4 Sep 2009

Joel Durand… Ma Cuisine Au Chocolat

Joel Durand is my favourite chocolatier not only in the village of Saint Remy de Provence but pretty much anywhere.

His alphabet confections are a dream come true for chocolate lovers.

He says,
‘Chocolate making is my passion. The fascinating complexity, range of flavours and different stages of tasting give me pleasure every day. I have created these chocolates to share with you my passion and delight….’

Anise, caramel, earl-grey, clove and lemon, lavender, fresh mint, tiramisu, liquorice, szechwan pepper and cardamon are those to savour all year round. Then there are the seasonal specialities; caramel and salted butter with dark chocolate and ginger, or caramel with salted butter and mimosa blossom……

Chocolates are not the only thing to raise the heart rate in this beautiful boutique. There are pouring sauces, drinking chocolates, sweet biscuits scented with lavender and my favourites, the orangettes. Glace orange peel finely sliced and covered in rich dark chocolate; my first bite was a ‘died and gone to heaven’ moment.

This bite is a very good start to the weekend, xv.

Joel Durand

3, boulevard Victor-Hugo
13210 Saint Remy de Provence
+33 4 90 92 38 25

La Grande Epicerie Paris

38, rue de Sevres
75007 Paris

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The sin worth committing… my mouth is watering. I will be there soon and will go here for sure. Thank you Vicki for showing the way to pure heaven~
Have a good weekend!

Pamela Terry and Edward

One can never have too much chocolate. Well, I suppose it's possible, but not very likely. Chocolate making takes up a large part of my festive season, and I love it! Have a lovely weekend!

Deja Pseu


We're going to be in Paris in October during the Salon du Chocolat, and are planning to visit during one of our days there. Mon mari is the true chocoholic in our family, but I'm happy to tag along and taste!



I've been visiting you regularly and might as well just admit it up front: I'm a Vicki Archer groupie.

There I said it.

Not only did I read and love your book but gave it to untold numbers of friends.

I've lived in France, in the countryside just outside Paris, for more than two decades and over the years have read many, many books about France, Frenchwomen and all the rest.

Yours and two others (one rather academic, but fascinating) are the best of the best. You just "get it" and the rest seem like so much wasted verbage, generalizations, so-what revelations and of course when all else fails when trying to explain something there's always "un je-ne-sais-quoi."

Et en plus your blog is absolutely beautiful.

Warm regards,


The Clever Pup

Wow, his array of flavours remind me of Vianne's chocolaterie in the book Chocolat.

I can feel the crackle of that treat on the cover as my teeth pop the chocolate.


Yum, I had the best candied orange dipped in dark chocolate while roaming around Barcelona on study break. It was a tiny boutique not far from the Picasso musuem and the smiling old man kindly agreed to sell me 3 pieces when I awkardly tried a series of gestures to explain I could only afford a little to nibble on. Dear memories.


What have I done wrong?

I wrote a long ode to you admitting I am a Vicki Archer groupie, noting in passing that not only have I read and loved your book, but also gave it to at least 10 friends.

Ah, now I see. You have to "moderate" me so I guess I didn't press the wrong button.

If this is redundant I apologize par avance.


The closest I can possibly get to that bliss this weekend is Lindt intense orange, but I'm going to snuggle up completely reinless :)


I have visited that store in Paris, plus also several other chocolate shops, there is nothing better than delicious dark chocolate from France or Belgium and cold winter days with a chocolat chaud are heavenly!


Vicki, I am drooling just reading this! It all sounds insanely delicious. And yes, I think weekends are the time to loosen the reigns. I hope you have a great one! xo


Oh, Vicki, those orangettes certainly would be 'to die for'! One of my favourite combinations, chocolate and orange! Have a lovely weekend.

The Pink Poodle

DEAR VICKI….firstly I LOVE the tomato post…(i eat KUMATO little brand tomatoes ALL day!!..they are scrumptious)…check them out if available in france..they are awesome!!!

I have been very very very GOOD & NOT eaten chocolate in a LONG time..BUT YOU ARE tempting the OLD GIRL!!

SOUNDS delicious…OHH!! hey a little bit of chocie is okay…isnt it??

xx from OZ…andrea

le banc moussu

Vicky, i'm dieting you know and you drive ma crazy with those chocolates.
I now have to walk up rue du bac and get in la grande épicerie de Paris…
have a nice week end.


Oh these chocoloates look and sound divine. Do you know if they're available in Australia? I'd love to try some (even though my waist line says I shouldn't). Lee :)

My Carolina Kitchen

I've been in Joel Durand's shop in St. Remy and it is everything you say. A "don't miss" for sure. We brought home some of his beautiful chocolates to share with (good) friends.

A Gift Wrapped Life

I have never had one of these…..obviously I am missing a great pleasure which I should correct! I know you are being a good girl and just having a few this weekend…….just cycle a few times and it will be as if you never ate them…..speaking of which, who I am to lecture-lol!I haven't been on the bike for weeks , today I will resume. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for the best wishes. XO

mimi charmante

My husband just brought me chocolates home from Europe last week and as he knows, orange is my very favorite! This post will go in my "France visit" file as a reference for places to visit~
Merci and bon weekend,


This orange/chocoltae combo is a favorite for me, so I am certain Durand's version would be amazing. Thanks so much for your support and kind comment, Vicki!! XX

la la Lovely

Oh do enjoy one for me. Nothing better than good chocolate. I was just saying yesterday, while baking chocolate ganache cupcakes, how much I love chocolate. Good chocolate…. The way it looks, smells, clanks around when you bake with it and of course the way it tastes. It just makes me happy. My husband looked at me really oddly when I told him this yesterday.
Happy Weekend, Vicki


A chocolate rush hit me squarely as a result of this post Vicki! How wonderful to read of a man so passionate about his life's work. Haigh's the Adelaide chocolate institution makes 2 of my faves. A Violet cream – biting into it reveals a redolent aroma of the delicate, sweetest little voilets that nestle in amongst a winter garden. And the big, bold Shiraz jelly. Little crimson jewels full of big, bold flavours enrobed in the darkest of dark chocolate. Big swoon! Great window shopping choice!
Millie ^_^

Celeste Maia

I died and went to heaven just looking at the photograph! How scrumptious the orangettes look! You are so lucky to live where you live, surrounded by so much beauty and refinement.

A Gift Wrapped Life

Hi Vicki,
We'll be in St.Remy on a cruise on Nov. 7th for a few hours, want to meet for a quick lunch or coffee??
Fun fun! You don't have to print this comment. Though I suspect you will be on a successful book tour by then. Let me know. XO


Chocolat! One of my greatest weaknesses. The best indulgence here is to visit the Lindt shops at Martin Place and King St Wharf but neither evoke the wonderful world you have described here. I think i will have to rewatch Chocolat and open a box of Lindt! Have a great week. x Julie


Everybody loves chocolates…

I think people are meant to indulge in chocolates that is why they are made to be so delish… and thanks for the introducing chocolatier Durand.


Are you trying to make us hungry? Sweetie, I'm taking a hop over there right now just to consume that shop – if it weren't for common sense and my having already gorged on cake last night.

Thank you for sharing two of life's blessings: passion and chocolate.

Szechuan pepper chocolate.. mmmm.

Callie Grayson

I try, I can't sleep past 6.30am… lol and i am so not a morning person.

Ok, this post is just yummy! I really need some good chocolate. I haven't had any in so long.


you are just being so cruel to all these women Vicki ;-)
But seriously…this is exactly the sort of small, creative, passionate business that every village and city should have in it. We're lucky in Europe… but they are a dying breed in Australia and US.


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