International eXcellence Interviews William Curley
William Curley is a luxury patissier and chocolatier.
– What was your career path prior to starting your own business?
I trained as an apprentice at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, I then went on to work in the kitchens off Pierre Koffmann, Raymond Blanc, Marc Meneau and Marco Pierre White. I then went on to be become the Chef Patissier at The Savoy
– How and when did William Curley Patissier Chocolatier start?
Together with Suzue we opened our first shop in Richmond upon Thames in 2004, it had been my dream for many years to open my own boutique…
– What were the most important steps to take in creating the business?
For me the most important thing to enjoy what you do and that should reflect in your creations, our craft is all about the passion…
– What is the secret to great patisseries?
Using fresh natural ingredients are essential, it also very important to have a foundation in your work, a good solid training is very important.
– Are all your confections produced by hand?
For the patisserie everything is made by hand, for our chocolates we have a few small machines that help us on our way, but it’s all about the chefs.
– What skills do you most value in producing a great chocolate?
I think it all comes down to 2 things, having good quality well sourced chocolate is essential, we solely work with Amedi a very small producer from Tuscany. Secondly as I have said previously it’s all about the foundation in your skills with this you can develop and create many products from that base…
– Describe the process in making your favourite chocolate?
One of our favourite fillings is called a ganache, so a soft infused centre (usually infused with a fresh herb or spice), emulsified with the chocolate and a little butter. My favourite flavours we make are… Apricot + Wasabi, Japanese Black Vinegar and Rosemary + Olive Oil.
– Why does chocolate hold such appeal for us?
There something special about chocolate, its beautiful appearance, smell and above all its taste. It has a feel good factor and a little bit every day I truly believe makes us feel better.
– What unique flavours do you bring to your work?
I like to think everything we do is unique in its own way, whether it being an unusual combination such as Juniper + Cassis or Red Pepper + Basil. Or the fact its unique that we don’t compromise in the quality of our ingredients.
– Who has had the most influence on you and your business?
I think all of the chefs I worked for particularly Pierre Koffmann, but Pierre Herme and Jean Paul Hevin have also been incredibly inspirational to me.
– What is unique about William Curley Patissier Chocolatier?
I guess our aim is to be the best at what we do and not compromise our product, I am also very passionate about developing the next generation of patissiers and chocolatiers in the UK.
– What is the most excellent sweet you have produced yet and why?
I like to think everything we produce is special, my favourites though are our Cadeaux au Chocolate which is an individual patisserie, a chocolate cone filled with a chocolate mousse, vanilla crème brulee and marinated rum soaked sultanas.
– What are your long term plans and are you launching any new ranges in the near future?
We are continuously developing new chocolates and patisserie, which we all find very exciting.
– Finally what for you is the key to living an excellent life?
Ha, lots of chocolate… and being happy in what you do.
William Curley Chocolates are available to buy at Love eXcellence.co.uk