French chef and Michelin golden boy, Alain Ducasse, has announced that an outpost of his Parisian-based chocolate brand, Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse (The Chocolate Alain Ducasse), will open a permanent retail space in Coal Drops Yard, the new King‘s Cross development, which is scheduled to open in October this year.
The product, which is created and manufactured in Paris, by Ducasse’s “trusted artisan” chocolatier Nicolas Berger, will have its first designated UK presence at the new big-money Heatherwick Studio-designed development. As well as chocolate bars, the shop will sell single-origin and flavoured ganaches, and pralinés “à l’ancienne” (traditional) — goods which are all made at 40 rue de la Roquette, in Paris.
“Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse is born from the desire to return to the source, the very essence of what chocolate is made of: precise, meticulous and creative work, a craft that works with bespoke machinery and a drawn out process,” today’s announcement says.
“Passionate about the quest for the essential...cocoa beans [are selected] from around the world based on their purity as much as on their personality,” apparently.
Ducasse himself — not so much chef in this venture, but "artistic director” — is charged with ”defining flavours,” while Berger ”adjusts, adapts, and then works some more, each day, with expertise and ingenuity.”
The most notable food offering so far announced at Coal Drops Yard is the Harts Brothers‘ Barrafina, Casa Pastor and wine bar The Drop. But Le Chocolat will be joining an expanding line-up of other retailers, too. Designers Paul Smith, Tom Dixon (and maybe Pastaio’s chef-restaurateur Stevie Parle?), Cubitts glasses, and fashion brand Universal Works, among others, have all been confirmed.
Ducasse is one of the most famous chefs in the world, coming behind only Joël Robuchon in the all-time Michelin star stakes. To Robuchon’s 31, Ducasse has 21, but is the only chef to have ever held three Michelin stars in three different cities at the same time.