Kyoto native retains chocolatier title

JIJI

Kyoto native Susumu Koyama has been named the top foreign chocolatier for the second straight year by France’s Le Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat.

In addition, his Patissier es Koyama confectionary store in Sanda, Hyogo Prefecture, was awarded the highest rating of five bars, equivalent to five stars, the same day in the latest edition of the group’s guidebook, Le Guide du Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat — also for the second consecutive year.

“I am very happy,” Koyama said at the awards ceremony, held Friday at the Salon du Chocolat global chocolate fair in Paris. “I appreciate that I have been given an opportunity to experiment with chocolates to such an extent (since winning the 2011 award).”

Koyama, 48, who has had no overseas training, in 2011 became the first Japanese five-star winner based outside France. This year, he received high acclaim for creating five new varieties of chocolates, some of which include butterbur sprouts and sake lees as ingredients.

The patissier said he is already developing new recipes, including one that uses ingredients such as “manganji togarashi, a vegetable unique to Kyoto, in preparation for next year’s competition.