- March 31st 2017
Continuing our #BarbourLife series, we find out when award winning Chocolatier, Chantal Coady, first came in contact with Barbour and how her personal style shows in her creativity…
You’re very passionate about chocolate, where did this start?
So long ago, I cannot pinpoint the exact moment, sometime in my early childhood…
Chantal wore our Barbour Hunbleton Quilted Jacket paired with our Barbour Lamington Shirt.
Can you tell us what a day in the life of a chocolatier looks like?
My role as founder and creative director of Rococo means there are so many different things I might be doing. I am usually working on new designs, both in terms of flavours and wrappers, and talking to my teams - trying to plan ahead for our next chocolate moment. Right now, its Spring and it’s all about eggs! I might be based in my design studio in Chelsea, or visiting our chocolate kitchen in South London, or one of our shops.
How did your time at Art school influence your imagination and unconventional approach to chocolate?
I suppose I have a bit of an anarchic approach to life as well as chocolate and like to challenge orthodoxy, also I love to have fun with it. Ultimately Rococo is all about pleasure and provenance in equal measures.
You've got three decades of chocolate expertise under your belt. Is there a moment in your career you've been most proud of?
A lot is about managing to just about juggle my life and work, so I’ve taken plunges like going to Grenada when I had two very small children. I also invested in a small cocoa farm on the island there; I feel like I have real cocoa roots and am so grateful to have worked so closely with the late great Mott Green, founder of the Grenada Chocolate Company.
The amazing achievement of an OBE was given to you by the Queen in 2014, what was this experience like?
The whole thing was quite surreal and absolutely brilliant - from the moment the brown envelope arrived, which I thought was a parking ticket, to the actual arrival in the Palace and receiving the honour from Prince William, who roared with laughter at my answer to his question. It was a great celebration for all the family - especially my mother who has been such a huge support to me. She actually gave the deeds of the family house to the bank as security when I started Rococo.
You received an Academy of Chocolate award for changing the way people think about chocolate – can you tell us a bit more about the cause behind this?
The Academy was set up to win hearts and minds about real chocolate - most of us have grown up in the UK on a diet of industrial candy, which is pretty much sugar, fat milk and a bit of dubious quality cocoa thrown in for good measure. When you eat really pure dark chocolate, you just don’t need very much of it to hit the spot, and then you can develop a really positive relationship with one of the greatest health foods on the planet.
Chantal wore our Barbour Coldstream Waterproof Jacket.
Easter is coming up fast! What chocolate creations will you be making for this special occasion?
For those desiring to eat chocolate and do good at the same time, we have a wonderful Absolution bar, which raises money for our local church’s St Paul’s Knightsbridge ALMA appeal. Then there are the new British Birds Eggs, hatched and laid in our Rococo Kitchens in South London. We have had a lot of fun with the look and the taste of those. Then we have the Roald Dahl Enormous Crocodile and Roly-Poly bird eggs, as well as some limited editions from the kitchen…
When or where did you first come in contact with Barbour?
I am a city girl through and through, with occasional forays into the great outdoors - I have been lucky to be invited to country houses where Barbour is one of the great wardrobe staples, alongside the wellies and the black lab, so I would say at least thirty years, if not more.
And do you have any happy memories of Barbour?
One of the things I love about the Barbour wax jacket is the distinctive fragrance, it transports me to those lovely houses in our beautiful British countryside! My son Fergus, whose childhood dream was to be a farmer, always wore one from a very young age…
Do you feel your personal style reflects your creativity?
I suppose you could describe me a bit of chameleon - I have many hues, it depends a lot on how I am feeling - my normal commute is on my bike, so I tend to dress down, or if I am jumping on the tube to go to a meeting with ‘suits' in the city I usually am more conventional, but I do like to add small individual touches.
In your photoshoot you’re wearing our SS17 Tartan collection, what did you like about these pieces?
The first thing that I noticed was how soft and light the shirt, trousers & gilet are, really incredibly classic, easy to wear, fantastic quality with beautiful details on the collar and cuffs. Effortless comfort and very stylish…
Discover our SS17 Summer Tartan collection, as worn by Chantal.