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Twenty eight years ago, Dominique Persoone took his first steps in the world of artisanal chocolate production in the Belgian city of Bruges. Today, The Chocolate Line, the company he founded with his wife Fabienne, enjoys tremendous success worldwide.
Dominique continues to follow the idea he formed in his youth: “follow your dreams.” He has become a chocolatier with an extraordinary passion not just for sweets, but also for food in general and in particular for innovative ideas. Persoone offers his unusual creations in the three Belgian restaurants awarded three Michelin stars (De Karmeliet, and Hertog Jan in Bruges, and Hof Van Cleve in Kruishoutem). He also makes custom chocolates for many other restaurants around the world.
Dominique Persoone sells his unique creations to the only three Belgian restaurants with three Michelin stars (De Karmeliet and Hertog Jan in Bruges and Hof Van Cleve in Kruishoutem) and many other restaurants around the world.
The famous chocolatier has several friends in the world of international haute cuisine, including famous chefs like Albert Adrià, Sergio Herman, Jordi Roca, Heston Blumenthal, Gaston Acurio, and René Redzepi, among others.
“I work hard, and my life can be very hectic, but I still find it incredible to be in contact with people from the world of gastronomy. Sharing our passion for food leads to amazing projects and takes me to many wonderful places,” says Persoone.
He spends most of his time traveling around the world talking about his passion and explaining the way he produces his unique chocolates. It is not unusual to see him giving lectures and talks at events such as Madrid Fusion, Star Chefs New York, Mistura Peru, or the Chocolate Week in Brazil or London.
Over time, Dominique Persoone has created a small empire that includes a store in Antwerp, and a shop and factory in Bruges. He owns a cocoa plantation in Yucatan in Mexico, and his chocolates are sold worldwide.
His unique chocolates with cabernet sauvignon grapes, wasabi or lavender are highly appreciated, as well and his chocolate pills— which come in glass bottles as if they were medications. His lipsticks in various chocolate combinations are also coveted as special sweets.
Among its latest innovations, there is a chocolate-smelling device created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones, a chocolate painting made for the famous photographer and artist Spencer Tunick, and designing chocolate tattoos to raise funds for the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
Stephen Jones, the famous British milliner, requested a series of chocolate decorations for his new hat collection.
But perhaps one of the most commented novelties are his caviar-filled chocolates, inspired by his recent research with savory and sweet flavor combinations. For their preparation, he buys caviar from a Spanish firm at a cost of $312 per 120 grams of sturgeon roe. Each bonbon is filled with 1.2 grams of caviar, so a box of 9 small chocolates costs $30.
Persoone has produced a limited edition of 3,000 cases, and it is known that many of these chocolates have traveled to Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, and Dubai. Each piece is covered with black chocolate, a layer of caviar, and a final cover of praline, which is a particular specialty of Persoone. ■
PHOTOS: © The Chocolate Line