If you have only 2 hours to spare for chocolates in Paris (That is a wasteful sin, by the way), make L’Etoile d’Or your one and only stop. Just a short walk from the Moulin Rouge (Metro Line 2 – Station Blanche), you will enter a world of some of the best chocolates you can ever find in France.
Meet the owner and veritable global food celebrity, Denise Acabo. She’s been in magazines in different languages and she has 2 Japanese assistants to cope with the flood of Japanese tourists. Besides being highly knowledgeable about chocolates, she stocks chocolates from the best chocolatiers in France (Wait, I said that already!). Basically, she sells what she herself only likes and she is such a character that she is the only person who sells Bernachon chocolates outside of Maison Bernachon in Lyon. This was also the reason I paid her a visit.
If you haven’t heard of Jacques Genin yet, don’t worry, you are not alone as he spent years and years as a reclusive chocolatier making little gems of deliciousness for the bigwigs of French cuisine. More comfortable out of the limelight in this celebrity-chef driven world, Jacques Genin probably aspires to perfection on his own terms, and this philosophy comes through in his chocolates and desserts. So, at great risk to personal health and financial well-being, I visited his new shop in Paris and tried some of his desserts. As you can read, its hard to be snarky and sarcastic when the experience was good!
Fear, excitement, trepidation, pertubation, consternation, anxiety…..the thesaurus lists so many ways of describing the feeling and fear. It felt like the first time meeting an online crush in real life. Had my years of infatuation with Clafoutis been in vain? It felt silly lusting after a sour cherry tart recreated so many times in the kitchen without having ever tasted the genuine article. Would those Boiron frozen sour cherries be the same in Singapore than in France?
Well, it was too late, its showtime and sink or swim now. I am now in front of Patisserie Gerard Mulot, famous for his Clafoutis, which is for me, a pastry middle finger to the world of fussily composed architectural showpieces with over-elaborate flavours and textures. Egg + Flour + Cream + Sour Cherry. It does not get simpler or better than this. Chef Mulot, you have no idea how long this moment has been in the waiting.