One of the latest artisan chocolatiers to open shop in Paris is Franck Kestener, who opened his chocolate shop near the Jardin du Luxembourg in the fall of 2010.
His flagship store in Sarreguemines (Moselle department) has been open since 2005.
Chef Kestener, described on his website as a “chocolate alchemist,” is known for his silky smooth ganaches and bonbons in flavours like fresh mint, lime, orange, roasted sunflower seeds and buttery tarte tatin.
His famous Atlantique is a thin crispy butter cookie and salted caramel covered in 66 per cent cacao Venezuelan chocolate.
One of Chef Kestener’s most popular pastries is his cannelé. These look like a regular cannelé — a small pastry with a thick caramelised crust and a soft custard center — but biting into one reveals a light and fluffy whipped chocolate marshmallow filling.
He also offers an assortment of macarons and marzipan (almond paste) confections.
Chef Kestener comes from a long line of boulangers-pâtissiers. He discovered his love for making sweet recipes as a child, and at age 16 began his apprenticeship in the family pâtisserie-confiserie in Sarreguemines.
He later did stints as a pastry chef for the French president in the Elysée Palace, as well as alongside master chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin and at La Maison du Chocolat.
Chef Kestener was awarded the distinction of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (M.O.F.) in 2003 after winning Le Grand Prix International du Chocolat.
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