Paul A Young says that it was never a conscious decision to enter the world of chocolate. In fact, it all began for Young while working as a Patisserie chef in some of London’s most serious kitchens - including Quo Vadis, where he was championed by Marco Pierre White.
He made the transition into commercial kitchens in the early 2000s, developing products for Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer among others. After winning an award for his sea salted caramel flavour, Young decided to concentrate his talents in one area.
Joining up with businessman James Cronin, he opened his first shop in 2006 with the launch of Paul A Young Fine Chocolates in Islington’s boutique-y Camden Passage. With recession striking just a year later, he could have been forgiven for questioning the future of luxury chocolate in a time of austerity, yet, incredibly, the shop prospered and now he has added to his portfolio with shops in Soho, Tottenham Court Road and Bank.
His innovative flavours have become legendary, as evidenced by his famous Marmite truffles. And whether you love them or hate them, there is much to admire in Paul A Young’s daring and sense of adventure. Other creative flavours include Port and Stilton, Absinthe and peppermint and Thai basil and galangal.
His shops are a veritable Valhalla for chocolate lovers, with plenty of options to suit all budgets. At the higher end of the price range is a large box of handmade chocolates, while the brownie and hot chocolate are great options for those looking to sample Young's natural, additive-free chocolate without splashing out.