Guest post for The Ring of Kerry by Kenmare Foodies, Karen Coakley and Derick McMahon.

We are very lucky to have worked for the past two years on Kenmare Food Carnival with one of our true Ring of Kerry Artisans, Benoit Lorge of Lorge Chocolatier. Benoit is an award winning Pastry Chef, who creates high quality chocolates for gourmet shops and high class hotels and restaurants. His chocolates are handmade in Bonane, just 5 Km from Kenmare on the Glengarriff road and are distributed nationally.

Benoit Lorge ChocolatierBenoit Lorge ChocolatierWe are delighted this month to be able to give you an insight to this French Mastermind who now calls Kerry home and who should be one of your ports of call for your Valentines gift which of course must be Chocolate!

Why did you become a Pastry Chef?

When I was 14 a friend of mine was training to be a Pastry Chef, I was baking with him at weekends and its through this I found an interest in Pastry, I also wanted to travel the world and knew that by being a French Pastry Chef that this would greatly benefit me.

Why did you specialise in chocolate?

I chose chocolate as a specialty because it is such a noble product. I love the taste, the texture, the feeling and the magic around chocolate. The fact that you can blend chocolate with so many flavours, such as fruit, liquor, spices, herbs means its an extremely versatile medium to work with. Chocolate has varying flavours depending on the origins, how it is farmed, culture of the people growing it and also the kind of beans used such as Trinatorio or Forastero.

Why & when did you move to Kenmare?

I moved to Kenmare 15 years ago when I was offered a Pastry Chef position in Sheen Falls Lodge. I had no hesitation as I had such great memories of Kenmare from when I had been travelling around Ireland 2 years previous to this.

What’s so special about the area?

Benoit Lorge chocolatesBenoit Lorge at workTo be surrounded by so much beauty on The Ring of Kerry and The Ring of Beara. Kenmare has also everything I love, the size is perfect, I will never live in a city or big town, it’s a proper foodies town, we are so lucky with the many great restaurants we have on our doorstep. Kenmare is also very cosmopolitan, a great mix of cultures that makes it so very interesting. There are so many places to go for breathtaking walks, moving here has probably been the best of decision of my life!

What is it like to run an artisan business in Kerry?

Despite the beauty of Kerry it’s not always easy to run a business, I supply retail shops around the country so there is a lot of driving for the sale and distribution of my chocolates. It is also very seasonal, you have to be inventive in winter to keep busy. We are lucky we are running courses during this off peak period

What’s your favourite time of the year for making Chocolate?

My favourite period has to be Easter. Every year I change the style and decoration of the Easter Eggs, it’s a bit like the world of fashion, every year has a new collection. I have some great surprises in store this year including a unique new creation, but shhhhhh!!! That’s a secret for the moment, it will have to wait another month…..

What’s your most popular product?

Our most popular products are Dark Chocolate 70 % cocoa with Raspberries, Nougats and Crunchy Praline with Ginger

Tell me about the courses you run?

I run a few different kinds of chocolate courses, we have the option of one day or two day courses where I personally take 3 to 4 Chocolate lovers for a whirlwind tour of my world. These courses are for foodies or someone who has a serious interest in chocolate or pastry.
I also run some children and family workshops, hen parties, corporate events or birthday parties in which I take 10 to 15 Chocaholics for 2 hours and we have a bit of fun with chocolate!

Lorge Chocloatier ChocolatesLorge Chocloatier Chocolates

What was it like being a Failte Ireland Food Ambassasor?

It’s a great honour of course to be nominated as a Food Ambassador. The trip to Norway was spectacular and taught us much about how our friends there promote tourism. I also have the privilege of being involved in the Wild Atlantic Way project , the Wild Atlantic Way is a coastal road project more than 2000 miles going from Donegal to Cork. It is hoped that this initiative will bring more tourists to the West Coast of Ireland.

Benoit has shared with us a truly exquisite dessert perfect for your Valentines love.
This recipe is also featured in the Kenmare Food Carnival Cookbook Loving Food, Loving Kenmare

For further information on Benoit and his Chocolate go to


Dark Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Dark Chocolate Mousse RecipeDark Chocolate Mousse Recipe - Image copyright of dennisondesign.ieIngredients:

  • 125g Single Cream
  • 125g Dark Chocolate Chips or Lorge Chocolatier Dark Chocolate with Raspberries
  • 125g Egg White
  • 35g Caster Sugar
  • 125g Cream, whipped


  1. Pour the single cream into a stainless steel saucepan and bring to the boil. Just before it boils remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate chips and whisk until all of the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, add half of the sugar and whisk until it forms stiff peaks. Add the remaining sugar and whisk until well combined.
  3. When the chocolate mixture has cooled slightly combine it with the whipped cream.
  4. Fold the meringue into the chocolate and cream mixture and mix well until its all combined.
  5. Pour into ramekins or glasses of your choice.
  6. Place in the refrigerator to set.
  7. Decorate with freshly whipped cream and fruit of your choice – we recommend succulent strawberries or Raspberries for the special day that is in it.
  8. Serve with a beautifully chilled glass of Champagne!

Karen Coakley and Derick McMahonGuest post for The Ring of Kerry by Kenmare Foodies, Karen Coakley and Derick McMahon.

Kenmare Foodies are Karen Coakley and Derick McMahon. They are the founding members and organisers of the 2012 and 2013 Kenmare Food Carnivals. They are available for food demonstrations, cook offs and event management consultation.

Contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Twitter @KenmareFoodies