Marcel Desaulniers

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Marcel Desaulniers
Born1945 (1945)
EducationCulinary Institute of America
Culinary career
Cooking styleAmerican, Slow Food, Chocolate
Current restaurant(s)
Previous restaurant(s)
Television show(s)
  • The Burgermeisters, Death by Chocolate

Marcel Desaulniers (born 1945) is an American chef who was part-owner of the Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia, a cookbook author, director Emeritus of the Culinary Institute of America, and self-described "Guru of Ganache". He is the author of the 1992 book Death by Chocolate.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Desaulniers was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and resides in Williamsburg with his wife, Connie, who is an artist. He graduated from Mount Saint Charles Academy in 1963, and from the Culinary Institute of America in 1965. He served in the United States Marine Corps and is a Vietnam veteran.

His daughter, Danielle Desaulniers, is a respected sommelier and restaurant consultant who also trained at the Culinary Institute of America. She has worked at San Francisco's One Market Restaurant and at New York City's Restaurant Daniel, Café Boulud, Ducasse, and Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House.

Professional life[edit]


In 1980 Desaulniers opened the Trellis Restaurant in colonial Williamsburg's Merchants Square. Desaulniers also opened a food and art studio in Williamsburg called Ganache Hill.[2] Desaulniers and his business partner, John Curtis, sold The Trellis to chef David Everett, proprietor of the Blue Talon Bistro, also located in the Square, after 29 years of operation.[3] The restaurant was inducted into the Nation's Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame in 1995.[3] Desaulniers and his wife opened a new business, MAD about Chocolate, on April 24, 2012 ([4] MAD about Chocolate offered Desaulniers' sumptuous desserts, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and other sweet and savory items. It was located at 204 Armistead Ave. in Williamsburg, VA. MAD about Chocolate also served as a gallery for Connie Desaulniers' art. The couple sold the business in February 2016.


He has hosted several television cooking shows including "The Burgermeister" and "Death by Chocolate" and has appeared on Julia Child's television show, Baking with Julia and on PBS' cooking shows Cook-off America and Grilling Maestros.


Desaulniers has written 10 cooking books[3] including Death by Chocolate (1992). His concentration on chocolate cuisine and his fondness for chocolate ganache has earned him the sobriquet of "Guru of Ganache."

Awards and honors[edit]



  1. ^ Efimetz, Ann M. (21 February 2015). "Chocolate is a passion for Williamsburg chef Marcel Desaulniers". Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  2. ^ Ganache Hill Gallery Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d Frumkin, Paul (8 October 2009). "Marcel Desaulniers sells The Trellis". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-23. Retrieved 2012-08-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]