Jarrin, William Alexis

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Jarrin, William Alexis (1785–1848), also called Guglielmo, was a confectioner and author of The Italian Confectioner, first published in 1820.

Born in the small town of Colorno, near Parma in northern Italy, Jarrin became a confectioner at a young age. The turbulent political background of the Napoleonic wars may have given him opportunities, and he was evidently ambitious. By 1807 he was working in Paris, where he made at least one elaborate sugar sculpture in honor of Napoleon Bonaparte. Jarrin claimed to have been attached to the emperor’s household, and high-quality work in such an environment must have brought him into the same milieu as the famous chef and confectioner Carême. See carême, marie-antoine. In 1817 Jarrin moved to London, following in the footsteps of many skilled continental European craftsmen displaced by the political climate. The portrait frontispiece of the first edition of The Italian Confectioner states that Jarrin was “confectioner and ornament-maker” at Gunter’s, a famous London confectioner. He subsequently opened his own shop on New Bond Street, in the heart of fashionable London.