ph Filip Meutermans
Simon Stevinplein 19
The first time we met him was in 2010, during the culinary congress of the Flemish Primitives in his hometown, Bruges (or Brugge, as the Flemish call it). The room was crowded and the audience panicked when the chocolatier threatened to make some giant bubbles of Guinea cocoa that were dancing in the air fall to the ground. Soon after that, he welcomed us in his studio, on top of his Chocolate Line boutique, opened in 1992: with a tiny machine he gave us a “dose” of Dominica cocoa powder with ginger and mint. This same luck had happened a few months before to the Rolling Stones: Ron Woods and Charlie Watts had asked this young man to celebrate in a “different” way the band’s anniversary.
Dominique Persoone therefore totally deserves the nickname of shock-o-latier of which he is the proud holder: he’s a chocolate rock-star. One who, if necessary, puts on a show. Like when he designed a dress made of chocolate for Miss Belgium. But he does so because he can put forward an immense, two-decade knowledge of the subject, blossomed on the day he got on board a train to Paris, in search of the perfect pain au chocolat. He returned, however, with a different enlightenment: «Why do artisans from Bruges only create the classic gift-boxes for grannies?». His waywardness was reinforced by frequent visits to Mexico, on the road of cocoa (that is to say the Chocolate Line), from which he based his best-seller “The Roots of Chocolate” and countless ideas in continuous evolution.
The result is the creation of an extremely large universe, in which the different varieties of cocoa shake inside ganache, pralines and truffles and fight to obtain a textural and taste balance with ingredients that only on the surface are antithetical and extreme such as bacon, cauliflower or vodka. Experiments which have deserved him a stable place in the creative think tank of the Fat Duck (James Petrie is his brother) and the praise of all the chefs to whom he bestows his marvels: Renè Redzepi, Sergio Herman, Peter Goossens…
Born in 1968, he learnt the basics in the Ter Groene Poorte catering school in Bruges. In 1992, he opened Chocolate Line in the same town, followed by a second establishment in 2010 in Antwerp. His book "Cocoa, the roots of chocolate" was voted best 2009 book by the Gourmand Cookbook Awards.
born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes.
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