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Gastronomy | Q&A with Thierry Atlan, the only Best Craftsman of France for chocolate in the USA

Gastronomy | Q&A with Thierry Atlan, the only Best Craftsman of France for chocolate in the USA

Caroline Diene |

Thierry Atlan embodies totally the know-how of the French gastronomy. Since 2013, he has brought to US foodies the excellence of a Best Craftsman of France (Meilleur Ouvrier de France), which is one of the toughest competitions in terms of gastronomy. He worked relentlessly on this noble chocolate material, and more recently created exceptional macarons, so that our taste buds would be thrilled and delightfully surprised… Let's meet in New York, the only Best Craftsman of France Chocolatier living abroad.


How was your passion for chocolate born?

My passion was born during my apprenticeship in 1985 in France. My teacher gave me the love and passion to work with chocolate.

What does it mean for you to be a Best Craftsman of France for chocolate? Was it a dream for a long time?

The Best Craftsman of France represents excellence for France’s gastronomy and the recognition around the world from other professionals. It is also the recognition of a passion really well made. It was a dream that seemed untouchable considering the difficulty of the competition. 

Why did you choose New York to settle in? 

Fate brought me and my family here after I met Mrs Jacobs who created the brand and stores Sugar and Plumm in 2011. I was a consultant when I first started working with her and it became permanent. I have learned to appreciate this city for the energy it gives. 

How do American customers perceive French chocolate know-how?

American customers are only starting to get familiar with French chocolates. It definitely takes some education but American customers are very open to discover new products from other cultures. I have noticed that American people love macarons and that is why I decided to specialize in macarons making using French techniques and the finest ingredients. 

Who or what inspires you to surpass you every day?

Clients push me to do better as I want them to be happy when they eat our products. I am also a perfectionist which helps me in raising the bar constantly. 

What does the life of a great chocolate maker look like day to day? 

It’s mostly a lot of work. I constantly look for new things to create and enhance the efficiency of our work flow to improve our production capacity. 

How and where do you find your inspiration to create chocolates and macarons?

I get inspired from traveling around the world, and mostly what is being done in France. I also look at what people are doing on social media to understand new trends. 

What are your favorite chocolates/cacao bean flavors? 

My favorite cacao beans come from Madagascar for their fruitiness and sourness. I also love beans from Sao Tomé for their smoky flavor. 


What is a Thierry Atlan chocolate or macaron? What is your touch?

First and foremost, the taste. I try to give my customers unique and powerful flavors. Second, a very thin cover to add crunchiness to a soft ganache. Finally, unique decors to attract the eye of the customer. 


What is your next challenge?

My next challenge is to increase our production capacity while maintaining the same quality. 


Discover the selection of Thierry Atlan macarons on our e-shop!

And stay tuned as we will bring back the chocolates when the cool season comes. 


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