Chocolate Artisan Profile: The Supertaster Muse

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Chloé Doutre-Roussel doesn’t make chocolate. She eats it – about a pound a day.

She’s a chocolate muse extraordinaire – a tester, taster, and passionate devotee of all things cacao. How does one get a job like hers? Start with an obsessive commitment to chocolate…

When we first meet Doutre-Roussel in Mort Rosemblum’s book Chocolate she appears like a pixie or good fairy, squirreling chocolate away in cool dark corners of her Paris apartment – even stashing a square or two up her sleeves. Ever since she was a little girl Chloé craved chocolate intensely. She brings all the intense attention and care of a master sommelier to her chocolate tastings; she can taste notes and flavors that would pass most of us by.

She wakes up at five and keeps to an austere schedule of tasting (best early in the morning, when her palate is fresh), swimming, yoga, and consulting. She won the coveted position of chocolate buyer for Fortnum & Mason, the British market, and for several years worked to singlehandedly raise the level of chocolate consciousness in Great Britain – not to mention taste her way through some awful and sublime chocolate.

This past year she has been an independent consultant, working with American companies to raise the level of chocolate production and education in the United States. Her work as “chocoambassador” includes guided tastings and passionated advocacy for really good chocolate. Scharffen Berger and Pierre Hermé have both named chocolate blends after her.

She is now offering her own exclusive Chloé Chocolat collection, which includes chocolate from masters like Fabrice Gillotte, Jean-Paul Hevin and Patrick Roger. It’s available exclusively in Japan, unfortunately, but you can read excerpts from her recent book, including a “day in the life of Chloé” at her website.