IT is 15 years since the publication of her bestselling novel Chocolat and to mark the occasion author Joanne Harris has just published her third cookery book and this one is an homage to chocolate.
But surprisingly even though she spent her early years growing up above a Barnsley sweet shop, Joanne hardly ever ate sweets as a child.
And, perhaps more surprisingly, Joanne insists she is not a chocoholic - and actually prefers savoury food to sweet.
"I am not a chocoholic, although I do enjoy chocolate occasionally. And yet as I wrote my story (Chocolat) I found myself increasingly fascinated by the history and folklore of chocolate, its capacity to transform and evolve, and, of course, the emotional resonance that chocolate holds for so many of us."
Joanne studied modern and mediaeval languages at Cambridge and was a teacher for 15 years, teaching French at Leeds Grammar School, living in Barnsley and writing in her garden shed.
It was while teaching that she published three novels, but it was the third, Chocolat, which was to change her life.
She quite soon had to give up teaching as she was much in demand to promote Chocolat and the subsequent film. One of the recipes in the Little Book of Chocolat is called Brioche Juliette.
“Juliette Brioche was the nickname given to Juliette Binoche by my daughter, who was then aged six when Juliette first came to stay at our Barnsley house before filming Chocolat,” recalls Joanne.
“She had a very lively sense of humour and I think she would enjoy the idea of having a chocolate cake named after her.”
Most read news stories