Dominique Leborgne was born in Armentières, a small town in northern France, into a family who owned a gourmet store. At age 15 he refused to work in his parents’ gourmet shop and instead, apprenticed in the pastry shop across the street.
He then trained at the famous Dalloyau Gavillon pastry shop in Paris, where he learned to use 70% cocoa butter in all of his chocolates. In 1980, he then joined the Intercontinental Hotel in Paris where he worked his way up the pastry kitchen ladder, to assistant pastry chef. In 1985, he was offered the position of executive pastry chef at the new Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC.
He left the Willard in 1988 to open his own Le Palais du Chocolat on 19th Street NW. In May of 1993, the Great Chefs television crew showed up to tape Chef Leborgne for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of the East television series, where he appeared in episode # 19, as well as several Great Chefs Chocolate specials. He passed away very young in June 1995.