Mathilde Fays of Oka, Quebec: one very talented chocolatier

Situated roughly 90 minutes northwest of Montreal in Central Quebec’s Laurentian region, Oka is a small town of 4,000 residents who enjoy a quiet lifestyle on the shores of Lake of Two Mountains.

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I wish the skies would have been clear enough for me to take a nice shot of the shop during my visit. But it was pouring buckets, so I am grateful that Mathilde Fays provided me with this lovely photo of her Oka chocolate shop.

It was pouring rain during my brief visit to Chocolaterie Mathilde Fays, so I didn’t get any lovely scenic shots of the landscape to inspire you. But I did enjoy some of the finest chocolate bonbons made in Quebec, and truly enjoyed learning the story of Mathilde Fays and her passion for artisanal chocolate which I am happy to share with you here.

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Mathilde Fays is a highly creative chocolatier based in Oka, Quebec.

chocolaterie mathilde fays creates truly one-of-a-kind flavour combinations and chocolate experiences

I first discovered Mathilde Fays in January, 2014, on the recommendation of a friend from Quebec who had received a box of Mathilde Fays chocolates for Christmas in 2013. (Thank you to everyone who sends me chocolate tips!) What a delight it was to taste the chocolate creations of Chocolaterie Mathilde Fays. I knew immediately that I would make the journey one day to meet this very creative chocolatier, and I finally did in July, 2017.

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The chocolates you will find at Chocolaterie Mathilde Fays are truly works of art.

Some of my favourite flavour creations from Chocolaterie Mathilde Fays include her wonderful honey nougat (it’s soft and delicious and doesn’t stick to your teeth!) And pretty much all of the 25 flavours of ganaches created by Mathilde. “I love the marriage of different flavours and working with ganaches,” says Mathilde. “But as customers seem to be looking for chocolate bars, we will produce more bars to please our customers.”

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I adore this chocolate squirrel created by Mathilde Fays. Maybe it’s because I love walnuts so much!

Chocolaterie Mathilde Fays works with more than 30 different kinds of couverture from 35 different suppliers to achieve just the right flavour she is trying to create in each of her chocolate morsels. Her primary suppliers are Valrhona, Cacao Barry, and Weiss. The single most unique chocolate ganache that Mathilde makes is the Blond, featuring Dulce Blond couverture blended with Madepices curry mix from Madagascar and pink peppercorns on a dark chocolate bottom. Another of my favourites is the Passion ganache that marries coconut and passionfruit. It is a surprising, but delightful flavour combination!

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After filling myself up with delicious chocolate at Chocolaterie Mathilde Fays, I dropped into the Magasin de l’Abbaye d’Oka, where I bought some Oka cheese and other gourmet specialty items. And yes, they also sell Mathilde’s chocolates.

For those wondering why the name of Oka rings a bell, there are two possible reasons in addition to its great chocolate. Oka is where the Trappists monks made their special semi-soft cheese (they sold the rights to a cooperative in 1996 which now makes the cheese) and where there was a stand-off (the ‘Oka Crisis’) in 1990 with the Mohawk First Nation over a land dispute with the town of Oka.

Something really cool that you can do if you visit Oka is to stay in the former monks’ monastery that has been converted into the Auberge Oka, a small hotel rated at 4-4.5 stars by the various travel sites. I didn’t have the time to take a tour, but would love to go back and check it out!

And for those who are wondering … yes! I do have the best job in the world. Combining my passions for travel, chocolate, and fascinating people have been possible via the Chocolatour project. I am so very grateful for that.

If you, too, love artisanal chocolate and enjoy travel, please subscribe to this site so you don’t miss any of my chocolate travel journeys. And if you enjoyed this post, please share if with your friends. Every bit of support helps me reach new chocolate lovers around the world, and helps me catch the attention of destinations that want me to experience their world of chocolate.

I’d like to thank Tourisme Quebec for their support in making this trip possible. It is only an hour and a half’s drive from Mont Tremblant to Oka, so if you are visiting the Laurentians, you can visit Mathilde and Christine Blais at Palette de Bine in Mont Tremblant all on the same day as I did.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends! Please stay tuned for more posts on my discovery of chocolate in Quebec.

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Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

49 Responses

  1. Linda
    Twitter:
    says:

    The squirrel! I love the squirrel. Mathilde looks so young. It is wonderful to see young people who have boldly launched their careers and honed the skills in unique ways like producing fine chocolate products.

    • Hi Linda. Yes, I, too, love that squirrel. So cute and timely for fall. I didn’t get much into Mathilde’s history, but her father ran a chocolate shop in France. And so, she came into the world of chocolate quite naturally.

  2. Kathe says:

    Count me another fan of the squirrel!
    I can’t think of a nicer way to spend part of your Thanksgiving weekend than to drive out to Oka, admiring the colours of the trees, and vist the chocolaterie. (I think one of Louise Penny’s mysteries is set in Oka.)

  3. Oh, I love Quebec! You know it occurs to me that everything about chocolate is artistic – not just the food, but the look and even the places where it’s made! Thank you so much for introducing us to yet another master. 🙂

  4. Phoenicia
    Twitter:
    says:

    I have never wondered if you have the best job, I know you do! Mathilde Fay’s chocolates look scrumptious – honey nougat sounds rather tantalizing. I do wonder if chocolate makers grow rather bored of being in the presence of chocolates all day. Perhaps not!

    Thank you for sharing your experiences of not only tasting the chocolate but revealing the day to day lives of chocolate makers.

    You always travel to pretty and clean destinations. I notice these things!

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Phoenicia. I don’t think chocolate makers or chocolatiers ever tire of their work as the possibilities are endless! I’m glad you are enjoying my posts that share the lives and creations of the amazing chocolate people I continue to discover. I would say that not every place I have visited is “pretty and clean.” Do you recall the post I wrote about being caught in a mudslide in Ecuador? Cheers, and have a wonderful day.

  5. That is a lovely area of Quebec. If we get the opportunity to travel there, I’ll be sure to look for this chocolatier.

  6. Jeri
    Twitter:
    says:

    Mathilde Fays sounds divine, especially 25 flavors of ganache. I am definitely a ganache fan!

  7. Catarina says:

    Love the way Mathilde designs her chocolate. A work of art that shows how creative she is.

  8. Denis Gagnon
    Twitter:
    says:

    Doreen what a wonderful article. Being from Quebec, I was of course very familiar with the Oka cheese but I am delighted that the chocolates of Mathilde Fays have drawn you to Oka. Thanks for this review!

  9. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.
    Another great article about chocolate.
    Over 35 different suppliers to get the right combination for their chocolate. That is total dedication to the quality of their product.

  10. That squirrel is great fun, but the chocolate sitting next to the photo looks scrumptious. I love that you keep finding these delightful places and people to share with us.

  11. Carol Colborn says:

    The chocolate squirrel is indeed a heart-to-heart! Do they ship to Calgary? I would love for my grandson there to have this unique piece of chocolate goodness!

  12. I would love to stay in the Auberge Oka – I always enjoy historic buildings. And I wouldn’t mind trying Mathilde’s chocolate at the same time!

  13. Donna Janke
    Twitter:
    says:

    Mathilde Fays’ chocolates look like works of art. Chocolate, cheese and scenery! Oka sounds worth visiting.

  14. Mehedi Hasan
    Twitter:
    says:

    It is wonderful to see young people who have boldly launched their careers and honed the skills in unique ways like producing fine chocolate products.

  15. What fun to travel around the world and eat chocolate. Mathilde’s chocolates look like paintings.

  16. I am now wishing that someone would send ME a box of those beautiful Mathilde Fays chocolates! Gorgeous!

  17. Abhinav Singh
    Twitter:
    says:

    I am not much of a fan of chocolates but this is interesting. I particularly prefer dark chocolates. I love the chocolate shaped like a squirrel. It is a great gifting idea!

  18. wendy
    Twitter:
    says:

    Mmm! I do love chocolates. I have learned in recent years that I can only eat them sparingly. While there was a time when I would go on any chocolate tour, it is not something I can do now. They are just too tempting! Enjoy! I know you will.

    • Hello Wendy and thanks for your comment. Many of my posts are about healthful chocolate. Did you catch the previous post on Palette de Bine? It is made of pure organic cocoa with a small amount of organic maple sugar (or organic cane sugar) to slightly sweeten in a healthy and natural way. There is so much more to chocolate than sweet unhealthy candy. And there are many posts here about travel to intriguing places. I hope to see you again at Chocolatour. 🙂
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Mathilde Fays of Oka, Quebec: one very talented chocolatierMy Profile

  19. wendy
    Twitter:
    says:

    I noticed it. I do a quick glance weekly at your posts to see if it something that aligns for me so I can share a valuable comment. Intriguing places will always get my attention.

    I am quite aware of the healthy types of chocolate but it is not something I can eat on my lifelong diet.

  20. Miranda
    Twitter:
    says:

    Another reason to visit Oka! Yay. I went to Magasin de l’Abbaye a few years ago during a visit with friends in Montreal. It was a delightful and delicious day trip from MTL. Now I want to go again.

  21. You made me drooollll! I cannot imagine how delicious the bonbons would be! The squirrel looks absolutely adorable! Super duper cute:) Thanks so much for sharing about Mathilde ! What extraordinary talent:)

  22. Johann
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    says:

    Chocolates make me happy. I can never deny chocolates no matter what. The squirrel shaped one looked really good. I’m sure you had a chocolate high here. Great to read about a chocolate chef. And good luck on your journey exploring chocolates. Great to read this one.

  23. My mouth always drools when I read your posts. Mathilde Fays’ bonbons sound delectable!! Thank you for telling us about this talented chocolatour and where to find her!

  24. I would love to taste the “marriage of different flavours”! The chocolate squirrel looks yummy, but its so cute and exotic at the same time that I would hate to destroy it by eating! Doreen, I love reading these chocolate tales that you put up in your blog from across the world!

  25. neha
    Twitter:
    says:

    I always love to read about your chocolate experiences Doreen. This lady has magical hands..look at that squirrel. It is hard to believe it is chocolate. Looks delicious as well. She definitely knows her talents and is using them well.

  26. Sandy N Vyjay
    Twitter:
    says:

    Mathilde Fays takes chocolate making to a fine art and the results are really exquisite. It is fascinating to see the artistic expressions taking shape in the form of chocolates. Really love your passion for the thing that most of us are passionate about, chocolates!

  27. I love small towns and I love chocolate so this sounds like a perfect place for me to visit. The Blond sounds so unique and interesting, I’ll definitely have to remember to try that one!

  28. What beautiful chocolates. I was thinking other day about these “times” we live in and how the artisan movement has given so many people an outlet to demonstrate their creativity in so many different ways. Mathilde of OKA chocolates is a perfect example. Her product is beautiful!

    • So very true, Alison. Creative people now have many different kinds of outlets ion which to channel their creativity. That’s why I love artisan chocolate so much! It really enables the chocolatier to play with the look, feel, and taste of each and every chocolate creation.

  29. Nothing like a little chocolate to get through a rainy day! Mathilde Fays’ chocolates are so pretty, you almost don’t want to eat them. Note “almost!” 🙂

  30. Mehedi Hasan
    Twitter:
    says:

    Love the way Mathilde designs her chocolate. A work of art that shows how creative she is.

  31. These looks so cool! I’m sure they taste amazing too. I’m totally not drooling over here 😉

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