Three-star chocolate with Josiane and Lionel Colomb-Bereni

Josiane and Lionel Colomb-Bereni are installed in the plain of Peri. The couple of chocolatiers may collect medals and other trophies, but their objective remains intact: to offer the best chocolates by combining other local riches.

VSis the best chocolate in the world. Do not see any penchant for exaggeration and even less for chauvinism. The title was awarded directly by the International Chocolate Awards, a kind of Academy of Chocolate Oscars, rewarding products of excellence and the most talented professionals.

The rich track record of Josiane and Lionel Colomb-Bereni, craftsmen based in the plain of Peri, near Ajaccio, speaks for the couple. “I’ve always done things with my soul and my heart but I didn’t know my chocolates were so good”, remembers Josiane. To realize this, it took a click and the most benevolent concealment.

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In 2017, Lionel entered his wife in the national competition for the best chocolate without telling her. Josiane flies over the trials. Its fresh mint dark chocolate won gold, the one with basil won bronze. A recognition that validates the ticket of the chocolatier for the internationals of London the same year.

Despite this qualification, Josiane doubts: “It took me a while to admit that my chocolate had been chosen from 90,000 samples. » Despite some loss of bearings, she quickly made her mark when she arrived in Great Britain. It is by tasting the creations of other craftsmen that she gradually regains her confidence. “I was a little critical”she says lip service before feeling guilty with a smile: “I know it’s not right. But I thought to myself: “Hey! He didn’t do that” Where “Something is missing”… I ended up convincing myself that I could walk away with the bronze. »

Too busy scrutinizing the third step of the podium, the one who, younger, dreamed of doing the Beaux-Arts, does not realize, at the moment, that the jury of professionals has reserved the highest for her. Nor does it strike that the grand jury (the famous MMM, editor’s note) also awarded it a prize for excellence, the Platinum. Nothing less than the Holy Grail.

Goldsmith’s work

The couple have several strings to their bow. In addition to chocolate, he notably makes nougat. - Eric Buggea

Despite the titles and trophies, Josiane and Lionel have only one concern: to offer the best to their customers. This requires a lot of rigor and a choice of top-of-the-range products, from the bean, particularly the criollo, richer in cocoa mass than in cocoa butter and recognized for its flavors, its typicality and its length in the mouth, down to the different ingredients.

The result is chocolates that the couple make with the meticulousness of a jeweler and the accuracy of a scientist: “People only see the bright side of the window but don’t necessarily realize the work. All it takes to make a good chocolate… It’s unimaginable, it’s chemistry. It is necessary to monitor the temperatures of the parts, that of the pouring, especially when, like us, we work without preservatives. »

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The feat is all the greater as the tandem, whose perfect complementarity constitutes the main strength, has progressed very quickly. How far away the time of the first “failed” truffles left, despite everything, like hot cakes. Also very far from the time when Josiane, at the end of the 80s, was “the lady with the red parasol” who made pancakes and waffles on the Cours Napoléon.

Today, the chocolate maker takes care, more than ever, to put local riches in the spotlight: saffron from Ucciani, honey from Appietto, marmalade of oranges from Sagone… The list is exhaustive because the criteria meet only one imperative: the quality found in his latest creations, in particular a dark chocolate-balsamic with Corsican clementine. “It is a satisfaction to tell me that I am not alone. That with me, there are those people whose products are out of the ordinary and who have an identity. We are together, we share. »

Pleasure, meanwhile, is in one piece, barely bigger than a Scrabble letter. A dish in which each bite nevertheless brings its share of discoveries, from the attack during which the cocoa invades the palate to the ultimate flavors which settle in the mouth without ever really disappearing. “I am satisfied, but not for me, not to flatter my ego. Once again, I am for the work behind it”adds Josiane before concluding modestly: “Hearing that we liked our chocolates is enough for me. I’ve often asked myself this question but maybe I’m just looking to be loved. » /

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Three-star chocolate with Josiane and Lionel Colomb-Bereni