BESPOKE OR NOIR CHOCOLATE BY RYAN THOMPSON AND THE SHANGRI-LA TEAM
The chocolate harmony at OrNoir Lab. Photo: courtesy of Ryan Thompson.
In the tallest building in Europe, The Shard, which was created by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano, the Shangri-La hotel is located in the 35-52nd floor. The Hotel is not only known for the lovely views but also by the great pastries created by the young talented executive pastry chef; Ryan Thompson. We’ve already had a chat with him talking about his work and of course chocolate – you can read it here. But Ryan’s passion for chocolate has taken him further – he has decided to create a signature chocolate for Shangri-La at Cacao Barry Or Noir Lab in Paris. This made us curious so we are sharing his new adventure.
What did it mean for you to create your own chocolate?
To create your own bespoke chocolate is always going to be a special task, you are able to put everything you love about chocolate into a blend knowing that it it is exactly how you want the flavour to be. To be given the opportunity by Cacao Barry showed true support by them and you really feel it throughout the whole process.
Entrance to the Or Noir Lab. Photo: courtesy of Ryan Thompson.
What chocolate did you want to create and how is the end result?
The 2 chocolates we wanted to create are to be used in our cake shop LANG on the ground floor so had to be consumer friendly.
We wanted a dark chocolate that starts with a powerful strong cacao flavour and fruity notes but that does not last long on the palette. After making 3 initial blends we decided for the second one which was as we wanted it – strong, fruity and not complex, but still a real chocolate lovers chocolate.
For the milk blend my sous chef Nicolas and I were a little bit split on what we wanted but this is the beauty of the Or Noir Lab – you can create for each individual taste and then like we did, blend the two together to create an unsuspected recipe that is exactly what you wanted and more.
We have a blend that is strong in chocolate flavour, nutty and fruity very creamy and has caramel after taste.
Creating the chocolate. Courtesy of Ryan Thompson.
How was your experience at Or Noir?
The hospitality and professionalism from all at the lab was excellent, they showed great product knowledge and incredible patience (we were three in the lab – Nicolas, my CDP Quentin and I) as often we wanted to bring out different aspects in the chocolate
What do you plan to do with your chocolate?
All our retail items in Lang cake shop at the Shangri-La will feature the bespoke chocolate.
The final product. Photo: courtesy of Ryan Thompson.
What is the greatest benefit of having your own chocolate?
As our retail items will contain this chocolate it makes our product truly unique to us. Nowhere else will guests be able to taste this chocolate.
What did you like best in your chocolate adventure?
After years of being a pastry chef I have to say it was the entailing moments walking into the lab, after seeing so many great pastry chefs and chocolatiers post pictures from there. It was something I have always looked forward to be doing. Also being able to do so with Nicolas and Quentin, to gather to make a product that we all believe in and each of us has put his dreams into it.
The happy Shangri-La team. Photo: courtesy by Ryan Thompson.
Any special plans for the future?
We have a great pastry team now at the Shangri-La and I’m looking forward to creating great things with the them, every member of the team brings something different and provides great influences on the food, atmosphere and enjoyment.