Ten minutes with William Curley, the chocolatier and patissier
I remember the first time I tasted his creations. I was not yet living in London when a friend gave me a lovely gift: a box of William Curley chocolates. I still remember those lovely melting flavours. I have heard for William Curley for the first time then and I must say I have felt in love with his creations. Later I got to know more about him and his work and I was not surprised that he has been awarded ‘Britain’s Best Chocolatier’ by the Academy of Chocolate four times. He is still one of my favourite chocolatiers, so I’m happy to share this little interview with you:
How would you introduce yourself?
I trained as a patissier at Gleneagles Hotel 25 years ago, I then spent 7 years in 2-3 Michelin kitchens of Pierre Koffmann (La Tante Claire), Raymond Blanc (Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons), Marco Pierre White (The Restaurant), Marc Meneau (L’Esperance) … My next step was becoming the head patissier at The Savoy. I opened my business William Curley Patissier-Chooclatier in 2004.
What is your secret desire/ambition?
I guess to be happy and spend with my daughter … I have done 2 books, which I am very proud off, I would like to add to this.
What is your ultimate dream?
I am very happy with what I have achieved a s a chef, it is important for me now to pass on my skills to the next generation.
What is your greatest achievement?
Becoming part of Relais Desserts International and becoming a Master of my craft, when I passed the Master of the Culinary Arts in 2013.
What/who is inspiring you?
Pierre Herme and Jean Paul Hevin.
What do you love most about your work?
Creating new products and also seeing young people come through our craft…
What are your favourite flavours?
Too many to list, but flavours that compliment chocolate are big favourites: sesame, Piedmont hazelnuts and yuzu, to list just a few.
How is your relation to chocolate?
It’s the most amazing ingredient to work with and when you use the right varieties also amazing to eat.
Which chocolate desserts are on your menu, which of them is your favourite and why?
Although innovation is very much part of what we do, I love classic dishes so I adore a Black Forest, I also adore our Chocolate & Praline Paris Brest…
What was the best chocolate dessert that you have eaten and where?
A chocolate soufflé that I recently had by Tom Kitchin at his restaurant The Kitchin in Edinburgh. It was sublime …
What would be your final message for our readers?
I hope you enjoy patisserie and chocolate as much as me … :) Happy cooking!