Dominique Persoone and his son Julius have won the title of ‘Chocolatier of the Year Flanders’ for 2023 with their shop The Chocolate Line. Gault & Millau announced this today. “It makes me quiet, and I don’t have that often,” Dominique said after the announcement.
“I can’t imagine a better gift for 30 years of The Chocolate Line!”, writes Persoone on his Instagram account when he announces the news. “We were only able to achieve this thanks to the commitment of our team! During the first corona wave there was a lot of uncertainty, our production team almost completely left. I then gave my son Julius the opportunity to create a whole new group as head of the studio and look: almost two years later at the result, world class! My respect for their motivation is great, what a recognition. It makes me quiet and I don’t have that often.”
Gault&Millau is a big fan of the work of Dominique and Julius. The latter therefore seems to be following in his father’s footsteps. “Dominique Persoone made the craft sexy,” according to the organization. A word he often uses himself to emphasize that chocolate can be hip, cool and even seductive. And to show that in addition to being professional, his relationship with chocolate is above all passionate, and appeals to the chocolate freak who likes to return to the roots with him.
Persone takes those roots literally. Among other things, he works with the proceeds of his own cocoa plantations in Mexico and is one of the pioneers of the bean-to-bar idea in our country. For this he works with local farmers. A portion of the proceeds will go back to local animal care in Mexico.
“I buy directly from the farmers, I make sure they receive training and I pay a fair price. I also support the social chocolate factory in Virunga in Congo, together with the Prince de Merode. The reason behind it is the same: to give farmers a chance to earn something from the wonderful product they grow, I really want to make a difference in that,” Persoone said in an interview with HLN.
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