Last week Jane and I got to meet the original queen of chocolate, Chantal Coady, who started Rococo Chocolates, her artisan chocolate store on the Kings Road way back in 1983, years before all the other chocolate-Johnny-come-latelys got in on the act. She and her husband James and their Prof-du-Choc Laurent Couchaux were awarded chocolatier of the year for 2011 and Chantal picked up a lifetime achievement award for services to chocolate after 25 years in the business.
Although we at TWR could claim to AT LEAST 25 years dedication to chocolate, we can’t argue with Chantal’s expertise with a quality chocolate bar. We love her artisan bars (our favourites are orange & geranium and organic cardamom) and while we chatted she insisted we try her new 82% pure cocoa bar from the Grenadian organic chocolate farm Rococo owns in partnership with the Grenada Chocolate Company, which was incredible. We also tasted blackcurrant and bergamot truffles and other wonderful things we forgot to write down the details of, due to a sort of cocoa-confusion that settled on us after about the fourth chocolate….All were wonderful.
I’m a big fan of the great windows you always see at the Kings Road store, until recently Chantal used to do these herself, she graduated in textile design, hence the beautiful packaging and creative touches. Since opening the Motcomb Street store the company has the room to offer chocolate making and tasting classes (they do lots with children and schools) which we like the sound of. There is a new cookery book out next year where Laurent and Chantal with explain how to master all aspects of chocolate making and cooking. Meanwhile, new products for this year include the cute cat and dog truffle boxes, you can either have all cat, all dog (truffle hound) or a mix of both, as above, which range from £14.50 to £27.50. We can see ourselves buying these for friends and then scoffing the lot ourselves.
This is Chantal, who says she hates having her photo taken, but we think this one is a good one, and the setting with the flowers from The Real Flower Company set her off nicely. Below is Laurent, or Prof-du-Choc as he is known, we can’t help but be impressed by his beautifully embroidered chef jacket and the way he has a quietly coordinating shirt tucked below it’s collar.