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Interview With Patrick Roger, Paris Chocolate Maestro

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On Sourcing Ingredients...
Patrick Roger sources some ingredients, including honey and fresh herbs, from his own garden.

Patrick Roger sources some ingredients, including honey and fresh herbs, from his own garden.

©2010 Courtney Traub.

How do you source ingredients for the chocolate?

We source the chocolate from around 30 countries. The most important is how the plants are engineered. If you know how to cultivate the plant well, chances are (the final result) will be good. After the plants are cultivated and the pods are sorted, the important thing is the way it's dried, torrified, etc...how will it turn out by the time it gets to us? It's a little like love: every little thing you do has a consequence (on the final product).

What about the recent enthusiasm for organic chocolate? Do you think this is a worthwhile direction to go in?

Organic labels are not necessarily a gauge of quality. We do buy a lot of organic chocolate, but sometimes that doesn't mean much. Anyway, in the Ivory Coast, or Indonesia, for example, the farmworkers don't have the means to spray the plants, so they're (de facto) organic-- they just don't have the label. Other chocolate makers are certified organic, but they don't respect the process. In the end, it's a problem of consumer demand...these days consumers want everything labeled, graded and certified.

LAST: On New Flavors and Creations...

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