La Maison du Chocolat: Taking the Art of Chocolate to a Higher Level
Shortly after Robert Linxe opened his first store in Paris, he was dubbed "The Wizard of Ganache." Small wonder the company he founded, La Maison du Chocolat, is a Luxist Readers' Choice nominee in the best chocolate category. The company is also a nominee in the best truffle category.
Linxe founded La Maison du Chocolat in 1977, taking up residence in the basement of a building formerly used as a wine cellar. Back then, there were very few shops of its kind; chocolate was more of a seasonal delicacy than a year-round staple. By 1987, Linxe's shop became such a hit with Parisians that he was able to open a second shop. Three years later, he expanded to the U.S. with a location on Madison Avenue in New York. La Maison du Chocolat continued to expand and now has locations in Hong Kong, London, Tokyo and Cannes, in addition to seven locations in Paris and four in New York (the chocolates are also available at Bergdorf Goodman).
Gallery: More from Maison du Chocolat
La Maison du Chocolat sets itself apart from other chocolatiers in a number of ways, perhaps none more important than the incredible detail paid to the component parts of its chocolates. Linxe's company combs through plantations in South America and Africa; they study not only the cacao beans, but various vintages and the differences between them.
Though his company also makes delicious truffles, Linxe's favorite creation is called Quito, a nod to the fine ingredients found in Ecuador. The smooth, rectangular ganache is made with cacao beans from Venezuela, Trinidad, Madagascar, and of course, Ecuador. Linxe selected the metate, a concave stone used by native Americans to crush cacao beans, as his logo. Maison du Chocolat offers ganache by the box, starting with the Arriba Gift Box ($36) all the way up to the Tamanco Gift Box ($75). La Maison du Chocolat's products can also be ordered online and are deliverable to 31 countries.
For those who have a real passion for chocolate, La Maison du Chocolat offers "Parcours Initiatique", which are two-hour educational tasting sessions with one of the company's master chocolatiers. The "Duo" class pairs select teas and coffees with various chocolates, while the "Tamanaco" course features the celebrated ganache as the celebrated chocolate is prepared in front of the audience.
Vote for the company you believe makes the best chocolate. Readers' Choice Winners will be announced on March 1st.