During my stay in London, I visited Paul A Young Fine Chocolates in Soho.
Paul Young is a London based chocolatier who worked in the restaurant ranks under Marco Pierre White (White is a celebrity chef in London, godfather of contemporary international cuisine, and earned many Michelin stars) at Quo Vadis and Criterion as head pastry chef prior to him opening his chocolate shops. Paul opened his first shop in 2006 on Camden Passage in Islington with his business partner James Cronin and won a series of awards ever since. He’s made TV appearances and wrote a book a few years ago, Adventures with Chocolate.
He and his team creates the most creative chocolates I have ever eaten. (And I have eaten many chocolates in my lifetime.) All of their chocolates are made in small batches and uses the finest chocolate and ingredients to create the best chocolates and baked goods. He puts the chocolate in the forefront but have unique flavor pairings that shine through and yet everything tastes balanced.
If you ever try the Champagne truffle, it’s made of two ingredients Champagne and milk chocolate, and it blew my mind how intense and pure the flavors were. You get the dry fruitiness of the Champagne and have the milk chocolate creeping in a few seconds later and then it combines to a harmonious symphony. It’s insanely good. Some of his chocolates are inspired by everyday British food like marmite (it’s actually an excellent truffle even local Londoners don’t like marmite from the jar but adore this chocolate) and banoffee.
Chatting with the dapperly dressed Paul while he was at his shop, he cares a lot about what he creates and sells in his shops. He passionately speaks about creativity and believes that it shouldn’t be forced all the time. He gets inspired from the simple everyday ingredients and desserts (Champagne, Battenburg cake, hazelnut praline, etc.) to obscure flavor pairings like tobacco and rose. He and his team even creates chocolates that are gluten-free and vegan friendly but it wasn’t intentional and he has no intention of marketing it as so.
Before I left his shop, I was honored to be gifted with the orgasm-inducing 16-piece chocolate assortment (he let me choose whatever I wanted), the decadent Hot Cross brownie, and signed my copy of his book, Adventures with Chocolate. The chocolates are amazing and I never tasted and experienced chocolate like this before until his chocolates – intense flavors but the chocolate is never forgotten.
The hot cross bun brownie is practically pure dark chocolate fudge with sweet spice and currant accenting the entire concoction. A fourth of this brownie completely satisfied my sweet tooth and normally I would easily polish an entire square.
If and when Paul does open a shop in Brooklyn (he did tell me this when we chatted), I will definitely be his one of his regulars. His chocolates and baked goods are truly one of a kind and absolutely delicious.
To view more photos of this visit, you may view the album HERE or the gallery below:
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Paul A Young Fine Chocolates
Visited the Soho location:
143 Wardour Street
London, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 20 7437 0011