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.
Assistant Technical Advisor of the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy Center in Chicago
Alexandra comes from the beautiful state of Michigan. She received her Hospitality Business degree at Michigan State University. During her hospitality internships at M.S.U. she became interested in the world of pastry. After graduation she attended the French Pastry School in Chicago, where she interned for the L’Art de la Patisserie and L’Art du Gateau programs. Alex went on to work at NoMI Restaurant in the Park Hyatt Chicago, where she worked under Chef Frederic Moreau. During that time NoMI received 1 star Michelin. She is now excited to be apart of the Academy team and work with talented chefs.
West Coast Technical Advisor USA- Brand Sales Development
Boada’s formal training began in 1992 in Chicago, where she
graduated from the Culinary School of Kendall College. Since then,
Boada has moved worldwide apprenticing under Master Pastry Chefs
and Master Confectioners. After honing her skills, she returned to
settle in the US working in NY, LA and Chicago.Boada’s past
experience includes Sugar Training under Ewald Notter, Chocolate
Training under Jacquy Pfeiffer and Fine Dining training under Mary
Beth and Roland Liccioni of the 4 star acclaimed Le Français
Reaching for new challenges, Boada moved to Los Angeles. Her experience there includes work for TLC’s Chocolate Wars as well as educating with Le Cordon Bleu North America. Boada was instrumental in rolling out LCB’s Patisserie and Baking Program that included the recipe testing and curriculum development for 12 different classes ranging from sugar and chocolate work to laminated dough and plated desserts leading the American Culinary Federation to honor Boada with a nomination for Western Region Educator of the Year 2009. Boada stands as one of three Certified Executive Pastry Chef (CEPC), Certified Culinary Educator (CCE), Certified Culinary Administrator (CCA), and Approved Certification Evaluator (ACE) in the country.
As one of Barry Callebaut’s Techs, Boada assists their customer base with technical support, demos, chocolate training and trend setting Customer Ideation Sessions. Her territory is Las Vegas and the West Coast however her consulting often brings her to do demonstrations and training nationwide staying on the leading edge of what’s happening in Barry Callebaut’s chocolate world.
Emma Afshin has been a Technical Services and Applications Advisor at Barry Callebaut since February 2013. Chef Emma is a practiced professional chef with over 10 years of experience in Patisserie, French cuisine, culinary, beverages and fine dining. She has proven skills in leadership, people management and development, event coordination and budgeting. She has excellent culinary program management from produce sourcing through to delivery and presentation. Through her practical approach she has developed a reputation as high performing teacher and for delivering eye catching presentation, high quality menus with consistent profitability. She has specialized in academic chef instruction, developing and teaching comprehensive and challenging culinary courses including international cooking, advanced baking as well as advanced pastry.
Brasil, São Paulo
Mexico, Mexico City
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..."
Assistant Technical Advisor of the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy Center in Chicago
Born in Mexico City, Chef Castellanos arrived in Chicago to attend the Robert Morris University where he finished his Associate in Applied Science Degree - Culinary Arts. He then attended The French Pastry School in Chicago where he finished the L’Art de la Pâtisserie program. Following his studies, Chef Castellanos worked as an Assistant Pastry Chef at the Hyatt Lodge in Oakbrook, IL. H and the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago in 2008. At the Chicago Chocolate Academy, Chef Castellanos works as an Assistant Technical Advisor, under Chef Jerome Landrieu and Chef Celine Plano. He assistants them in developing recipes and instructing classes.
Josep Maria was born in Centelles, a small town situated inthe heart of Catalonia. From a tender age and eager to help in the family restaurant business run by his parents Josep Maria and Conchi, he decided to study Hotel and Catering Management in the Joviat School in Manresa. He studied as a general and pastry Chef for 5 years, but it was not until his last year at the school that he began to dedicate himself full time to the world of pastry, experiencing and experimenting in the world of everything sweet. This enthused and motivated him towards working with pastry in general and the jewel in the crown, chocolate. He joined Aula Chocovic in 2001 ( Now Chocolate-Academy) and trained extensively in this complex but exciting world, going on to give his first courses, seminars and demonstrations in 2003. Since then he has run training seminars at both National and International level and over the years has gained a broad vision of current pastry confection and tendancies. His professional drive and an innate need to excel led him to participate and win many pastry and chocolatier competitions all over the world.
Certified Master Sugar Artist
Chef Mark Seaman is a Technical Advisor at Barry Callebaut North
America. His extensive knowledge in sugar artistry and cake
decorating has been invaluable to the team at the Chocolate Academy
in Chicago, IL. As part of the impressive technical team for the
Chocolate Academy, Chef Seaman interacts with pastry chefs,
chocolatiers, and bakers from all over the world to develop
innovative chocolate creations.
Prior to joining Barry Callebaut, Chef Seaman was an Instructor at the renowned French Pastry School in Chicago, IL. There he taught courses on cake decorating, focusing on his specialty, wedding cakes. Chef Seaman continues to inspire cake decorators by participating as a judge in wedding cake competitions around the United States. In addition, he is an Adjudicator for Sugar Artist Certification by ICES, the International Cake Exploration Societé.
Chef Seaman is best known for the exclusive, appointment-only wedding cake boutique that he owned in Chicago, IL from 2000-2009. There he created one-of-a-kind wedding cakes for brides and grooms from all over the country. Chef Seaman has been recognized for his craftsmanship with several prestigious awards and accolades. In 2013 he was honored by Dessert Professional Magazine as one of the Top Ten Cake Designers in North America. Chef Seaman’s beautiful cakes have been featured on The Food Network, HGTV, the Travel Channel, ABC 7 Chicago, and TLC.
Chef Seaman’s skills are not limited to cakes and sugar. He also owned a full-line retail bakery in Libertyville, IL. This business venture led him to have a stronger appreciation for chocolate. Chef Seaman has said that for him “chocolate is one of those things that is so ubiquitous that it is easy to overlook its subtleties...subtleties of flavor, texture, and eye appeal. As a professional cake stylist, I like to incorporate chocolate as a detail so as to shine a light on these subtleties”.
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.
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.
Francisco Migoya currently is the Head Chef at Modernist Cuisine, in Bellevue Washington (www.modernistcuisine.com). Chef Migoya, was the owner and chocolatier at Hudson Chocolates in the Hudson Valley of New York, from March 2013 to June 2014. Hudson Chocolates was very successful, and a project from which he learned a lot, but he ultimately made the decision to close Hudson Chocolates to be reunited with his family. Prior to joining the Modernist Cuisine team, Francisco was a Professor at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he taught since April of 2005 and in January 2007, he was named Faculty Member of the Year which recognizes excellence in teaching.
Migoya is the author of “The Elements of Dessert” (John Wiley and Sons, 2012), winner of the 2014 IACP Award in the Professional Category, “The Modern Café” (John Wiley and Sons, 2010), which was nominated for a James Beard award in the Cooking From a Professional Standpoint category in 2010, and “Frozen Desserts” (John Wiley and Sons,
Francisco has presented two research projects internationally with his colleague, Dr. Chris Loss:
- “New Flavor and Texture Interactions in Chocolate”, BCN Vanguardia, Barcelona, Spain, March 2012.
- “Leveraging textures in the pastry kitchen for developing innovative flavors and healthy dairy based desserts”, 7th NIZO Dairy Conference, Pappendal, Netherlands, September 2011.
- In addition, both of these projects were presented at the 2013 Eastern Psychological Association Convention in New York City, March 2013.
Francisco Migoya was named “Master Artisan Pastry Chef” in May of 2013 by the Pastry Guild of Barcelona, Spain. He was also named one of the Top Chocolatiers in America by Dessert Professional Magazine, one of Top Pastry Chefs in America in 2013 by The Huffington Post and in 2011 by Dessert Professional Magazine.
Previous to working at the CIA, Migoya was the Executive Pastry Chef for The French Laundry, Bouchon Bakery and Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, CA. He has also worked at a number of restaurants in New York City such as Veritas (pastry chef), Ilo (sous pastry-chef; now closed) and The River Café (pastry chef; Brooklyn).
He has a BA in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the CESSA University in Mexico City, Mexico. Additionally, he has a diploma of French Gastronomy from the École D’hotellerie et de Toursime, Strasbourg-Illkirch, France.
Frédéric Hawecker is an artist, and quality is at the core of everything he does. After receiving his CAP Pastry Certificate from Lycée Hôtelier Marseille, he spent seven years with Tour de France: Les Compagnons du Devoir, sharing expertise and savoir faire, while traveling throughout France. He then served as an Assistant Trainer at the Superior National School of Confectionery and Pastry, where he worked alongside Chef Jérôme Landrieu. Currently, he manages Pâtisserie Chocolaterie Hawecker with his brother Guillaume. Most notably, Chef Frédéric was the sole recipient of the esteemed MOF title in 2011 at the Meilleur Ouvrier de France Chocolatier-Pâtisser, and was previously a finalist in 2007. Other awards include the 2006 Trophée International des Chefs d’or, Artistic Category winner of “Grand Prix International de la Chocolaterie”, 2nd prize for SERBOTEL in 2001 and 1st prize for Trophée Pascal CAFFET in 2000.
Owner, Chocolat Frederic Loraschi
After learning his craft in France and working with some of the most prestigious Chefs all over Europe, Frederic pursues his career in the United States working for luxury hotels such as The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, The Original Ritz-Carlton Boston, and The Hotel Hershey as Executive Pastry Chef.
Frederic creates Frederic Loraschi Chocolate in 2005. A sculptor of flavors, Frederic treats chocolate like a raw material, where each creation is the expression of his pronounced taste for design and bold flavors. This is the promise to take your taste buds on a delicious and thrilling trip like never before.
At Frederic Loraschi Chocolate, Frederic places great importance on the worlds of flavors and makes no compromise with the sourcing of ingredients, using rare cocoa beans from Africa and South America, as well as other ingredients from unique locations around the world.
Frederic’s sensitivity, charisma, precision and creativity are present in every one of his creations. Ingredients are meticulously blended together until the perfect combination is finally achieved, such process can take days, weeks or even months. Excellence and quality have no limits.
Frederic Loraschi Chocolate creations were featured in many publications, national television and have won many awards such as: “Best Tasting Award” US Selection of the World Chocolate Masters 2010, Second Place “Chocolatier of the Year” Pastry Live 2011, and was Selected as one of the “Top 10 Chocolatier” in North America for 2011
Corporate Pastry Chef, PreGel AMERICA
Frederic Monti, a native from France with over 30 years of pastry experience, joined the PreGel AMERICA culinary staff in 2009 as the corporate pastry chef. He has contributed to many of the industry’s top publications such as Pastry & Baking North America, Dessert Professional and So Good. Chef Frederic Monti is known for his beautiful presentations of desserts, but also for creating amazing flavors and texture combinations. His craft leads him to explore his imagination, which unfolds into impressive plated desserts, entremets, petit gateaux, and inspiring sugar and chocolate showpieces. After winning a Silver Medal at the National Pastry Team Championship in 2003, Chef Monti returned in 2007 as a member of Team Branlard and together they achieved a gold medal. Chef Monti’s many other accolades include being named one of the "Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America" in Pastry Art & Design magazine for consecutive years (2003 & 2004) and being featured on the Food Network for his dynamic sugar artistry He truly is a well-rounded chef with a plethora of experiences in all areas, and this versatility is what keeps him current and a continued force in the industry.
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.
Jerome Jacob was born in Paris, and started studying the art of pastry at the age of 16, but quickly realized he was more drawn to the art of chocolate. The passion for his work has brought him to work in some prestigious pastry houses like The Trianon Palace Hotel, Pierre Herme Paris, Frank Daubos Chocolatier, just to name a few.
Surrounded by World famous professionals he decided to challenge himself by doing some competitions. He participated and won third place at the Croque en Bouche competition at the Salon du Chocolat in 2007. He also competed in the Coupe des Jeunes Chocolatiers Confiseur competition in Paris in 2008.
After the competition in 2008, he decided to pack up and move to the United States. He was offered an opportunity to work alongside world renowned chef, Jean-Marie Auboine at the newly opened Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, Florida. As an Assistant Chef, he managed the chocolate production for hotel events.
In 2010, he landed at the Bellagio Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada as the newest Assistant Pastry Chef. In this role, he oversees the day-to-day chocolate production for all the hotel outlets and events. erome is also in charge of the development of seasonal turn down amenities as well as all the VIP showpieces for the hotel.
Since the beginning of his career at the Bellagio, Jerome has continually challenged himself by competing in some of the more prestigious competitions here in the US. In 2012, he participated and won first place and was crowned Chocolatier of the Year in the Pastry Live competition in Atlanta, GA. Additionally, he participated in the 2013 “L’art du chocolatier” Cacao Barry competition in Chicago, IL where he also won first place was again crowned Chocolatier of the Year.
John Kraus trained as a chef and began his career in London, England, at the Dorchester Hotel. Upon his return to the U.S., Chef Kraus worked in pastry with Chef Robert Waggoner at the famed five-star, five-diamond Wild Boar restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. He was then appointed Executive Pastry Chef at the exclusive Magnolia restaurant under Chef Emile Labrousse. He is best known in Chicago for the innovative desserts he created while serving as Pastry Chef at NoMI restaurant in the Park Hyatt Hotel Chicago and as a well loved instructor at The French Pastry school in Chicago. He opened his own Patisserie in Minnesota, Patisserie 46.Kraus's awards include the prestigious 2002 Paris Gourmet Pastry Chef of the Year and the Valrhona National Dessert Champion of 2002. Chef John Kraus won Food Network’s 2004 Chocolate Challenge in Atlantic City andwas named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in the United States by Pastry Art & Design magazine.Kraus's fascination with pastry covers a range from viennoiserie to chocolate to candies and confections.
Chef Jordi Puigvery teaches at the famous Escola d’Hosteleria de Girona and has demonstrated all over the world. He was Head Pastry Chef at Restaurant Les Cols (1 Michelin star) and now also is Technical Demonstrator for Sosa Ingredients. He is currently Proprietor of "Sweet'n Go", a company specialized in patisserie training, consultancy and demonstrations for restaurants, catterers and cake shops. He also is a Patisserie advisor for Riu Hotels in Mexico, USA, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Aruba and Jamaica.
FURTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
• Contributor to specialist patisserie journals including So Good Magazine, Le journal du Pâtissier, “La Confitería Española“, “Dulcypas“, “Saber Sabor“.
• Finalist in The Best Dessert of Restaurant 2007 Competition.
• Lecturer at gastronomy congresses, e.g. Forum Gastronómico de Vic, Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía Española and Alpe Adrià Cooking.
• Finalist in Jaén Olive Oil competition held during "Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía Española“.
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.
Lilian Bonnefoi is currently the Executive Pastry Chef, at Hotel Cap Eden Rock, one of the 100 most prestigious hotel palaces in the world, located in Antibes, France. Chef Bonnefoi is just as passionate about teaching as he is pastry, and this passion of his has led him to teach courses all around the globe.
Two notable things about Chef Bonnefoi: One, he is the proud author of the book, “Cuisine de Gourmandizes de Stars.” And two, Lilian takes pride in making all of his creations from scratch, using only the best local ingredients and products.
Lucien Gautier, has earned a degree from the Morlass Hospitality School, and has already embarked upon a brilliant career working in very famous restaurants: in September 2000, he started off working for 2 years with Serge Granger in Montrichard before working with Gilles Marchal and Eric Fréchon as Chef de Partie, or Speciality Chef, at the Bristol from 2002 to 2005. Following on from that, he then worked for two years at the Plaza Athénée Hotel & Restaurant with Christophe Michalak before accepting a position in Las Vegas in the United States where he became Senior Pastry Chef at the MIX for Alain Ducasse from 2007 to 2009.
He then worked at the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz as Assistant Pastry Chef.
At the same time, Lucien distinguished himself during his participation in numerous competitions notably winning the first artistic prize in the 2006 Charles Proust contest as well as the 1st Prize, the presentation of a Sèvres porcelain vase in Romorantin in 2009.
Impassioned by his job, his peers consider him to be one of the most promising pastry chefs of his generation.
Chef Mathieu Barriquault is originally from France. His background is in food technology with a Masters of Food Engineering. He spent 3 years at The Innovation Centre of the French Pastry Institute focusing on the technology and technique of preservation of artisan chocolates. After his experience with the French Pastry Institute he decided to become a Chocolatier. He spent one year working as a Chocolatier in Moscow. With the skill gained there, Chef Mathieu moved on to work at several well known Chocolatiers in France and Japan. Now, Chef Mathieu is sharing his knowledge and ability in Dublin, Ireland.
Mathieu Blandin is a world renowned chef who has worked with some of the best names in the profession: Serge Granger (M.O.F Chocolate seller), Olivier Bajard (M.O.F Pastrycook, World Champion) and Gaétan Paris (M.O.F Baker), just to name a few. He apprenticed with Dominique Cordel at Bar-de-Duc, and in 2001 was a finalist of the Best Apprentices of France. Since 2003 Mathieu has worked as a Pastry Chef at Pascal Caffet in Troyes, France, and in 2013 won the honor of World Pastry Champion. We are very excited to welcome Mathieu to the Chocolate Academy!
Olivier Vidal was born in France and is currently managing the chocolate production department for celebrated MOF Chef Gillotte Fabrice in Dijon, France. While serving as an apprentice chocolatier of Chef Gillotte from 1993-1994, he placed third in the World Chocolate Masters’ competition in Dijon and took first place for taste. In 2003, he was awarded the Cacao Barry Grand Prix International de la Chocolaterie and was also in the World Chocolate Masters French National Selection in Belfort where he won first place in taste. In 2005, he placed first in the World Chocolate Masters’ Regional Selection in Paris and placed fourth in the overall competition in Paris. Most notably, he received the elite MOF title in 2007, after being selected to participate in France’s most prestigious pastry competition, the “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” where he impressed everyone.
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
Xano Saguer is a self-taught pastry chef from Girona, Spain who discovered an avenue in restaurant pastry filled with creativity and self-discipline. Motivated by techniques and driven by innovation he broke from the mold of traditional desserts. He has baked at renowned Spanish restaurant elBulli and was the pastry chef at El Pati Verd with Jean Paul Vinay and Jean Luc Figueras. By giving classes and demonstrations throughout Spain, Saguer discovered the need for a new level of thought in the world of pastry that promoted new ingredients and unique techniques. As a result of this realization he joined forces with Butrón at his Barcelona based pastry school, EspaiSucre. Saguer won the “World Cup of Pastry” award for Spain in 2003 and Cacao Barry chocolates granted him the title of “World Ambassador,” an award that has only been given to 160 pastry chefs to date.