Chocolatier Nicolas Cloiseau, chef and creative director of La Maison du Chocolat, has been named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. France’s minister of culture and communication, Audrey Azoulay, presented the prestigious award to Chef Cloiseau and seven other artisans from Comité Colbert companies at a ceremony held at the ministry on February 17, 2016.
Cloiseau, who joined La Maison du Chocolat as chocolatier in 1996, was appointed chef and creative director in 2012, taking over the helm from chocolatier-pâtissier Gilles Marchal.
The other award recipients are Monique Bailly, chief designer and seamstress for Haute Couture collections (Christian Dior Couture), Patrick Defacq, engraver (Ercuis), Hervé Deschamps, cellar master (Champagne Perrier-Jouët), Clément Leroy, chef (Restaurant Guy Savoy, Paris), Philippe Nicolas, gemstone engraver (Cartier), Fernand Pénichon, printer and painter on porcelain (Bernardaud) and Patrice Rock, master shoemaker (Berluti).
All of the artisans honoured have had exemplary careers in professions requiring a passion for their craft. Guided by the values of French luxury – high standards, quality, innovation and a duty to transmit knowledge – they are truly the “living treasures” of French luxury.
“These eight talented artisans help promote French culture and serve as role models that can inspire young people to follow in their footsteps,” said Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes, President and CEO of the Comité Colbert.
Founded in Paris in 1977 by legendary chocolatier Robert Linxe, luxury French chocolate shop La Maison du Chocolat has 19 chocolate stops in France and more than two dozen stores in countries around the world.
The Comité Colbert, created by Jean-Jacques Guerlain in 1954, aims to promote the French luxury industry in France and abroad. The association regroups 78 French luxury brands and 14 French cultural institutions.
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Photo: Julio Piatti © Comité Colbert