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Hi. I wanted to get everyones opinions on the top chocolatiers. I came across Jacques Torres, Norman Love, and others but I'm not sure what's different between all of them. What makes one better than the other in general?

Also, I just recently discovered Julian Rose. What do you think of Julian specifically? Is he considered one the best and if so why? 

Tags: best, chocolate, chocolatiers, master, rank

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What differentiates them?  Advertising and personal preference.  I know all of them personally - they're all fine chocolatiers.  I also know plenty of folks who's names you've likely never heard that make comparable product.

Sebastian, I read so many of your posts, I'm always impressed.  

I would be most interested to know who your favorite chocolates come from :-)  And more importantly how the rest of us can try YOURS!

I'm afraid what i make is only for my personal consumption, or gifting at this point 8-) 

check out Grewleing, Notter and Anna Shea as well

I recently sampled Rick Jordan (St. Louis) and Christopher Elbow (Kansas City) - both are world-class chocolatiers, but to my preference Jordan was the best I've had in the US.  I tried to discern why considerings CE's reputation and it came down to this - I found CEs to have a more factory or large scale feel, v. Jordan's which were clearly handmade.  I could see the hand made flaws v. the machine made perfection (I don't know if either uses enrobers and such) but at some point the flavor difference between making a 450g ganache v. a 5000g ganache becomes more discernable. Likewise the flavors felt more natural and fresh in RJ's v. CE's.  So as someone said before its all a matter of taste and I know CE sells a lot more than RJ but I preferred RJ.

Artistically, Anna Shea.

I really look forward to trying out all of these chocolatiers. I've checked out their websites and the chocolates look amazing. Thanks for all the references.

I had no idea anna was still in business. She makes beautiful chocolates and is a sweetheart to boot.

So yeah...its really a matter of taste. Some poeple swear by one or the other but having eaten everyones chocolate on every top 10 list I couldnt say who was the best. Each chocolatier has a specialty that discerns their work from the others. Each one has something great they bring to the table. Julien is an excellent chocolatier but he is hamstrung by being part of a large corporation where shelf stability trumps taste. You see this alot. Mass production need not kill the quality but it can.

when I made one of those Top 10 Lists I was flabbergasted to be up on stage with jaques, and norman and michael reccuitti and norman and jen and julien....but then I thought about it and realized my work is just as good even  if not as widely known. I keep it simple and small and do what needs to be done to stay original.  Thats what you should look for, originality and balance. The chocolate still needs to be the star---not the pretty colors or the exotic flavor combo....

I think what you are saying is correct. Everyone says it but I've always had a hard time believing. I thought there was a "best" chocolate but it seems to be its all personal taste. There are rankings online and I seen that Teuscher was ranked #1 as a chocolate company. I did try their champagne truffle and it was amazing. 

There is a video from Malcom Gladwell I just seen that mentions how this one person was hired to figure out the "best" spaghetti sauce. After many many experiments, he found out there was no such thing. He mentioned that spaghetti sauce, mustard, etc do not exist on a heir achy but instead on a horizontal plane (also called Horizontal Segmentation). There is no good, bad, or perfect mustard. "There are only different kinds of mustards that suit different kinds of people." There is no universal flavor of any product that is perfect for everyone. It is a flaw to think of it this way. 

The link to the video is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIiAAhUeR6Y

(its only 18 minutes long)

The reason I'm writing this is because it related to others responses as well as Jeff's recent comment. I like how you mentioned that we should be original instead of creating a me-too product and play it safe.

Thanks

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