Getting to Know Patrick Roger
You probably haven’t heard of Patrick Roger, but you may have seen one of his life-size chocolate sculptures. Honored as one of the best chocolate makers in France, Patrick Roger is known for his signature Tiffany-blue colored boutiques, decorated with towering sculptures of apes and human faces made entirely out of chocolate.
Known as the ‘bad-boy’ of chocolate, Roger is a bit of a loner- on the day we met him, his workshop was practically empty, but he was planning on spending the day there, puttering around in his vegetable patch and developing new flavors. He also has a reading room, stocked with a myriad of modern and ancient cookbooks.
But how did he become famous? Getting named ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’ (Best French Artisan) helps, but he’s also famous for the extremely high-quality ingredients that he uses in his chocolates. The flavors that he creates remain relatively classic, not straying too far into the realm of odd or surprising combinations like some of his peers do. His emphasis is on sourcing the finest cocoa beans, spices, fruits and nuts that he can find.
If you’re looking for some real French chocolate to taste, then you should definitely try to get your hands on some of Roger’s chocolates. The ones with Sicilian pistachio are to die for, as are his single source cacao bean bars. And if you ever walk by one of his boutiques, be sure to take a moment to admire the enormous chocolate sculptures in the window. Because Roger is, first and foremost, an artist.
11 Things You Should Know About Patrick Roger:
- He consumes 1 pound of chocolate per day. That’s almost 400 pounds per year!
- He loathes bell peppers and cucumbers. And he refuses to eat raw seafood, like oysters or sushi.
- In his free time he flies helicopters and races motorcycles.
- His top tip for home cooks who want to work with chocolate: use the microwave to melt chocolate when it needs to be tempered, and never add water to it.
- ‘Macaron King’ Pierre Herme loves his nougat
- 3-Michelin starred chef Guy Savoy is addicted to his Trinidad chocolate bars
- When cooking for himself, he likes to slow-cook things. He loves simple stews like beef with carrots
- For breakfast he has bread (lots and lots of it!) with butter and jam
- The future of artisans like himself seems bleak to him; he’s worried that his craft is dying out
- Despite being a total chocoholic, he doesn’t like chocolate when it’s used in desserts. He’d rather eat it pure.
- He loves coffee but can’t stand the way it smells!
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