Marcel Desaulniers

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Marcel Desaulniers
Born 1945 (1945)
Woonsocket, Rhode Island, United States
Education Culinary Institute of America
Culinary career
Cooking style American, Slow Food, 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.

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. He served in the United States Marine Corps and is a Vietnam veteran. In 1965, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. Desaulniers serves as a Trustee Emeritus and Life Fellow of the Culinary Institute of America.

His daughter, Danielle Desaulniers, is a respected sommelier and restaurant consultant. She trained at the Culinary Institute of America and 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. In addition to his residence and restaurant, Desaulniers maintains a food and art studio in Williamsburg which he has dubbed Ganache Hill.[1] Desaulniers and his business partner, John Curtis, have sold their landmark restaurant, The Trellis.[2] The Trellis was sold to David Everett, who owns and operates the Blue Talon Bistro, also located in the Square.[3] Desaulniers and Curtis operated the award winning Trellis restaurant for 29 years.[4] The restaurant was inducted into the Nation's Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame in 1995.[5] Desaulniers and his wife opened a new business, MAD about Chocolate, on April 24, 2012 ([6] MAD about Chocolate offers Desaulniers' over-the-top desserts, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and other sweet and savory items. It is located at 204 Armistead Ave. in Williamsburg, VA. MAD about Chocolate also serves as a gallery for Connie Desaulniers' art.


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[7] 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]


  • Desaulniers, Marcel (2003) [1992]. Death by Chocolate: The Last Word on a Consuming Passion. ISBN 0-8478-1564-1. 
  • Desaulniers, Marcel (1992). Trellis Cookbook: Expanded Edition. ISBN 0-671-74842-4. 
  • Desaulniers, Marcel (1994). Burger Meisters. ISBN 0-671-86538-2. 
  • Desaulniers, Marcel (1995). Desserts to Die for. ISBN 0-684-81139-1. 
  • Desaulniers, Marcel (1996). An Alphabet of Sweets. ISBN 0-8478-1981-7. 
  • Desaulniers, Marcel (1997). Death by Chocolate Cookies. ISBN 0-684-83197-X. 
  • Desaulniers, Marcel (1998). Salad Days: Main Course Salads for a First Class Meal. ISBN 0-684-82261-X. 
  • Desaulniers, Marcel (1999). Grilling Maestros: Recipes from the Public Television Series. ISBN 0-9651095-5-0. 
  • Desaulniers, Marcel; Brett Bailey; Kelly Bailey (2000). Death by Chocolate Cakes: an Astonishing Array of chocolate enchantment. photography by Duane Winfield. ISBN 0-688-16297-5. 
  • Desaulniers, Marcel (2002). Celebrate with Chocolate: totally over-the-top recipes. ISBN 0-688-16298-3. 
  • Desaulniers, Marcel (2007). I'm Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas. ISBN 0-7645-9900-3. 
  • Desaulniers, Marcel (1988). The Trellis Cookbook. ISBN 1-55584-114-7. 


External links[edit]