, Gérard Mulot. To be quite honest I had never tasted the creations of Pierre Hermé (I'm too lazy to stand in line for 1 hr outside to buy a piece of chocolate!). And my laziness was rewarded as I had a huge table where the best creations were offered for me to taste: the fabulous macaroons and the 90% chocolate bars. Well... disappointment: it's too fat and rich.
Let's move to Gérard Mulot who is also a baker, a traiteur and a pastry maker. His most interesting products are the chocolates filled with various flavors like ginger or orange. They're fine but not quite light enough for my taste.
Jean-Paul Hévin had a rather discreet and selective selection of chocolates. I tasted a fine milk chocolate with salted butter caramel. An original creation but also a little too rich.
Last stop but not the least, the chocolates of Michel Richart. They are wonderful! Very fine, very light, they're based on the best cocoa from Madagascar, Venezuala, Ecuador and Papouasia. They're divided in aromatic "families": balsamic, grilled, citrus, fruity, herbal, floral, spicy . They're packaged in elegant square white boxes and they're so good. I tasted the geranium and ylang ylang dark chocolate as well as a chocolate filled with a creamy salted caramel. There is just the perfect balance between the sugar, the flavor and the cocoa. Try them with a glass of older Maury and you'll be in heaven. If you want more details go to their site : http://richart-chocolates.com