Last year, Ursula XVII, a Michelin trained pastry chef and chocolatier, introduced the world to Disset Chocolate, an artisanal chocolate company. Those mouthwatering creations can now be found at Atelier Disset in Cutchogue, the company's first retail shop.
"When I founded Disset in the midst of the pandemic, I was understandably concerned about what the future would bring," Ursula noted. "But the overwhelming support of the community has made it possible for us to open the Atelier, and I'm delighted to have found a home for our chocolates right here in Cutchogue."
We caught up with Ursula about the array of artisanal chocolates to be offered, Disset's must-haves, how she became a chocolatier, and more.
What can shoppers expect at Atelier Disset?
Atelier Disset is a destination for anyone visiting or living in the North Fork. The space is set up as a retail shop and a studio/workshop. The front showcases our handcrafted and house made chocolates, bars, and fun kits. Behind the glass, we've created a space where people can immerse themselves in a chocolate experience, through workshops, paint & sips, tastings and other fun activities.
Why did you select Cutchogue for the home of Disset Chocolate's first retail store?
Cutchogue is an ideal location for us. It's close to wineries, farms, and other great places to visit and shop. We came across the perfect space for our vision, right on Main Road. The North Fork is my home, and, since our factory also is in Cutchogue, it was ideal for us. We're excited to be part of this wonderful community and are looking forward to making Disset a pillar of the North Fork.
Tell us about your specialties.
We specialize in high end, luxury chocolate experiences, using only the best ingredients. From our signature bonbons to our breakables, every bite is full of flavor and meant to stimulate your tastebuds and curiosity. We like to innovate and think out of the box, so I am always challenging myself to express my creativity with every collection. I like to compare Disset to a couture fashion collection - always evolving with new and exciting designs.
Do you have a personal favorite?
One of my favorites is the holiday collection, which was inspired by the Twelve Days of Christmas. However, the Disset Signature Collection is where I get to have the most fun, drawing from different influences and experiences in my life. This collection is ME in a box of chocolates. I already cannot wait to release summer 2021. These biannual collections are designed so that every flavor is unique and gets retired once the new season is released - so don't miss out!
I also really love working with companies to create custom designs that bring their products or visions to life.
What led you to become a chocolatier?
Looking back, it seems that even as a kid, I loved playing with chocolate - making chocolate cookies and other treats. Professionally speaking, I embarked on my journey to become a pastry chef when I started at the French Pastry School in Chicago
. There, I gained an amazing foundation which allowed me to work in some of the best kitchens. During my time at Ai Fiori, I quickly learned that I loved the science and limitlessness of chocolate. From petite fours, pastries and desserts to holiday sculptures, I was given free range. After that experience, I knew I wanted to focus on chocolate and wanted to be a chocolatier. So I knocked on doors around the world that would allow me to expand my knowledge in chocolate. I worked for some of the most talented chocolatiers around.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I'd just like to say how grateful I am to be embraced by the community. When I launched Disset as an online shop last fall, I didn't really plan to open a store for a while, especially given the situation with the pandemic. The overwhelming response to our chocolates has made it possible for me to realize this dream so soon. It's just incredible.
I'd also want to remind people that we are able to create any kind of custom collections for any special occasion - weddings, birthdays, corporate events, etc.
Atelier Disset is located at 28080 Main Road in Cutchogue. For more information, visit www.dissetchocolate.com.
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com