mast brothers chocolateMast Brothers

Paul A Young

Presiding over an empire of four eponymous shops, Paul A Young has established himself a formidable reputation. A former chef, he consistently produces daring, innovative flavours that challenge boundaries and force his customers to reconsider all their chocolate-based preconceptions. His salted caramel has won Gold in the International Chocolate Awards for the last two years, but it is his more unusual creations that are worth the serious price tag. Try the chocolate with pea and mint purée, the ginger and rhubarb truffle or the spiced pumpkin-filled chocolate.

Mast Brothers

Founded by two bearded siblings from Iowa, Mast Brothers has built itself a cult following across America, where it is identified with the Brooklyn Craft movement, which celebrates ethical food preparation. In February, they brought their brand to London, and opened an East London store that puts emphasis on the multiple ways in which chocolate can be used and consumed. While browsing the rows of exquisitely packaged chocolate bars, customers can indulge in chocolate drinks that are served on tap.

Melt

More of a laboratory than a conventional shop, Melt is known for its delicious handmade chocolates. Located in Notting Hill, its Scandinavian-style interior is lined with trays of truffles, while in the open kitchen, chefs discuss techniques with customers while stirring great vats of molten chocolate. Their generously sized sea-salted bar as well as their famed caramelised popcorn slab are best-sellers, but, as its Easter, make sure to buy their chocolate eggs served in china egg cups and their daisy-printed lollipops.

Rococo

Awarded an OBE for services to chocolate, Chantal Coady, the owner of Rococo, is the quintessential expert in her field. Often seen as the founder of the British artisan chocolate movement, she originally opened her King’s Road store in the 80s as a means of artistic rebellion. Although Vivienne Westwood no longer runs rampage down the streets of Chelsea, the sense of unbridled creativity is still apparent. Rococo is an Alice in Wonderland-like haven, producing top quality chocolates that are often imbued with a very British sense of humour – try their white chocolate sack of potatoes complete with crystallised mint leaves.

Montezuma's

It was during a trip to South America that ex-corporate lawyers Helen and Simon Pattinson decided to found Montezuma’s. Inspired by the thriving chocolate industry they encountered in the Argentine lake district, they quit their jobs and established their own chocolatier, placing emphasis on quality, flavour and packaging. Experimenting with herbs, essential oils and spices, they are famous for their uniquely flavoured bars that incorporate flavours such as chilli and lime, orange and geranium and acid zest.

Mast Brothers

Melt

Montezuma's

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