Chef Dominique Persoone of The Chocolate Line - Biography

Brugge, Belgium

August 2010
Known as the “Shock-o-latier” of Belgium, Dominique Persoone has made a name for himself throughout Europe for his singular brand of “pralines” and occasionally outrageous chocolate contraptions.

Persoone started his culinary career by training at Bruges’ Ter Groene Poorte culinary academy. He found his love for chocolate while working under legendary chocolatiers Pierre Hermé and Pascal Brunstein. A persistent innovator, nowadays Persoone pairs his chocolates with anything from tequila to chicken skins.

Persoone and Fabienne Destaercke founded The Chocolate Line in Bruges in 1992. Their old fashioned-style chocolate shop features Persoone’s carefully-crafted chocolates that marry flavors as traditional as hazelnut and as mind-bending as cauliflower, basil, and black olive. Persoone considers himself a chocolate revolutionary and believes that an open mind paired with top quality ingredients and a balance of flavor and aroma are the key to the next frontier of chocolate.

In addition to their flagship shop in Bruges, The Chocolate Line has a factory located outside of Bruges and a recently opened shop in the heart of Antwerp in the restored Palace on the Meir (previously owned by the Belgian Royal family, Leopold II, and Napoleon). Their chocolates are sold to top restaurants in Belgium and Holland, including Hof van Cleve and Oud Sluis.

Aside from his tradition-defying pralines, Persoone wrote The Roots of Chocolate, a book that shares his expedition through Mexico to discover the origins of chocolate and dozens of original recipes. In 2009, the book won a Gourmand Cookbook award for Best Chocolate Book in the World. He also invented the Chocolate Shooter, a small device that accentuates chocolate’s unique aroma and flavors by catapulting pulverized chocolate into the air to be sniffed.

Persoone has presented his chocolates at culinary shows across Europe, including the last two editions of the Flemish Primitives, a food summit in Belgium where tops chefs present their latest discoveries and innovations. He is also a member of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck think tank.