Thomas Keller Debuts A Chocolate Bar

Four-star chocolate from a four-star chef.

Four-star chocolate from a four-star chef.


When Thomas Keller of the French Laundry makes a chocolate bar, you just know it’s not going to be your run-of-the-mill candy.

Not by a long-shot.

What makes this chocolate bar so different and special is that it contains extra virgin olive oil. And naturally, it’s olive oil by one of Italy’s most exclusive producers, Armando Manni. The Tuscan producer makes some of the most cherished and expensive olive oils around, beloved by illustrious chefs such as Keller and New York’s Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Their collaboration is K+M Extravirgin Chocolate. The premium cocoa beans are processed in a way that maintains their antioxidants that are normally destroyed in the chocolate-making process. A small amount of Manni extra-virgin olive oil is added to boost the level of antioxidants even more.

The 75 percent cocoa bars come in three varieties, based on their country of origin: Peruvian, Ecuador, and Madagascar.

My friend Abby, a long-time fan of Manni olive oil, gifted me two bars of the Madagascar to try.

This is extremely smooth chocolate with hints of spiced pineapple. You can actually taste the olive oil, too, though it is subtle. It adds a real lushness to the chocolate, offering up a rich, long finish that’s buttery with a whisper of herbaceousness.

This is not a chocolate bar to chomp away at mindlessly. The best way to enjoy it is to break off a small square and let it melt slowly on the tongue. As it coats your mouth, you can really appreciate all its nuances.

The 2.5-ounce bars are $14.95 each at Williams-Sonoma.

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  • It sounds amazing!!

  • This is truly one of the worst bars I’ve tasted. The olive oil infusion is a clever way to minimize the cocoa butter and promote a delicate smooth texture with less snap.
    However the chocolate has a very acrid and bitter taste to it. If i had to guess, I would say that the beans weren’t properly winnowed, leaving too much cacao bean shell in the final chocolate.

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