Behind the scenes of this Parisian palace is a magical place, bustling with creativity, Le Bristol Paris chocolate factory.
Here a brigade of world class chocolatiers are crafting artistic delicacies to celebrate the festive season, revealing the 2020 Yule Log and a limited edition gift box of handmade chocolates.
Under Paris’ gastronomic maestro, Eric Frechon, Le Bristol has dedicated itself to culinarycraftsmanship in every detail, with an artisanal flour mill, a bakery and now a chocolate atelier.
A chocolate wish
Le Bristol Paris has granted a Christmas wish to Pastry Chef Julien Alvarez,giving this world class chocolatier his own workshop. “I love the smell, thedelicate touch, the malleability of chocolate, it’s an incredible substance,” he eulogises.“To create 100% homemade, 100% artisanal, is in the DNA of this palace so I knew my dream would ultimately come true.”
The chocolate factory follows Le Bristol’s homage to natural bread; ancientwheats are transformed on site, from mill to oven, into glorious cushions of flavour. This rare bread opens the 3 Michelin star experience at Epicure,which now concludes with Alvarez’s handmade chocolates.
Father Christmas’ atelier
Push open the doors of our Palace Chocolate Atelier and step into a ‘Nutcracker’ fairy tale kingdom. The air is aromatic with exotic grands crus cocoa: Ecuadorian Jivara, Madagascan Manjari, Caribbean Bahibé, Madong, Jamaya, Macaé, each is a rich promise of indulgence. Piémont’s hazelnuts are magically transformed into praline giving crunch to delicious “mendiants”. Pillowy marshmallowhearts are wrapped in a velvet ganache. Waves of delicately sculpted chocolates flow over marble counters flavoured with spice, citron and roasted vanilla. Shelves are replenished by the hour with a patchwork of a thousand chocolate delicacies.
Every week a procession of confection weaves its way to the Michelin starred tables of Epicure and onwards to Café Antonia, Brasserie deluxe 114 Faubourg, Le Bar du Bristol and up to the Rooms and Suites. 3,000 chocolate candies and up to 60 kilograms of ganache join the parade of elaborate sculptures and sweet jewels.
Like a Christmas army of indulgence, the finest pâtissiers, bakers, and chocolatiers are bustling behind-the-scenes of this Parisian palace to prepare irresistible Christmastide revels.
A tale with two heroes
The story of Le Bristol’s chocolate factory features both Julien Alvarez and Johan Giacchetti.
“This is a tale about artisans”, says Julien Alvarez, “It is a dedication to indulgence, by two people obsessed with the perfect chocolate.”
Alvarez has been awarded World Pastry Champion and Giacchetti France Chocolate Champion (Coupe de France de la chocolaterie) at only 21 years of age. Later on, he participated in the World Chocolate Masters in 2014. Giacchetti is ‘a purist’ – Before both Chefs Julien Alvarez and Eric Frechon entrusted him with the keys to the chocolate factory, this confectionary virtuoso waspâtissier-chocolatier at Gérard Mulot and Chocolate Chef at Dalloyau.
A bespoke selection of handmade chocolates have been created for each restaurant and bar in the palace, and 25 edible jewels are available in Le Bristol Paris gift boxes, with a limited edition showcase for Christmas. The chocolates feature silken, seductive flavours such as dark couverture madong chocolate from Papua New Guinea, smoked tea and roasted vanilla, spicy honey or limeganache. “Each chocolate might be remade ten times before it is perfected for its place on the marble,” says the passionate Johann Giacchetti. “Cardamom and star-anise white chocolates are to die for with a coffee”, says a mesmerised Julien Alvarez.
Limited edition for the festive season, 25 chocolates
25 piece chocolate gift box from the ‘Atelier du Bristol’ collection