William Curley

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William Curley
Born William Curley
(1971-10-29) 29 October 1971 (age 45)
Fife, Scotland
Occupation Patissier, chocolatier
Spouse(s) Suzue Curley
Website williamcurley.com

William Curley (born 29 October 1971) is a Scottish luxury patissier and chocolatier based in London.[1] Curley and his wife Suzue are owners of William & Suzue Curley Ltd. Since 2007 Curley has won the Academy of Chocolate's 'Britain's Best Chocolatier' Award four times[2] and in 2012 the couple became members of the prestigious pastry association Relais Desserts.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

William Curley, the son to a docker, was born and raised in Methil, a small town in Fife.[1] He began his career with an apprenticeship at Gleneagles Hotel, before moving on to train at numerous Michelin-starred establishments. Since his first apprenticeship he has worked amongst highly respected chefs and patissiers in the business, including: Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, Marco Pierre White at The Restaurant Hyde Park Hotel (now the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London,[4] Marc Meneau at L'Esperance in Burgundy and Pierre Romeyer at Maison Du Bouche, just outside Brussels.[1] At the age of 27, William then moved to The Savoy[[5]] to become Head Chef Patissier, where he led a team of 21 pastry chefs under Anton Edelman.[6] It was here that he met his wife Suzue, also a highly respected patissier. At the time, she was in charge of running The Savoy's world famous Afternoon Teas.[1]

Originally from Osaka, Japan, Suzue moved to London in 1996 where she trained at Le Cordon Bleu. Before moving to The Savoy, she had previously worked at Claridges.[7]

Career milestones[edit]

William has won a variety of awards including the 'William Heptinstall Award',[8] ‘The Craft Guild Pastry Chef of the Year’ award,[9] ‘Caterer and Hotelkeeper’s Acorn Award,’ and ‘British Dessert of the Year.’ Both William and Suzue have won Gold at numerous international culinary competitions and events in Chicago, Luxembourg and Basle, and at the Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2004.[10] William has also been named four times winner of the ‘Best British Chocolatier' award by the Academy of Chocolate.[11][12][13]

Shops[edit]

William Curley opened his first shop in Richmond Upon Thames just off the green in 2004, serving a range of chocolates and patisseries. Following the success of Richmond, a second boutique was opened in November 2009 in Orange Square, Belgravia, London. Boasting the same fine selection of chocolates and patisseries as well as home-made ice cream and a brunch menu, William's Belgravia boutique introduced London's first "dessert bars" where customers can sit at the bar and sample a tasting menu of desserts created in front of them by one of William's chefs.[14] Curley’s Belgravia dessert bar features creations such as Mille-feuille au chocolate - layers of hazelnut daquoise and chocolate cremeaux with an orange sauce and muscavado ice-cream and then Rhubarbe sable – layers of shortbread sandwiched with rhubarb parfait and topped with berry sorbet and rhubarb poached in ginger syrup. There’s even an a la carte menu from which customers can top and tail the main event with a pre-dessert and petit fours.[15]

The style of the stores reflects both William and Suzue’s careers and experiences, combining a blend of classic English and French style with contemporary Japanese.

In the summer of 2011, William Curley opened a chocolate concession at the world-famous department store Harrods. His chocolates are available to buy in the Chocolates and Confectionary Room on the ground floor of the store.[16] The William Curley patisserie range is also available at the Harrods patisserie counter.

William’s chocolates have been partly inspired by Suzue’s Japanese heritage, incorporating flavours such as Toasted Sesame, Japanese Black Vinegar and Apricot & Wasabi.

Pâtisserie[edit]

Pâtisserie is William and Suzue's greatest passion. As well as supplying their shops and concession with pâtisserie, they also create bespoke pâtisserie to accompany limited-run Afternoon Teas - one of Suzue's specialities.

To celebrate Chocolate Week in October 2010, William and Suzue ran an Afternoon Tea at Claridges Hotel in Mayfair, London, which featured some of William's signature creations including his Venezuelan Cadeaux and Sea Salt Caramel Tart.[17]

William then began a regular Afternoon Tea set with the Halkin Hotel in November 2011 [18] and launched his exclusive limited-run Jubilee Afternoon Tea [19] in the Halkin Hotel in June 2012, featuring an Apricot and Ginger Macaron Crown. In the summer of 2012, William collaborated with the V&A Victoria and Albert Museum in London to celebrate their Ballgowns British Glamour exhibition.[20] William selected four gowns and created 4 patisseries, available as part of Harrods' 'Best of British' Afternoon Tea range in their Tea Room during the Jubilee.

Masterclasses & Workshops[edit]

William is keen to pass his knowledge on to others and holds a firm business philosophy of training up the next generation of top chefs. He encourages many of his chefs to attend courses to further their knowledge in the industry.

In addition to training up the next generation of top chefs, William is also very supportive of the public's growing interest in high quality chocolate and its production. He and his chefs provide chocolate masterclasses and workshops, where participants can learn the basics of the art of chocolate making. William has also been known to hold demonstrations and classes at Divertimenti Cookery School.[21] The William Curley team was also the first ever to hold chocolate making classes at Harrods in May 2012,[22] encouraging participants to get hands-on and learn the true art of working with chocolate in the Harrods Gourmet Cook Shop.

Publicity[edit]

To commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in May/June 2012, William and his team created a chocolate crown displayed in the window of the world-famous luxury department store, Harrods.[23][24]

In March 2012 William was invited to participate in Faberge's charity event The Big Egg Hunt [25] to raise money for Action for Children and Elephant Family. William and his team created a giant chocolate egg measuring 1.5 metres. This egg was featured in the window of Fortnum & Mason during the hunt and on 20 March 2012 fetched £7,000 at a charity auction making it the most expensive edible chocolate Easter Egg ever sold at auction.[26]

William regularly takes part in events and charity dinners and also appeared in the television series, Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets,[27] in early 2010.

Books and Publications[edit]

William launched 'Couture Chocolate' [28] in October 2011 which won 'Cookery Book of the Year' by the Guild of Food Writers [29] and a Gourmand World Cookbook Award.[30] William and Suzue also launched 'William Curley's Chocolate Manual' [31] in Japan in 2010 and in May 2014 saw the launch of William & Suzue Curley’s book Patisserie: A Masterclass in Classic and Contemporary Patisserie [32]

Other information[edit]

William Curley is committed to sourcing ethically sound chocolate.[33] The company works exclusively with the Tuscan company Amedei who prioritise in improving the conditions in which the people who grow its cacao beans live.[34] Using only Criollo and Trinitario cocoa beans, Amedei's produce is predominantly sourced from: Venezuela, Madagascar, Ecuador, Trinidad, Jamaica and Grenada.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "William Curley, a British patissier chocolatier - Who We Are". Williamcurley.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  2. ^ "Academy of Chocolate". Academy of Chocolate. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ http://www.scottish-places.info/people/famousfirst3341.html last visited 02/10/10
  5. ^ http://www.williamcurley.co.uk/engine/shop/page/Press/The+Mail%2C+23.07.10 visited 03/10/10
  6. ^ "Anton Edelmann: Celebrity Chefs: Good Food Channel". Uktv.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  7. ^ Balavage, Catherine (2010-10-03). "William Curley – Japanese Week, 24th September – 3rd October.". Frost Magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  8. ^ "An annual award for young chefs in the UK". Williamheptinstallaward.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  9. ^ "The". Craft Guild of Chefs. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  10. ^ http://www.debretts.com/people/biographies/browse/c/26362/William%20CURLEY.aspx visited 02/10/10
  11. ^ The Evening Standard, 9 November 2009, 'Capital's Gourmet Chocolate hotspot
  12. ^ "Awards". Academy of Chocolate. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  13. ^ "Academy of Chocolate Awards 2011". World Chocolate Guide. 2011-05-21. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  14. ^ "William Curley, a British patissier chocolatier - Boutiques". Williamcurley.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  15. ^ "London Licked ice cream makeover". The Handbook. 27 July 2010.  External link in |work= (help)
  16. ^ "Harrods". S7ondemand4.scene7.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  17. ^ http://www.claridges.co.uk/page.aspx?id=8656
  18. ^ "The Halkin launches William Curley's 'Couture Chocolate Afternoon Tea'". Easier. 2011-11-09. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  19. ^ "Halkin Bar in London | Sample menus for Halkin Bar". Skiddle.com. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  20. ^ "William Curley's couture cakes - Belle of the Ball patisseries - Quick and Easy Recipes From Stylist Magazine - Stylist Magazine". Stylist.co.uk. 2012-11-26. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  21. ^ http://www.divertimenti.co.uk/home/search-products.html?searchterm=william+curley
  22. ^ "William Curley, a British patissier chocolatier - Curley Blog". Williamcurley.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  23. ^ "The making of Harrods' Diamond Jubilee crown collection - Telegraph". Fashion.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  24. ^ "Harrods Jubilee crown exhibition - Tatler Magazine". Tatler.com. 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  25. ^ The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt. "Homepage | The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt". Thebigegghunt.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  26. ^ Kerstin Kühn (2012-03-22). "William Curley wins Guinness World Record for chocolate egg - 3/22/2012 - Caterer and Hotelkeeper". Caterersearch.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  27. ^ "BBC Two - Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets, Series 1, Chocolate". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-05-05. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  28. ^ "Couture Chocolate Cookery Book by William Curley". Williamcurley.com. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  29. ^ Baxter, Jane. "The Guild of Food Writers - the professional association of food writers and broadcasters in the UK". Gfw.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  30. ^ "Gourmand Awards" (in Spanish). Cookbookfair.com. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  31. ^ "William Curley'c Chocolate Manual Cookery Book". Williamcurley.com. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  32. ^ "Patisserie=Williamcurley.com". Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  33. ^ [2] Archived 2 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ "Chocolate Excellence and Passion by maître chocolatier Cecilia Tessieri | Amedei Tuscany". Amedei.com. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  35. ^ "Cioccolato per passione e per piacere - Amedei Tuscany". Amedei.com. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 

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