Having originally been a chef and owning his own restaurant, he fell in love with chocolates and switched to the dark side. Prior to having his shop, he made chocolates for the best restaurants in Paris and the occasional foodie who knocked on his window. Finally, after so many years of hearing about him, I finally got to taste his chocolates. Even though we had spoken a year before at his old production studio, he declined my offer to buy a kilo of caramels and a kilo of chocolates. This is not a problem now!
10 Euros for a box of 9 chocolates from Jacques Genin seems a little cheap, compared to the prices charged by other ‘big names’. Packaged in a slick, modern-looking aluminum box with a minimalist design, you wonder if he makes any money at all. I would have gladly paid 15 Euros for this, considering it is Jacques Genin.
My first brush with Bernachon chocolates came several years ago in Melbourne, when the chocolate bug bit, and a copy of Bernachon’s ‘Passion for Chocolate’ arrived at the apartment. Names like Amandine Princess, L’Aveline and Le President stoked the fantasies of a nascent passion for chocolates.
Fast forward a few months and I found myself in Paris, with L’Etoile d’Or being the only shop in the world that can retail Bernachon chocolates, I made it the first destination to explore what Denise Acabo’s chocolate world was like. Let the Maison Bernachon taste experience begin!
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.