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Paul Wayne Gregory is part of the brand-new TV series the Extreme Chocolate Makers' on Channel 4. The series will run for two weeks at 5.30pm.
Paul has over 20 years’ experience in the catering industry, starting out as a baker and then becoming a main kitchen chef but found his true love in the pastry section. He moved to Ireland to work in the Michelin star restaurant, Restaurant Peacock Alley and then headed the pastry section in all of Conrad Gallagher’s restaurants.
Returning to England, Paul worked for the Searcy’s food service group where his plated dessert won the front cover of the cookery book ‘London on a Plate.’ This book was compiled of London’s newest and hottest rising chefs.
With the desire to increase his knowledge, Paul moved to France to work with Mousier Jean Valentine, classmate of the legendary pastry chef Michel Roux. Here Paul worked in the pastry shop and followed the Grand Master in his style of classic patisserie; it was here Paul developed the love for working with chocolate and knew one day he would open his own chocolate business.
With the desire and passion still burning and as Paul says, “I needed a finishing school”, he moved to Spain to work for world renowned pastry and chocolate master Oriol Balaguer, “And here I found myself."
Back in England Paul had no intention of starting his business just yet, but with no job and no money, “I had just spent almost 2 years working for free, friends who had now become head chefs asked if I could make chocolates for them, so I started working from home creating chocolates at night and looking for a job in the day. 2 years later, I said to myself, well, I’m in business aren’t I”. He laughs.
With no formal business skills, Paul under took a short business course which he says, “Being dyslexic, I could not make head or tail of it. Forecasts, projections etc - I’m a chef! But the one thing I knew from travelling and working in all those high end establishments is, quality sells itself.”
“I took all of those skills and moved into an industrial unit, no investor, no money, it was a huge risk! But what I did have was a burning desire to show the world what I meant by "indulgence is everything" and at the end of the day, everyone has to start somewhere.”
In less than 6 years, the desire and passion truly speaks for itself:
Greatest Personal Achievement
“The Pure Indulgence Chocolate box. This took 5 years in the making; in 2006 we launched the range so now I could not change the flavours inside the box. In that year we won an Award of Excellence for the range. Now, every chocolate in the box has won an award individually: 8 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze. the reason I say it’s an achievement is because it’s easy for me to compete 36 chocolates and put the winners in a box, but to bring out the box first and then compete each chocolate thereafter is a completely different story altogether - I do not think I will do this again it nearly killed me”!
“It was great to win all the awards we have achieved and making chocolates for the Queens 80th birthday was a true honour. But I still think the working achievement has to be our clients. Our clients who have been with us from the start, I would like to thank them all for their loyalty and support, thank you all”.
What I had was a burning desire to show the world what I meant by “indulgence is everything” and at the end of the day, everyone has to start somewhere. So, in less than 7 years, my desire and passion truly speak for themselves!
One of the most recognised talents that Paul has, is his ability to mould and manipulate chocolate to create artistic masterpieces. Paul has created custom chocolate art that mimics both the human form, machines, paintings and abstract art.