Who doesn’t love chocolate? This brown slab of calorie-laden goodness manages to make all things right. If you are like me, you can easily scoff down an entire bar in a sitting. But at Boutique Le Chocolat, chocolate is taken to a whole new level of seriousness.
Proudly a home-grown concept created by the MERAAS group of companies, Boutique Le Chocolat boasts of housing 28 of the world’s most premium chocolate brands, with 60 more to come. And if you thought chocolate can only be dark, milk and white, I have news for you… they have a total of 700 different chocolate flavors, all under one roof! But this massive variety is only half the treat. At Boutique Le Chocolat, they take the ’boutique’ element of chocolate-making to new extremes!
“Boutique Le Chocolat is not merely a shopping experience; it is a one-of-a-kind destination, where chocolate aficionados can indulge in a sweet haven that offers them a premium selection of the finest bonbons and bars with around 700 different flavors. It brings together the most extraordinary international chocolatiers under one mesmerising roof.” – Kareem Faisal, Chief Retail Officer at Meraas.
Boutique Le Chocolat is the first and only multi-brand retail experience based on chocolate. Inspired by the Paris Salon du Chocolat, yet reinvented and lifted to another level, the store celebrates chocolate in all its glory offering an exceptional platform for this truly unique ingredient.
At Boutique Le Chocolat, chocaholic dreams come true… after all, it is every chocolate lover’s dream to get to experience the best form of chocolate craftsmanship at the hands of the world’s renowned chocolate artisans.
Meraas has built relationships with the chocolatiers that you will find within the store today, including collaborations with chocolate luminaries such as Salon du Chocolat & Cacao Barry. Fueled by the interaction between chocolate, chocolatiers and chocolate lovers, Boutique Le Chocolat is a brand exclusively dedicated to the delights of chocolate and cocoa.
Walking around Boutique Le Chocolat is a visual feast. The chocolate sculptures created in-store are absolute works of art. Take this mannequin for example; from her accessories to her exquisitely detailed gown, everything is made of high-quality edible chocolate!
Fancy a new pair of shoes? Or a designer clutch? Now you can order yours in real chocolate!
And are these the latest shades by MAC? Even better… they are edible chocolate! Rouge a Levre is chocolate disguised as lipstick.
And just look at these 24 carat gold-leaf balls of luxury by De Lafee of Switzerland! A box of 2 will set you back AED 450. How much will an entire tray cost? You do the maths!
With over 700 varieties of chocolates, expect to find some unusually good treats here! Absolutely loved the bright green Matcha chocolate by Chocolat De H, Tokyo Japan.
At Boutique Le Chocolat, they have hand-picked the very besotted brands of chocolate from all over the world. With a chocolate boutique this fashion-forward, ofcourse they had to have a piece of Paris!
Chocolate Brands at Boutique Le Chocolat:
World class chocolate requires world class chocolatiers and Boutique Le Chocolat has them in abundance, hailing from Japan, Belgium, USA, Switzerland and France. Among them, Patrice Chapon, who began his career at Buckingham Palace, deLafèe, famous for its delicious chocolates adorned with edible gold and considered the world’s most expensive chocolate, the Guittard Chocolate Factory in San Francisco, established in 1868 and as sought after now as it was then, Chocolat originating in Aix-en-Provence, dedicated to an exclusive line of gourmet chocolates and the French House of Bernachon. All masters in their field and all dedicated to providing Dubai with the finest chocolate creations in the world.
Founded in the early 20th century by Gioacchino Alemagna in Milan and quickly becoming a chain of stores throughout Italy, traditional values remain undiminished to the present day. Artisan production in the laboratories of Cerro Maggiore, near Milan, combines quality, creativity and design.
In 1990, Cecilia Tessieri dedicated herself to producing the finest handmade chocolate. Her search for the perfect cocoa bean took her to far flung places until finally, in 1998, the first chocolate bearing the name Amedei became a reality.
Choc d H:
Tsujikuchi Hiroshi Akira is a 3rd generation chocolatier and award winning craftsman. Le Chocolat de H is an international top brand, embodying the scent and taste of cocoa with Japanese ingredients and a touch of omotenashi, the spirit of Japanese hospitality.
Jean Charles Rochoux:
From childhood his dream was to become a chocolatier, to create masterpieces out of ‘chocolate gold’. To this end he became apprenticed at Richelieu, Indre et Loire, then, inevitably, on to Paris to realise his dream crafting ‘chocolate gold’. After 10 years with Michel Chaudun, one of the foremost chocolatiers in Paris, he opened his own premises. With an unerring palate, Rochoux is bold and not afraid to use unusual ingredients such as pepper, basil and spices in some of his creations, ranging from the most popular boxes of chocolates to chocolate sculptures.
On the retirement of Michel Chaudun, Gilles Marchal became his obvious successor. The two men have known each other for 25 years and now as the keeper of priceless expertise and a wealth of closely guarded secrets in addition to his own vast experience and talents, Gilles Marchal will continue to nurture and develop Maison Chaudun. “The DNA is still there, all the cult classics are there and we will be broadening our expertise even further,” Marchal assures.
A native of Brittany and devoted to pastry and chocolate, he became apprenticed at 15 to the city of Brest’s finest pastry chef. Military service interrupted his dream but only briefly and he returned to Paris to work with luminaries such as Peltier, Dalloyau and Fauchon, spending 5 years at the latter. Since setting up shop in Montmartre, Paris, in 1997, he has opened several shops for his superb creations.
Maribel Lieberman is the founder of MarieBelle New York. Her passion for confectionery began early when as an eight-year-old, she was making and selling candies to the neighbourhood children. Her dedication to the finer things in life led to five years of running her own elegant catering company – Maribel’s Gourmet Cuisine. This in turn paved the way for her discovery of chocolate as a lifelong passion. She opened her MarieBelle New York’s Soho Shop in 2002. Since then she has added Cacao Market, Brooklyn, New York and two branches of her shops in Kyoto, Japan.
In 2004, a small chocolate factory opened in Hollywood. Armed only with determination and an amazing recipe for gourmet chocolate fudge, John and Kelly have turned John Kelly Chocolates into an award-winning brand sold in high-end department stores, hotels and niche shops. Aware of the demand for sophisticated chocolate that was delicious, unique and attractive, they work. now produce 17 variations on the original recipe as well as a wide range of chocolate products including chocolate dipped fruit, moulded chocolates, salted caramels and so much more.
Established in Paris in 1875, this chocolaterie quickly had the denizens of the belle époque flocking to its door. Such is the importance of the recipes, they are kept in a secret safe and jealously guarded to this day. Not without reason, as Du Rhone’s masterly crafted superb treats are known and sought after world-wide. Du Rhone offers connoisseurs a range essentially comprised of dark ‘amer noir’ chocolates, with a selection of lighter varieties or ‘claires’. Among the most famous of these are surely the ‘carre amer’, ‘coline’ and of course,’ mocca glace’.
Hugo & Victor:
Hugues Pouget, the founder of Hugo &Victor and master pastry chef, has a solid grounding with establishments such as the Carlton, Le Bristol Hotel and Guy Savoy. Within the latter’s group, his responsibilities extended to all of Guy Savoy’s Paris establishments. In 2007, he travelled extensively in Singapore, Shanghai and Brazil, learning, tasting and sampling, immersing himself in new exciting flavours, all part of the essential process before creating his own business.
For centuries, edible gold has been used in culinary creations for its aesthetic qualities around the world. DeLafee was one of the first chocolatiers to combine chocolate and gold in its very first luxury item. Founded in 2004 by Sebastien Jenneret and based in Switzerland, DeLafee has won international accolades for its delicious chocolates adorned in edible gold, including mention in the prestigious Forbes magazine.
Sadaharu Aoki, the founder of Aoki, graduated from Machida cookery school in Japan before arriving in Paris to join Jean Millets and Couderc’s restaurants in 1991. After a subsequent spell in Giradet’s, Switzerland, he returned to Paris in 1998 to open his first store. Soon he was making and delivering his pastries to designers such as Kenzo, Yohji Yamamoto, Chanel, Ungaro and Christian Dior during the Paris Collection. He also became the Director of the French office of the Federation of Japan Confectionary Associations. In 2005, he opened his first hugely successful boutique in Japan.
Henri Le Roux:
Son of the famous Louis Le Roux and surrounded by delicacies from an early age, it was no surprise when the young Henri set his sights on studying the chocolatier trade at the renowned COBA, Switzerland. In 1965, after a brief sojourn in Paris and then Tours, he returned to take over the family business until 1977, when he created his own chocolate factory in Quiberon. The genius of Henri Le Roux lies in his unequalled palate,combining the top quality cocoa beans with subtle garnishes to enhance the taste harmony of his unique creations. In 2003 the Guide de Croqueurs de Chocolat ranked him as the best chocolatier in France. He is a member of L’Academie Francaise du Chocolat et la Confiserie’.
Patrice Chapon worked at Buckingham Palace, making sweet treats and ice cream for the Royal family. With this experience, he returned to Paris to start an award-winning career making single origin chocolate and producing a wide range of ‘bon bons’. His methods are unconventional in using a low roast and short conche time. His chocolate is unique to his methods and always sublime.
Peter Beier is a recognised and honoured chocolatier educated in England, France, Belgium and Spain. In 1996, he founded his own company, Peter Beier Chocolate, producing chocolates of the very highest quality. His hand-crafted and award-winning chocolates are sold in his own stores at home and abroad.
One of Paris’s oldest confectioners, Maison Boissier was founded in 1827. Located today on Avenue Victor Hugo, its sterling reputation for fine confections has endured for almost two centuries. In 2000, the company was taken over by Sylvie Douce and Francois Jennet, founders of the Salon du Chocolat. Specialties include delicately scented wafer thin chocolate petals in milk, dark, white and pink chocolate and ‘bonbons boule’, a treat enjoyed by the great Victor Hugo himself in his day.
In 1982, Jacques Bellanger became Meilleur Ouvrier de France in the Pastry Confectioner category. His creations at the Beline chocolate factory in Le Mans were inspiring and it was only a matter of time before he branched out on his own. In 1998, he opened his charming and exclusive chocolate boutique for discerning customers.
Chocolatier Shunsuke Saegusa was born in Osaka in 1956 and opened his first patisserie there in 1990. His time at Berunashion, working closely with Maurice Berunashion, leading chocolatier in Lyons, undoubtedly influenced his desire to be the foremost chocolatier of his time. His own chocolate boutiques, ‘Chocolatier Palet D’Or’ in Osaka and Tokyo followed in 2004 and 2007 respectively. Dedicated to his art, he has held ‘bean to bar’ workshops and some of his recipes have been televised.
During the great California gold rush of the 1800s, Frenchman Etienne Guittard arrived there in the hope of finding the precious metal. Conversely, instead of him finding gold, the citizens of San Francisco discovered his own treasure; delicious chocolate he had brought with him all the way from his uncle’s factory in France. Already a skilled chocolate maker, Etienne established the Guittard Chocolate Factory in San Francisco in 1868. Truly a family-run business, the operation is under the executive direction of his great-grandson, Gary Guittard, along with other family members.
A trained engineer with a passion for gourmet food, Benoit’s career in the world of chocolate was inevitable. While working as a project manager for multinationals, he would secretly aspire to the glorious, decadent world of luxury chocolate. It became a reality when, in 2007, he converted an old garage behind his parents’ house into a workshop. In no time at all, demand for his opulent creations obliged him to relocate to larger, more suitable premises. Since then, he has opened stores in Brussels, Liege, Embourg and Awans. The famous ROB store in Brussels also stocks his delicious creations.
In London in 1983, a young woman dreamed of sharing her passion for chocolate. Chantal created her own magical emporium of luxury chocolate in the first Rococo Chocolates shop in Chelsea and continues to trade from the same site to this day. More than three decades later she has four shops and five books all dedicated to luxury chocolate. Her commitment to the world of chocolate culminated in her being awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2014. No other chocolatier has been recognised in this manner before.
The House of Bernachon is the most prestigious in the city of Lyon, France. Following the death of the founder, Jean Jacques in 1999, the dynasty is preserved under the guidance of his three children. Today, as in the past, cocoa beans mainly from Venezuela and Trinidad are subjected to rigorous standards to ensure perfection in the products.
After establishing his first shop in Nantes in 1997, Vincent became a member of the prestigious ‘Relais Desserts International, a body which brings together over 80 pastry chefs from around the world. For five consecutive years from 2008 to 2012, he received recognition from the Association de Croqueurs de Chocolat . The Guerlais team divide its time between the lab and the four boutiques in and around Nantes.
Z Chocolat was established by Jean-Philippe Khodara in Aix-en-Provence in 1999. Best French Confectioner and World Champion Chocolatier Pascal Caffet joined the team and together they invented a unique chocolate and 26 recipes using high-grade single-origin beans from Venezuela and Ivory Coast. Each creation is made in France by Caffet, with strict adherence to French tradition.
Opening his first store in Dijon in 1985, he has been awarded the accolade of ‘Best French Chocolate and Confectionary Artisan’. By 2013, the company had established four international stores.
For his collection of high-quality chocolate, Roberto Cavalli chooses La Molina, haute couture of handmade chocolate in Tuscany, an expression of creativity, taste and technical mastery.
Inspired by the excellence and style of the Italian fashion house, the master chocolatiers have created intriguing and unusual combinations, selecting only natural and fresh ingredients, respecting their seasonality and following the mission that has always characterized La Molina chocolate. From the sharing of values between the two maisons, is born a new gourmet sensuality.
How to Eat Chocolate Like a Pro:
At Boutique Le Chocolat, they taught us how to enjoy chocolate like real connoisseurs. No bar-scoffing here!
- When having a piece of exquisite chocolate. Break it in your hand. If it makes a sound, it is too cold. Allow it to soften.
- Place the piece on your tongue, close your mouth and let it melt all around the mouth. Refrain from using your teeth.
- The flavors will melt on the palate and speak to you in different tones. This will allow you to differentiate flavors and appreciate a really, really good piece of chocolate (and also make that box last so much longer!).
Boutique Le Chocolat Store Location & Details
Boutique Le Chocolat is located in Citywalk 2, Dubai. For more information on the brand and its offerings, visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram on @boutiquelechocolat