Born in Ireland in 1972, Gerard trained as a chef and pastry chef in Dublin, London and New York. Driven by a passion (and taste for) chocolate, he was frustrated that he could not give chocolate the full attention it deserved whilst working in small hot and humid kitchens. At the age of 25, he trained as a chocolatier in Belgium before returning to London and founding Artisan du chocolat in 2000.
In the last decade, Gerard has remained true to his roots: passionate about his products and hands on in the production atelier. From a 300 sqft room in East London to a state of the art 18,000 sqft factory in Ashford Kent, Gerard has strongly imprinted his philosophy on Artisan du Chocolat. He has surrounded himself with a small team of dedicated production and retail staff who share his vision. He has chosen to concentrated resources on buying the finest ingredients and controlling quality instead of marketing, sales or designers.
Everything Gerard does is about the product. It is for Gerard an obsession to pay homage to the wonderful crop that is chocolate and to the people who dedicate their life to growing it. With artisan skills, dedication and his own sensibility, Gerard creates the essence of true luxury: memorable and exceptional chocolates crafted for pleasure.
1995: Pastry chef at Grammercy Tavern in New York
1997: Gerard trains at Pierre Marcolini in Brussels
1998: Back to London
1999: Gerard’s first samples are put on Gordon Ramsay’s menu at his flagship restaurant in Chelsea. First stall at Borough market.
2000: Tobacco chocolates are served at the Fat Duck
2001: Opening of Chelsea shop
2002: Artisan chocolates fly Concorde
2003: Gerard creates his famous liquid salted caramels for Gordon Ramsay at Claridges
2004: Best Producer Award, by the Observer Food Monthly
2005: O collection and the pearls are born from Gerard’s imagination
2006: Move to shiny new and rather large proper factory in Ashford Kent.
2007: First production of artisan chocolate from ground cocoa beans, conching and refining in house. Artisan chocolates come to in Tokyo.
2008: Liquid salted caramels start a family. Opening of London Selfridges shop.
2009: Opening of Notting Hill shop and chocolateria at 81 Westbourne Grove. Launch of artisan chocolate cocktails and Iscreams. Our candied gingers go into space.
2010: Opening at Selfridges Manchester Trafford, Exchange and Birmingham.
2011: Shiny new website with products whizzing by. Our chocolates are available in Heathrow airports T1, T4 and T5 as well as in Paris La Grande Epicerie.
2013: Back to our roots, Artisan opens a pop up store at Brown Thomas in Dublin.
2015: Our first boutique opens in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Our collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Fine Cocoa Company gives birth to 5 exceptional chocolates: dark, milk, milk & cashew, milk & guava, dark & scorpion pepper.
2016: Our Selfridges London concession gets a facelift and an added handmade personalised chocolate bars station. We launch our functional chocolate that loves you, your mind and your body back at www.nutricoa.com