Michel Chaudun, top Paris chocolatier

Michel Chaudun, top Paris chocolatier, kindly allowed me to go behind the scenes to do research for THE CHOCOLATE THIEF and THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH with him. 149 rue Université, Paris. (www.lauraflorand.com)
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In Michel Chaudun's chocolate shop in Paris, assistant Sébastien filters chocolate from the antique enrobing machine before re-using it.  (It was previously used to coat rum-raisin chocolate centers, so he has to make sure it is pure.)  The filter?  A woman's stocking, stretched over the bowl.

In famed Michel Chaudun's Paris chocolate shop, chocolate is filtered through a woman's stocking stretched over the bowl.

CHOCOLATE TOUCH: "When they used the chocolate in the enrobing machines to coat something with nuts or fruit in it, they had to purify it afterward:  pour it all through stretched women’s pantyhose, let the sieve catch even the finest bits that corrupted the chocolate’s purity, then return the chocolate to the cleaned enrobeuse, maybe temper it again, as if all its past use and abuse had never been.  He wished he could do that to himself for her."

CHOCOLATE TOUCH: "When they used the chocolate in the enrobing machines to coat something with nuts or fruit in it, they had to purify it afterward: pour it all through stretched women’s pantyhose, let the sieve catch even the finest bits that corrupted the chocolate’s purity, then return the chocolate to the cleaned enrobeuse, maybe temper it again, as if all its past use and abuse had never been. He wished he could do that to himself for her."

Michel Chaudun's assistant, Sébastien, is melting chocolate off the grill, so none goes to waste.

Michel Chaudun's assistant, Sébastien, is melting chocolate off the grill, so none goes to waste.

L'Or des Près butter weighed out in an old fashioined scale at Michel Chaudun's. Only the best butter goes in his chocolate.

L'Or des Près butter weighed out in an old fashioined scale at Michel Chaudun's. Only the best butter goes in his chocolate.

Melting into ganache.

Melting into ganache.

Michel Chaudun uses an old enrober from 1950s because they "just don't make them that way anymore." Look at that chocolate.

Michel Chaudun uses an old enrober from because they "just don't make them that way anymore.

Some pistachio centers at Michel Chaudun's, waiting for their "robes", or chocolate coating.

Some pistachio centers at Michel Chaudun's, waiting for their "robes", or chocolate coating.

Close-up of the hair drying action. :)

Close-up of the hair drying action.

Michel Chaudun, famous not only for his quality chocolate bonbons but for his sculptures, has a small team in a tiny laboratoire and does all his work the old-fashioned way. Here is the hair dryer used to melt the chocolate of the grill after it passes through the enrober.

Michel Chaudun, famous not only for his quality chocolate bonbons but for his sculptures, has a small team in a tiny laboratoire and does all his work the old-fashioned way. Here is the hair dryer used to melt the chocolate of the grill after it passes through the enrober.

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