Paul A Young – the secret to becoming a fine chocolatier
“If you feel stuck in a rut or bored at work, it may simply be down to the fact you’ve stopped learning,” says Paul A Young, one of the world’s leading chocolatiers. “You shouldn’t feel guilty about that.”
Paul’s career is fascinating, as much for the various twists and turns, as for the sheer level of achievement.
He says it all began as a child, helping his mother and grandmother with the baking on a Sunday: “I wasn’t very academic at school,” he says. “But I did excel at arts and home economics.”
After initially getting into art college, he had a very late change of heart and ended up doing a BTEC in hotel and catering management at New College Durham.
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In this episode of the Career Conversations podcast series, he reveals how he ended up working with Marco Pierre White, forming a lifelong friendship: “That’s when my world changed.”
Paul also reveals the one piece of advice from Marco that sticks with him to this day, and it was more to do with what he wore than what he cooked.
But just as he was on a career trajectory that most could only dream of, disaster struck.
He had managed to rise to the position of Head Pastry Chef at Marco’s restaurant when things took a turn for the worse: “I was on the treadmill trying to be the best I could be. But I left because I got ill. I just couldn’t keep up the pace anymore.
“I didn’t know how to look after myself. I wasn’t eating very well, that’s no reflection on Marco and the team, that’s my own responsibility.”
Eventually Paul saw a doctor who told him he was seriously dehydrated and malnourished.
After a period of time out of the kitchen, Paul returned and started the next phase of his career, which has led to the launch of his own chocolate brand, seen him become an author, and cemented his place as one of the world’s leading chocolatiers.
Listen to the full episode to find out how he ended up making regular television appearances, started creating his own award-winning chocolates, and published four books including his latest release “The Joy of Chocolate: Recipes and Stories from the Wonderful World of the Cacao Bean”.
Paul A Young, Chocolatier
Paul A Young is a ground breaking and inspirational chocolatier who is at the forefront of the British chocolate scene.
Paul trained as a chef before moving into the world of chocolate; his passion for his craft and his cutting-edge creativity have won him numerous awards including Best Sea Salted Caramel in the World, two years’ running, which led to him being ranked amongst the world’s best chocolatiers.
Paul has his own chocolaterie located on Camden Passage, Islington and all of ‘Paul A Young Fine Chocolates’ can also be purchased via their online shop.
Paul has a reputation as an incredibly creative chocolatier, a flavour alchemist who often incorporates unusual flavours into his wonderful chocolates and develops flavour combinations that are original, experimental, sometimes daring, yet always perfectly balanced.
Paul’s first book ‘Adventures with Chocolate’ won the World’s Best Chocolate Book at the Gourmand Cookbook Awards in Paris, shortly after publication, and was included in the Independent’s Top 50 cookbooks.
He went onto write two further books including charity book Sensational Chocolate in 2016.
Paul’s latest book The Joy Of Chocolate was published in Autumn 2022 and is a love letter to chocolate including fascinating facts, stories and of course delicious recipes