We train more than 500 people every week
In addition to our technical advisors, the teaching staff at the CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ centers regularly includes Ambassadors who are among the leading professionals throughout the world. We ensure all courses reflect the latest artisanal techniques and product design.
Andres Lara -Canadian Creative & Innovative Chef
A well-travelled pastry maestro with global exposure, Andres Lara brings with him over twelve years of experience in pastry making. Trained at the prestigious French Pastry School in Chicago, he pursued knowledge and excellence in the culinary field, which gave him a deeper understanding to the world of, refined pastry and its Science and Technology.
Early Stints in Spain under Master Chef Paco Torreblanca and in Shanghai under Chef Eric Perez, greatly inspired a love for both learning and travel
Having had the opportunity of working with renowned chefs from all over the world, Lara gained many valuable experiences at Michelin-starred restaurants such as Bagatelle in Norway, ElBulli in Spain, Noma in Denmark, and Iggy’s in Singapore. Other forms of inspiration that fuel his knowledge on the science of pastry making include being assistant to Ramon Morato at the then Chocovic Chocolate Academy in Vic, Spain.
Having been Cacao Barry’s Regional Chef for Asia pacific, brought him to the Tokyo Chocolate Academy where he was part of the opening team, as well as realizing demonstrations and teaching classes all over Asia, as well as Europe, North and South America.
Over the years, Lara developed a unique style reflecting sophistication and elegance in his creations.
Director of the Barry Callebaut CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ center in Chicago
After receiving his certification in pastry and chocolate, Chef
Landrieu worked at multiple highly esteemed sweet shops and
restaurants in France. He studied under three MOF chefs, enabling
him to perfect his craft. Chef Landrieu’s passion for excellence
led him to begin teaching at the Superior National School of
Confectionery and Pastry and The Bellouet Conseils School, a
prestigious Parisian school for the art of desserts. He has won two
first prizes in sugar artistry, and 2nd prize for artistry at
Chocolat by Pascal Caffet in Troyes, 2006. He was also a substitute
for Team France at The Pastry World Cup, won first prize for
tasting selection at Salon du Chocolat in Paris,and finished in the
pastry semifinals at the 2007 Meilleur Ouvrier de France
Competition. Most recently he was selected as Dessert
Professional’s 2011 Top 10 Best Pastry Chefs in America and has
been featured in multiple issues of So Good magazine. At the
Chicago Chocolate Academy, Chef Landrieu is in charge of sharing
knowledge about chocolate and desserts.
"My philosophy is to always use the best products and techniques to create on-trend desserts. Unpretentious, elegant, generous and enticing are the key words of my pastry and such is my challenge every day. Welcome to my sweet universe..."
Mathieu has enjoyed his education at bakery school Ter Groene Poort Bruges. After that he gained experience in the kitchen of The Waterside Inn *** in Britain, at Gordon Ramsay Restaurant *** in London and at the Karmeliet *** in Bruges. He then came to Luxembourg to take charge of the R & D department of Patisserie Oberweis and thus focus more on the French patisserie and the world of high end boutique patisserie.
Pastry Chef, Technical advisor Chocolate Academy™ Montreal
- Compagnon Pâtissier in 2000, he perfected his art with the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France chefs at the National School of French Pastry (École Nationale Supérieure de la Pâtisserie Française).
- Sous-pastry chef at the 5 star palace “Hôtel Plaza Athénée” with world champion pastry chef Christophe Michalak for 5 years.
- Pastry chef at Boutique Point G in Montreal.
Master Chocolatier, Technical Director, Chocolate Academy™ Training Centre
Trained as a pâtissier-chocolatier at the Brussels Culinary Institute, Philippe was Technical Adviser at the Belgian Chocolate Academy™ from 1994 to 2012 where he also hosted lectures worldwide. He is since 2012 the director of the Chocolate Academy™ in Canada where he brings his creative and precise vision of what is chocolate.
Global Innovation Leader Cacao Barry
Born in Manlleu, Barcelona. With no family link with confectionery and after ending his schooling, he began his training in various establishments.
He combined his training with taking all the courses offered by the School of the Provincial Confectioners Association in Barcelona. During a period of stages in practical work in several of the best Spanish confectioners, he also went to important schools and technical centres such as the ZDS in Solingen, Germany and the Richard Conseil school in Lyon, France.
His enterprising spirit led him to enter numerous competitions, among them the “Mejor Maestro Artesano Pastelero”: M.M.A.P.E. 97, the highest distinction for Spanish confectioners.
As the result of these years of work, his experience and his constant eagerness for innovation, he published "RAMON MORATO chocolate" which won the Prize for the Best World Book 2007 on Chocolate, granted by the distinguished Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
The possibility of connecting with many professionals in different fields gave him ample knowledge of the sector and helped him to realise his passion for teaching, researching and creating products related with the world of sweet things.
In recent years this led him to deliver courses, seminars and conferences all over the world, as well as special endeavours such as the Harvard University collaboration project through the Alicia Foundation.
At present he is the responsible of the Chocolate Lab in Barcelona and Creative Director for the French brand Cacao Barry.
Callebaut Chocolate Academy Head Chef
In 1998 Ryan had his first taste of victory when he won first prize for his sculpted bread at the Queensland Bread Show. Since then Ryan has competed multiple times in the Queensland Bread show coming home every time with first prize. He has also competed multiple times in the World Chocolate Masters where he was twice the Belgium Chocolate Master and also won the prize for best praline in 2009.
Ryan has lived a colourful career that started in Australia, working in the UK, Germany and his current home since 2005 Belgium, gaining experience in 5* hotels and 3* restaurants as well as well-known Belgium pastry shops. Ryan Is Head of the Chocolate Academy Belgium.
Arnaud Larher has been called the “Star of Montmartre,” and one look through the window of his superb shop on Rue Caulaincourt in Paris leaves no doubt as to why. Awarded the distinction of Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2007, Larher, still in his early thirties, worked at Dalloyau and Fauchon before opening his own store. His boutique attracts chocolate fans from around the world.
Mexico, Mexico City
Master Chocolatier and Pastry Chef - Chocolate Ambassador’s Club Member
Born in France, Christophe comes from a family of pastry chefs. At a young age, he took classes and became a pastry chef and chocolatier. His passion for chocolate and his knowledge of blending flavours, coupled with his talent and creativity propelled him into the limelight. Recipient of numerous honours such as the Grand Prix Canadien de la Chocolaterie in 2003 and the Coupe du Monde de Pâtisserie de Lyon in 2005, he continues to dazzle the eye and treat the palate. Savouring a chocolate concocted by Christophe Morel is offering oneself a delicious moment of pleasure. Chef Morel was selected to represent Canada in the last two World Chocolate Masters competitions.
Ryon holds the Meilleur Ouvrier de France title and was the Glacier World Pastry Champion in 1999. He is also author of the book Apprenez l’Art de la Glace et des Sorbets.
Chef Jean-Michel Perruchon, Director of Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil Ecole Gastronomique in Paris, hails from Britney, France. He has worked for some of the best pastry shops in Paris such as Fauchon, Le Notre, Constant, La Maison du Chocolat. In 1989, he has founded Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil School with G. J. Bellouet, Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), to improve the skills of professionals. He has also written many prized international gastronomique books. Chef Jean-Michel has won many gastronomique competitions such as La Vase de Sèvres du President de la Republique in Arpajon, Charles Proust Cup, Finalist at the French Cup and finally, in 1993 he obtained the exclusive title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF). He continues to hand down his experiences not only in France, but all over the world.
Pastry Instructor, Bellouet Conseil School in Paris
• Began at Maison Debieux alongside Chef Stéphane Glacier, MOF Pâtissier
• 2009-present, teaches French pastry courses for professionals at Bellouet Conseil School in Paris directed by Chef Jean Michel Perruchon, MOF Pâtissier
• 2007, Pastry World Cup in Phoenix – assistant to winning French team: Chef Franck Michel, MOF Pâtissier, Chef Franck Kestener MOF Chocolatier, Cherf Bruno Montcoudiol MOF
• 2007, Artistic Sugar Competition in Lyon, France – Vice Champion
• 2013, Pastry World Cup in Lyon, France – Silver Medal of the selection French team
Enjoys traveling all over the world, from Japan to Kuwait, Colombia to Egypt, sharing his experiences and “savoir- faire”.
Technical Services & Applications Manager, R&D, Barry Callebaut USA
Laurent Besin studied in France and Belgium, gaining his Masters Diploma in Bakery, Pastry and Chocolate at “l’Institut Technique des Métiers de l’Alimentation.” Currently Head of Technical Service & Applications Manager for North America, his main responsibilities include troubleshooting at customer sites, formulating recipes and customer training in the handling procedures of chocolate. Prior to that, he held similar positions in many countries including the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Far East, South Africa and Russia. Laurent has over 20 years of experience in the chocolate industry.
Master Chocolatier and Pastry Chef - Chocolate Ambassador’s Club Member
When he first arrived in Canada in 1996, Laurent opened and worked in several prestigious restaurants in Montréal. In 2000, Chef Pagès moved to Ottawa where he accepted the position of Technical Director at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, one of the ten best culinary schools in North America. Chef Laurent participated in different events and won awards such as an Achievement Certificate at the World Pastry Forum in July 2002 and both 1st prize "chocolate entremets" and 9th place for Team Canada at the World Cup in 2005. Since March 2007, he has been managing the pastry & chocolate shop Éclats de Saveurs in Blainville, near Montreal.
Master Chocolatier and Pastry Chef - Chocolate Ambassador’s Club Member
After attending two years of professional cooking school in France, as well as various positions in pastry and catering in France, Luxemburg and the United States, Ludovic immigrated to the province of Quebec. He fine-tuned his skills in chocolate at the Pâtisserie de Gascogne in Montreal from 1994 – 1997. In 1997, he became involved with Chocolats Privilège assuming the role of chocolate, sorbet and ice cream development and production. His special passion lies is in the development of new products as well as in the training of his staff. Ludovic was named Pastry Chef of the year in 2000 for the Greater Montreal region.
Director and owner of Pâtisserie Ducobu in Waterloo, Belgium, as well as pastry chef. Expert in pastry, confectionery and gelaterie. He has won several prestigieus prizes:
- The Prosper Montagnier Prize, Bruxelles (2001)
- Third prize in the World Pastry Cup, (2003)
- Second prize in the World Pastry Cup, Lyon (2005).
After studying in Belgium and The Netherlands, she refined her skills with the funkiest Chocolatier, Dominique Persoone and the reknown chef Pierre Gagnaire. During her ‘Tour the France’, she worked in the kitchen of Michelin-starred Restaurant le Cinq at the Four Seasons Georges V in Paris and the famed Maison Pic in Valence with Anne-Sophie Pic and Pastry Chef Philippe Rigollot. While Pastry Chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant Caprice at the Four Seasons in Hong Kong, she is pursuing not only her dream of creating desserts but also participating in the World Chocolate Masters. She won the 2nd place to this competition in 2013 and she has been awarded the Best Hong Kong Pastry Chef in 2015.
Brasil, São Paulo
Throughout her career, Chef Coppel has been recognized for her exceptional chocolate artistry, winning several industry awards. In 2012, she won the Pastry Live "People's Choice" Award and placed second overall in the "Chocolatier of the Year" competition in Atlanta. In 2013, she returned to the Pastry Live competition where she reclaimed the "People's Choice" Award and won the title of " Chocolatier of the Year ". Chef Coppel is now owner of Sucre LLC and spends her time consulting and teaching around the world, inspiring other chocolate artisans.
Master Chocolatier and Pastry Chef, Chocolate Ambassador’s Club Member
If pieces of chocolate crystallize as well as Nancy Samson’s career evolves, you will enjoy taking this French introductory course with her. A graduate of the Quebec Tourism and Hospitality Institute in pastry, chocolate and ice cream in 1989, the following year she started teaching pastry at the Hospitality School in Trois-Rivieres. Passionate about her profession and full of energy, in 1996 Nancy became a member of the Barry Callebaut Ambassadors Club, and the first woman in Quebec to be part of the club. In 2009, Nancy was awarded the title of Pastry Chef of the Year in Quebec. If you have not yet taken the Introduction to French chocolate with Nancy Samson, don’t wait! This is truly a unique experience that’s not to be missed!
Ambassadeur Cacao Barry
Chef Executif du Shangri-La Paris. Elu Cuisinier de l’Année 2013 par le Gault et Millau.
Meilleur Ouvrier de France Glacier, 1994 - Pastry chef, Restaurant Europea
Native from Southeastern France, Roland Del Monte’s accent reflects his origins and love for the good life. Consecrated “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” in 1994, he left France to settle in Quebec in 2009. Roland now works as the Pastry Chef for Groupe Europea, where he and his team create all of the pastries for the groups’ restaurants. A true chocolate and pastry lover, he passes on his knowledge and passion to future generations. Roland is also an associate of the Pastry World Cup.
Brazilian and rooted in Canada, he worked as pastry sous chef, head baker and head chef in the Vintage Inn Hotels, Esplendido Restaurant and Crush Wine Bar.
• Currently, Shidomi is teaching chocolate at Humber College (Toronto).
He also worked at the Old Fire Hall (Ontario) and Pâtisserie 46 in Minneapolis (USA)
• Brazilian finalist to the World Chocolate Master competition in 2013
Pastry Chef and Proprietor, Patisserie Bamas
Pastry and Chocolate Certification
Since 1998, Proprietor and head chef of Patisserie Bamas in Bayonne, France
1989-1998, Head pastry chef at numerous Michelin Star restaurants in France
2011, recipient of the esteemed Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) title in Pastry and Confection
2010, World Champion of frozen desserts
2005, European Champion of Sugar Showpieces
2001, European Champion of pastry