William Curley (born 29 October 1971) is a Scottish patissier and chocolatier. Curley is the owner of the London chocolate company William Curley Ltd., and has won the Academy of Chocolate's 'Britain's Best Chocolatier' Award four times. In 2012 William and Suzue Curley became members of the prestigious pastry association Relais Desserts.
29 October 1971
Early life and career
William Curley, the son of a dock-worker, was born and raised in Methil, a small town in Fife. He began his career with an apprenticeship at Gleneagles Hotel, before moving on to train at numerous Michelin-starred establishments. He has worked amongst many chefs and patissiers in the business, including: Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, Marco Pierre White at The Restaurant Hyde Park Hotel (now the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, Marc Meneau at L'Esperance in Burgundy and Pierre Romeyer at Maison Du Bouche, just outside Brussels. At the age of 27, William then moved to The Savoy to become Head Chef Patissier, where he led a team of 21 pastry chefs under Anton Edelman.
William has won a variety of awards including the 'William Heptinstall Award', ‘The Craft Guild Pastry Chef of the Year’ award, ‘Caterer and Hotelkeeper’s Acorn Award,’ and ‘British Dessert of the Year.’ William won Gold at numerous international culinary competitions and events in Chicago, Luxembourg and Basle, and at the Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2004. William has also been named four times winner of the ‘Best British Chocolatier' award by the Academy of Chocolate.
William Curley opened his first shop in Richmond Upon Thames just off the green in 2004, serving a range of chocolates and patisseries. Following the success of Richmond, a second boutique was opened in November 2009 in Orange Square, Belgravia, London. Boasting the same fine selection of chocolates and patisseries as well as home-made ice cream and a brunch menu, William's Belgravia boutique introduced London's first "dessert bars" where customers can sit at the bar and sample a tasting menu of desserts created in front of them by one of William's chefs. Curley’s Belgravia dessert bar featured creations such as Mille-feuille au chocolate - layers of hazelnut daquoise and chocolate cremeaux with an orange sauce, and muscavado ice-cream and then Rhubarbe sable – layers of shortbread sandwiched with rhubarb parfait and topped with berry sorbet ,and rhubarb poached in ginger syrup. Both shops closed in early 2016 following a split between the two co-directors.
In the summer of 2011, William Curley opened a chocolate concession at the luxury department store Harrods. His chocolates are available to buy in the Chocolates and Confectionery Room on the ground floor of the store.To celebrate Chocolate Week in October 2010, William held an Afternoon Tea at Claridges Hotel in Mayfair, London, which featured some of William's signature creations including his Venezuelan Cadeaux and Sea Salt Caramel Tart.
William then began a regular Afternoon Tea set with the Halkin Hotel in November 2011 and launched his limited-run Jubilee Afternoon Tea in the Halkin Hotel in June 2012, featuring an Apricot and Ginger Macaron Crown. In the summer of 2012, William collaborated with the V&A Victoria and Albert Museum in London to celebrate their Ballgowns British Glamour exhibition. William selected four gowns and created 4 patisseries, available as part of Harrods' 'Best of British' Afternoon Tea range in their Tea Room during the Jubilee.
Masterclasses & Workshops
William and his chefs provide chocolate masterclasses and workshops, where participants learn the basics of chocolate making. William also holds demonstrations and classes at Divertimenti Cookery School. The William Curley team was also the first ever to hold chocolate making classes at Harrods in May 2012, encouraging participants to get hands-on working with chocolate, in the Harrods Gourmet Cook Shop.
In March 2012 William was invited to participate in Faberge's charity event The Big Egg Hunt to raise money for Action for Children and Elephant Family. William and his team created a giant chocolate egg measuring 1.5 metres. This egg was featured in the window of Fortnum & Mason during the hunt and on 20 March 2012 fetched £7,000 at a charity auction making it the most expensive edible chocolate Easter Egg ever sold at auction.
William regularly takes part in events and charity dinners and also appeared in the television series, Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets, in early 2010.
- Nostalgic Delights: Classic Confections & Timeless Treats - Oct 16, 2016 - co-author Kevin Summers;
- Patisserie: A Masterclass in Classic and Contemporary Patisserie - May 22, 2014 - co-author - Susan Curley;
- Couture Chocolate: A Masterclass in Chocolate - Oct 25, 2013 - co-author - Jose Lasheras
- "William Curley, a British patissier chocolatier - Who We Are". Williamcurley.com. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Academy of Chocolate". Academy of Chocolate. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- http://www.scottish-places.info/people/famousfirst3341.html last visited 02/10/10
- http://www.williamcurley.co.uk/engine/shop/page/Press/The+Mail%2C+23.07.10 visited 03/10/10
- "Anton Edelmann: Celebrity Chefs: Good Food Channel". Uktv.co.uk. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "An annual award for young chefs in the UK". Williamheptinstallaward.org.uk. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "The". Craft Guild of Chefs. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- http://www.debretts.com/people/biographies/browse/c/26362/William%20CURLEY.aspx visited 02/10/10
- The Evening Standard, 9 November 2009, 'Capital's Gourmet Chocolate hotspot
- "Awards". Academy of Chocolate. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Academy of Chocolate Awards 2011". World Chocolate Guide. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "William Curley, a British patissier chocolatier - Boutiques". Williamcurley.com. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "London Licked ice cream makeover". The Handbook. 27 July 2010. External link in
- "William Curley parts company with co-director to launch new venture". The Caterer. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- "Harrods". S7ondemand4.scene7.com. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Luxury Offers: Our Best Hotel Offers - Claridge's". Claridge’s. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
- "The Halkin launches William Curley's 'Couture Chocolate Afternoon Tea'". Easier. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Halkin Bar in London | Sample menus for Halkin Bar". Skiddle.com. 10 June 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "William Curley's couture cakes - Belle of the Ball patisseries - Quick and Easy Recipes From Stylist Magazine - Stylist Magazine". Stylist.co.uk. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "William Curley, a British patissier chocolatier - Curley Blog". Williamcurley.com. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "The making of Harrods' Diamond Jubilee crown collection - Telegraph". Fashion.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Harrods Jubilee crown exhibition - Tatler Magazine". Tatler.com. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt. "Homepage | The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt". Thebigegghunt.co.uk. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- Kerstin Kühn (22 March 2012). "William Curley wins Guinness World Record for chocolate egg - 3/22/2012 - Caterer and Hotelkeeper". Caterersearch.com. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "BBC Two - Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets, Series 1, Chocolate". Bbc.co.uk. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.