From Chef to Chocolatier
Andy Lynes - February 10th, 2014
Paul A. Young is Britain's leading chocolatier, with a list of accolades from the Academy of Chocolate and the International Chocolate Awards as long as your arm. A former head pasty chef for Marco Pierre White, he's a familiar face in the U.K. from his regular appearances on television, while his book Adventures in Chocolate won the World's Best Chocolate book award at the 2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
But Young's greatest achievement is simply making stunningly delicious all-natural chocolates. We interrupted his busy production schedule in the basement kitchen of his Soho store, one of three in the city, to record our video interview. Young is a hands-on artisan, with all his creations, including his famous and award-winning sea salted caramel–filled chocolate, made by hand in small batches.
"My style is quite unique, and it did shake up the industry in the U.K. when we started, because we were the first to make chocolates without any machinery or preservatives, artificial flavors, or stabilizers—absolutely stripped back," explained Young. "We were told we wouldn't be able to do it, that there would be too much waste and we wouldn't get the shelf life, but we've proved them wrong."
Although Young is busy year-round introducing new collections on a monthly basis, two big dates in his diary are looming large. His Valentine's Day range this year includes a Valentine’s bombe, a dark chocolate dome filled with raspberry, rose, and black raspberry liqueur ganache and decorated with a chocolate heart.
In previous years, Young's Easter specialties have included an egg containing lingerie from Agent Provocateur, but for 2014, one of the highlights will be The Golden Egg—a smooth milk chocolate egg filled with a Champagne ganache, decorated in gold leaf, and served with an egg cup and spoon.
Recipes from Paul A. Young:
• Chocolate/Almond Tortellini with Blood Oranges & Pine Nuts
• Hot Chocolate & Basil Fondants