Alert to lovers of good chocolate, Jade Genin has opened her first boutique in Paris named after her. The chocolate store is located on the mythical Avenue de l’Opéra, a few steps away from the Opéra Garnier and literally next door to Cédric Grolet’s Pâtisserie-Tea Room. White and gold await you in this place inspired by the Taj Mahal and ice skating, two of Jade’s passions.
The boutique also houses a chocolate production atelier that is open and glazed to the view of visitors and passers by on the busy Danielle Casanova street and allows the curious to follow behind the scenes of production.
The apple never falls far from the tree
Jade Genin, has always been immersed in the world of chocolate thanks to her father, Jacques Genin, considered a genius of flavors and one of the best chocolatiers in the world. She says that every wednesday, after school, she went to the chocolate factory.
She went celebrate her birthdays in this enchanted universe. “As a child, I used to paint chocolate with my friends, play with glucose… Everything interested me! For me, chocolate is not a material like any other. When I work with chocolate, I have no sense of the passage of time anymore. I forget everything, fears or regrets, appearances or futilities… I abandon myself to it.”
Skating, Law and finally Chocolate
As a teenager, figure skating was Jade Genin’s passion. She belonged to a professional group until her first year of university. In college, it was law that caught her attention – “Chocolate was totally integrated into my family’s universe, but I didn’t think of it as a job.” She then took the bar exam in 2014, a course that “structured her head,” and joined a law firm for a very well-paid job.
But in 2019 she decided to go back to her roots and join her father’s company. “My father passed on to me the value of work and the love of the product. But I wanted to add my own identity to that.”
Pyramids full of flavour
In her boutique, the chef has her own signature: chocolates shaped like pyramids with colored faces. Each color is a different flavor and the final visual result is quite interesting both regular and chic, and although small and made to be eaten whole in one mouthful, the aromas and flavors are intense. It is in these little pyramidal gems that the chef expresses her creativity. Special mention to the lemon and black sesame ones.
Of course, like her father, the emphasis is on quality. The chocolate comes from a Fair Trade supplier in Honduras where she buys directly with no middlemen. The dyes are all natural. And additives, preservatives, artificial flavorings and flavor enhancers are absolutely forbidden in her production.
Below is the interview that Jade gave to Gastronomos when we visited her boutique
What inspired you to become a chocolatier, and how did you get started in the field?
Jade Genin: My Dad did. He is a renowned French chef and opened his chocolate factory when I was 4. I was always immersed in the chocolate. It’s in my blood.
I did a law school in Paris (La Sorbonne) and after passing the bar exam, I worked 2 years as a lawyer. I realized I was missing chocolate so much, I had to go back at it. I started working with my dad in 2018. In 2022, I opened my own chocolate shop with the atelier right behind.
How do you source your chocolate, and what factors do you consider when selecting your ingredients?
Jade Genin: Sourcing is one of the most important parts of the job. Nothing good ever comes from bad products.
I only work from raw and fresh products: no aroma, no preservatives, no essential oils, no additives…it’s the same for the cacao beans and chocolate I work with. I work with a farmer located in Honduras who transform the cacao beans with no aromas and no white sugar…just as I want!
Can you describe your process for making chocolate confections, and what sets your products apart from others on the market?
Jade Genin:: At my atelier, it all starts with painting. Each of our chocolates are hand painted using natural color pigments. Our chocolate candies are filled with creamy or crunchy textures. Our main uniqueness is the flavor associations we propose: chamomilla and hazelnut, fennel seed and almond, jasmine, coriander and basil…
Also, I do not use milk, cream or butter in my chocolates: I think they are not necessary when it comes to chocolate.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in chocolate making, and what resources do you find most helpful?
We are a handicraft production. Our main tool is our hands. We do not use the latest technologies and that is the way I want to work.
What is your favorite type of chocolate to work with, and why?
It really depends on what I want to create and to pass. Sometimes you will be looking for something creamy and rich, sometimes for something neutral or for something acid and sharp. I love all chocolates if the quality of the used ingredients is there.
How do you balance creativity with practical considerations, such as cost and production efficiency?
I try not to think about costs as long as the raw materials are concerned. If you want to cut costs on these, the quality will suffer. If you want excellent chocolates, you must use excellent products. You cannot be in a cost killing logic.
This being said, we are very careful with waste: nearly nothing is thrown away. To the possible extent, we use everything. Our waste productions is 3 bins à weeks…. which is very low for a food professional.
How do you ensure that your products are consistently high-quality, and what quality control measures do you have in place?
Two ways. First, tasting. You must taste everything as much as possible.
Then, training. You must train the people with whom you are working. Showing them how little details will make the difference in the end.
Can you describe your favorite chocolate creation that you’ve ever made, and what made it so special?
The latest creation is always the favorite. I am also attached to my first creation: Jasmine praline; it was the first chocolate I entirely conceived while I was working with my dad.
Can you share any exciting upcoming projects or new products that you’re working on?
I opened my atelier and shop in November 2022. So, I’m 100% focused on it! It’s the beginning of the adventure.
33, avenue de l’Opéra, Paris 2e. Open Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 7pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 7.30pm. Chocolate box: from €15 for 15 pieces.
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