The Toulousain Jérémy Fages, from the Cacao Fages chocolate factory, was selected from among 10 chocolate makers in France to receive one of the ten Chocolate Awards awarded by the prestigious guide “Les croqueurs du chocolat” at the Paris Salon.
When you push the doors of the Cacao Fages chocolate factory, located in the Saint-Cyprien district of Toulouse, the aromas of cocoa immediately titillate the nostrils. They come from the workshop where you can see, through the glass roof, little hands already busy producing Christmas delicacies. Black cap, black apron, tattooed left forearm, Jérémy Fages leaves his team for a moment to come and talk about the Award he has just received in Paris.
The guide “Les croqueurs du chocolat” has just awarded you an Award, like nine other chocolatiers in France. Is it recognition?
Yes. We are very happy with this price. We were judged on four products: three ganaches (pure origin from Bolivia, Toulouse with violet and blackcurrant jelly and finally golden honey) as well as a praline with buckwheat grains, Piedmont hazelnut and cherry jelly. black. The guide “Les croqueurs du chocolat” is the only guide that exists in the world of chocolate, it is quite prestigious. Normally, we are happy to be there; receiving an Award from him is even better. This motivates us in our work, because with chocolate, you have to be patient if you want to make beautiful products.
Isn’t that your Palme d’Or?
Yes, it is the Palme d’Or of the chocolatier.
What makes the quality of your chocolates?
The fact that they are made with passion and in a traditional way. When it is the hands that work the chocolate, it gives off all its personality. In the end, some products may have imperfections but that’s okay. The main thing is that they are good. Then there is the quality of the raw material that we carefully select. We have eight cocoa suppliers, most of them from organic farming.
Are you always looking for new spices and cocoas, is this your trademark?
Yes. Each year, we renew ourselves. Once the Christmas and Easter holidays are over, we are finally free to seek and research all the products that we want to work with because we are committed to making products that look like us.
Just four years after the opening of this boutique workshop in Saint-Cyprien, can we say that this award is quite promising?
We are lucky, this award makes us happy. At the same time, I have been a chocolate maker for 13 years and I always go through competitions to surpass myself, to move forward in my creations, my research. In the end, this award will not change much apart from a surplus of visibility for the company. Above all, it especially comforts us in what we do.
Precisely Cacoa Fages, it is the adventure of two brothers from Lot, whom nothing a priori intended to make a career in chocolate …
I attended the hotel school in Souillac for 5 years, and I have fond memories of it. Next, I did an internship in a chocolate factory and I fell in love with it. My other passion being art, chocolate allowed me to combine the two since today I make chocolate sculptures. When I discovered this path, I threw myself into it, supported by my brother.
This brother, Sylvain, gave up his career in aeronautics to support you. Today, chocolate is a family affair …
Yes, he always helped me with competitions. Like me, he is very fond of chocolate, but in our family food is very important. He is the one who manages the orders, finds the raw materials, takes care of sales, while I am more in the business of creation. We are complementary.
In the midst of Cop26, you who depend on raw materials located at the end of the world, how do you approach the challenges of global warming?
Cocoa beans do not grow in our latitudes, we are obliged to bring them. For this, we favor small productions. Recently, we opted for cocoa from Cameroon, hired at fair remuneration for men and women. In terms of packaging, we also make great efforts to choose recycled and recyclable materials.
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Toulouse: who is Jérémy Fages, “Palme d’Or” of the chocolate makers of France?