Whisky Magazine Issue 104
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William Curley is officially Britain's Best Chocolatier, having been given the prestigious accolade four years running by the Academy Of Chocolate, for his innovative approach to flavour. Neil Ridley meets the real life Willie Wonka to discuss the well trodden pairing of whisky and chocolate
As I arrive at the door of the Belgravia chocolaterie & coffee bar, I am suddenly struck with a series of memories from my school days, in particular a meeting with the resident careers advisor, who tried to persuade me that there was no such thing as a job in a chocolate shop. One thing's for sure, I'm certain that should the same careers advisor have met William Curley, the proprietor of this wonderful emporium of flavour he would have certainly resigned, with his overofficious tail well and truly between his legs. Curley is a fanatic when it comes to the precise and often increasingly imaginative recipes that he uses in his chocolates, often fusing together flavours from as far a field as East Asia to the Scottish Highlands. Brought up in Fife, William's career in chocolate began with an apprenticeship at Gleneagles, followed by six years at numerous Michelin-starred establishments, working with respected chefs including Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons and Marco Pierre White at The Restaurant.
Curley's wife and business partner Suzue is an accomplished Japanese patissier and together they have represented Scotland at several international culinary events, winning Gold at the Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2004, prior to opening their first boutique. All this and William still found time last year to create the ‘ultimate Jaffa cake', instantly sparking a huge buzz about the ‘Curley way' of doing things. His most recent ...