Yesterday I took the short train ride on the RER A to St. Germain en Laye. From there it was a 10 minute walk to the boutique of Pascal Legac. Along the way I must have passed a dozen chocolate shops or confiseries. So he has lots of competition. However, the Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat just named him one of the top 9 chocolatiers of France, so that should help. http://www.croqueurschocolat.com/awar....
Legac was for years a master chocolatier and head of development at la Maison du Chocolat. I met him several times at their Parcours Initiatiques. These are tasting sessions held at the MdC boutique on rue Pierre Charron. I highly recommend these short sessions, by the way.
He recently left MdC to open his own shop. I got a tour dans les coulisses (backstage) and it is amazing how much he does in such a small space. Jacques Genin's space is immense by comparison, for those of you who have seen it. Yet Legac not only has his line of chocolates, but also macarons and caramels (which I did not sample), and pastries. He supervises everything to maintain his standards of quality, something he obviously could not do with a company the size of MdC.
I sampled about 10 different chocolates, all but one dark. What struck me was their freshness and brightness of taste. The raspberry (always my first choice to taste) was perfect. It really tasted of fresh berries with just the right balance. I'd compare the berry-ness (?) with that of Genin, in the middle of the great chocolatiers. Maison du Chocolat is more subtle but still fine. Hévin overdoes it and overpowers the chocolate.
He makes two plain, dark bouchées (plus regular truffles), one mild and one strong. I loved the strong one. I'm not a fan of milk chocolate, but Legac had me taste his caramel au beurre salé, which he said would be lost in dark chocolate. It was indeed a perfect balance. And if you like mint with chocolate (I don't), his version is as fresh tasting as you could ever want.
He also makes the thinnest orangettes I've seen. The orange peel is not sweet, and they are delicious. 4€ for 50 g. His other chocolates are similarly priced, roughly 25% cheaper than the top places in Paris. I brought home enough to more than compensate for the train fare.
I have to mention the chocolate raspberry cake. It seemed like around 9 layers and came in a very generous slice. Thin dark chocolate, mousse, chocolate wafer, cake, raspberry. It was fantastically rich and very, very chocolaty. (Photo attached.)
St. Germain en Laye was a nice place to walk around with a lovely park. Definitely worth the trip.
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