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.
Christa Muyldermans started her professional training in Hotel Management at the Plantijn University College in Antwerp. She soon noted an affinity with the culinary side of the study program and enrolled in a technical training program in baking, patisserie and chocolate at PIVA (also in Antwerp).
After completing her training she worked at several bakeries and chocolatiers to learn the tricks of the trade. It was not long before Belgium became too small for her so she went abroad to further expand her knowledge in Hong Kong. Here, she was employed as a Pastry Chef in the French patisserie shop Petite Amanda and the renowned Peninsula Hotel 5* .
After this, she took up the position of Production Manager at Chocolaterie Sweet La Vie Chocolates. She ultimately returned to her own country to set up her own business in Ghent.
Christa Muyldermans joined the Callebaut Chocolate Academy team as a Senior Callebaut chef in 2019.
Born in 1980, Davide Comaschi, already a teenager, decides that pastry is his vocation. After training at CAPAC (Polytechnic of Commerce and Tourism), he began his work experience in one of the historic laboratories of Milan, of which he soon became a pastry chef. Here it is perfected thanks to Vincenzo Santoro, one of the most appreciated Milanese confectioners. In the same period, he met the Maestro Iginio Massari with whom he undertook a long collaboration both in the framework of the CAST Alimenti courses and in the preparation of the World Chocolate Masters.
In 2010 he joined AMPI, the Italian Master Pastry Masters Academy and in 2013 won the World Chocolate Masters in Paris.
In 2016 he became the testimonial of the Salon du Chocolat in Paris, Milan edition, and in the same year he became director of the Chocolate Academy ™ Center in Milan.
He also graduated in Culinary Nutrition at the prestigious Art joins Nutrition Academy and became a member of the Scientific Committee ASSIC (Association for Nutritional Safety in the Kitchen), formed by authoritative representatives of the world of science and health.
Director of the Chocolate Academy ™ Center Milan will take care of all the educational proposals and will personally conduct some pastry and chocolate courses.
Dries began his education at the pastry and bakery school in Belgium, Ter Groene Poorte. He specialized himself in heathly bakery applications, chocolate and industrial bakery/pastry production processes.
After his education he worked in different very renowned restaurants and bakery/pastry shops such as Le Sanglier des Ardennes, Hof Van Cleve which is the only 3 stars restaurant in Belgium, Pierre Herme and Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas.
He loves to combine his passion and knowledge for pastry arts, continuing to learn different techniques and keep up to date with modern flavor profiles.
His background at both Michelin starred restaurants and pastry shops makes him versatile and help him combine the best of both worlds towards the creation of plated desserts, pastries, chocolate bonbons and pieces, ice cream and sorbets, viennoiserie and bread.
He has a very passionated and driven personality and always gives the best of himself.
Born in Lisbon, Francisco started to study pastry and chocolate at a very young age. After working for 7 years in different hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants in Portugal, he won the “ADN Pasteleiro” first price in April 2016; this is a national pastry competition in Portugal.
After that, he decided to leave his home country and went to Spain to lead the pastry department from MB** restaurant in Tenerife.
One year later, in 2017, he joined the Chocolate Academy team in Wieze, the heart of the Finest Belgian Chocolate.
Julie Sharp has been sharing her chocolate expertise at the UK Chocolate Academy since 2011.
Her career led her to be Head Pastry Chef at prestigious venues in London, including the Regent Four Seasons ( Landmark) Hotel and the Mandarin Oriental.
Driven by her passion for travel, Julie accumulated experience in prestigious five stars venues overseas.
Firstly to the Bahamas as Pastry Chef for the Lyford Cay Millionaire’s Club, then to Canada to Chateau Lake Louise and lastly to the Sofitel in Melbourne, Australia.
Then she moved back to one of London’s most iconic hotels: Claridges.
Recognised for her contribution to the Pastry world, Julie was invited to become a member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and was awarded Pastry Chef of the Year by the Craft Guild of Chefs.
After completing a Certificate of Education, an opportunity arose for her to combine her love for pastry, travel and teaching and she joined Barry Callebaut as Chocolate Academy Chef.
Being recognised as a leading Pastry Chef in the UK, Julie regularly features in judging panels for the highest competitions in the industry such National Chef of the Year and Annual Award of Excellence.
More recently she was honoured as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and also invited to be a Fellow of Westminster Kingsway College.
Not only does she teach at the UK Chocolate Academy, but she also shares her craft via many tutorials online and regularly appears in major British hospitality publications such as The Caterer.
Justine followed an artistic education in Sint-Lucas Ghent. During her last master year Arts she found the passion - from her grandfather who was patissier – for chocolate. To get more knowledge of chocolate she followed different courses as in the Chocolate Academy™ Centre of Barry Callebaut, and an education with Syntra in Oudenaarde.
In 2013 she worked as chocolatier for Joost Arijs (chocolatier based in Ghent). After 2 years, she started as Chocolate Academy Assistant Barry Callebaut Wieze. Daily she worked with different chefs and enlarged her knowledge in pastry.
Justine adores new experiments and every time is searching for the perfect balance between the visual aspect & the great taste experience.
Martin is employed as Chef Chocolatier and Patissier at our CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ center in France and is qualified in the study of pastry, confectionery, chocolaterie and icecream. Having been a member of the highly skilled artisan guild 'Tour de France des Compagnon de Devoir' for several years he has worked in many prestigious pastry and chocolate shops in France, namely the 'Patisserie Antoine' situated in Bordeaux. More recently he was International Technical Advisor with Patisfrance.
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.
United Kingdom, Banbury
Brasil, São Paulo
Chocolate Academy Online
Alexandre starts his chocolate education at the age of 14 at the
Ceria school in Anderlecht (Brussels).
At 18, he obtains his certificate and he is eager to learn more. He works in several chocolate boutiques for the next 2 years among which the famous store of Herman Van Dender.
His dream is to develop his skills while travelling and when he is 20 years old, he has the chance to work in the team of Serio Mei at the Four Seasons hotel in Milano. He will work for the next 10 years for this hotel in Caïro, Japan and ultimately in the United States as Pastry Chef.
When he returns to Belgium, he is 30 years old and joins the Barry Callebaut company as a Callebaut chef. Along the years, he becomes more and more confident with the technology of chocolate and improves his know-how considerably. He gives courses at the academy and he is very much appreciated worldwide for his great craftmanship and ability to teach. In 2014, Barry Callebaut opens a new Chocolate Academy Centre with 4 class rooms and he becomes Head of the Chocolate Academy.
He was co-responsible for the rules and the organisation of 3 consecutive editions of the famous World Chocolate Masters competition.
In 2016 Alexandre created his own consultancy company "Pastry & Chocadvice".
He retains his strong bond with Barry Callebaut by giving courses but he also works with several companies in Europe and gives consultancy to chocolate and pastry shops on a regular basis.
Bart was appointed Ambassador of Belgian chocolate in 2005 due mainly to his extensive knowledge for combining multiple flavours and texture to chocolates. With his wealth of experience he travels the world to conduct demos and courses. Bart refers to himself as a taste designer and prides himself on knowing which flavours work together.
Currently a Pastry Chef at Le Meurice hotel since 2012, Cédric Grolet has, in just a few years, become a key figure on the French pastry scene, the symbol of a new generation of pastry chefs. At 31 years old, Cedric excels in the art of all things sweet, notably with his original trompe l’œil creations, fruit sculptures (lemons, apples, peaches, grapefruits) and Rubik’s Cube, which are all representative of his work.
- Currently Pastry Chef at Le Meurice in Paris
- Chef of Research and Development at Fauchon from 2006-2011 in France, Dubai and China training Fauchon teams
- Best Apprentice Auvergne
- 3rd place in Best Apprentice of France
- Winner, National Trophy Sugar Art
- 1st prize in the National Festival of Croquembouches in 2005
- Voted Best Pastry Chef of the year by his peers in 2015
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.
The Ukrainian Dinara Kasko graduated from the School of Architecture of the University of Kharkov.
Her calling is the architecture, but her true passion is cooking, especially making delicious desserts. In this she strives for perfection and beauty of pure lines and this results in very graphic creations with exceptional flavor combinations.
Frank Haasnoot is a Dutch pastry chef. With over over 23 years’ experience, he is currently working as a freelance consultant.
Post completing his education, Frank started working for several pastry brands around the globe. Frank has worked in Holland, New York (La Tulipe Desserts), Kuwait (the Victorian), Taiwan (Mandarin Oriental Hotel) and Hong Kong (the Peninsula Hotel).
He has been a part of multiple national and international Pastry Competitions. In 2011, he was the winner of the World Chocolate Masters in Paris.
It was in mid 2017 that Frank decided to move back to Europe and start his freelance career to be able to teach and develop his work freely.
After winning his spurs with Gérard Boyer in Reims *, Marc
Meneau in Saint-Père-sous-Vézelay *, Philippe Urraca (Meilleur
Ouvrier de France Pastry Chef) and Michel Guérard in
Eugénie-les-Bains *, Jérôme Chaucesse uses his technique in
creations that are full of emotion, both culinary and visual.
* = ***Michelin
In 2013, Jérôme Chaucesse took on a new challenge by entering the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (best craftsmen of France) competition for the first time. He succeeded, and in 2015 was awarded the title of MOF Pastry Chef - Confectioner.
After 14 years as Pastry Chef at the Parisian palace the Hôtel
de Crillon, in 2018, he founded his own consulting company ‘Jérôme
Chaucesse Créations’ to spread his expertise worldwide.
His work has remarkable finesse and lightness.
Through his inspiration, desserts become playful and surprising, reinterpret a great classic in an unexpected manner or invent new journeys into sweetness.
His motto: Design and Elegance to create FLAVOUR
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..."
Jurgen has gained experience as a qualified chef, chocolatier and pâtissier at a range of renowned companies.
He has worked as a pastry chef at a number of starred
restaurants, including Kromme watergang**, De Swaen**,
Interscaldis** and La Gavroche *** in London, and has also worked
in patisserie companies such as Artisan du chocolat, Vlaemsche
broodhuys and on a cruise ship as a patisserie and bakery chef.
He was a product developer and demonstrator for Cnudde NV along with being pastry chef for the Benelux’s largest exclusive party caterer, Maison vd Boer.
Jurgen owns and runs the consulting company 4Pastry (jurgenkoens.nl) together with two patisserie/chocolaterie businesses in Eindhoven, namely Pastryclub 1.0 and 2.0 (pastryclub.nl).
In addition, he has won several gold awards at events including the Olympiade der Köche in Erfurt, the TT culinary ornamentation class in Assen and the Asia Culinary Cup in Bangkok.
Having gained several years of experience both at home and abroad, he thought it was high time to share his knowledge and teach others about the ins and outs of his profession.
World champion 2004 UIPGC.
Bronze medal "La Coupe du monde de la pâtisserie" and passionate
about artisan pastry, instensively studying technology and
lecturing with the moste renowned chefs in the world.
He recently released his first book as an author, a high manual about processing of pastry, this is included in the schools programmes.
Second edition 2013.
MOF Glacier 2011 & Champion du monde de glace 2010
Luc Debove s'est vu à la tête de pâtisserie de plusieurs grands hôtels du sud de la France, entre autres du Grand Hôtel du Cap Ferrat, où il a mené son équipe pendant près de 10 ans. En 2011, il reçoit le titre suprême de Meilleur Ouvrier de France Glacier, après avoir été sacré en 2010 Champion du Monde de Glace. Aujourd'hui Luc Debove se concentre sur son entreprise "Consulting et création" où il partage son savoir-faire avec le monde entier.
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.
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.
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.
After some wonderful firms - De Baere, Joost Arijs and Painture - and several competitions, Pascal has become a well-known multi-disciplinary chef in Belgium. Passionate and keen to share, always interested and curious about all the techniques and trends in the world of pastry-making, today he is pastry chef at Van Dender in Brussels (Silver Medal World Pastry Cup 1999, Official Supplier to the Belgian Court). He has some fantastic medals under his professional belt: 2014, 1* place Chocolate Award in Bruges 2011, 3* place World Pastry Cup in Lyon 2009, 3* place national selection World Chocolate Master 2008, 2* place Dutch Pastry Award 2007, 1* place George Boute Trophy, Bruges.
Vincent Vallee stepped into the Pastry world from early age thanks to his parents, owners of a Michelin Guide Restaurant called Villa Dilecta.
He quickly got attracted by the creativity of pastry and started his apprenticeship at the age of 15 with Jean Claude David (MOF). After completion of his pastry diploma with honours he got accredited the title of Best Apprentice of Vendee, France.
For three years he worked with Patrick Gelencser, a passionate chocolate master and discovered the very meticulous and rigorous work of the “Bean to Bar”. With his friend and colleague, Romain Alain he decides to concentrate his work on chocolate and in 2011, he got rewarded second price of the ‘Cabosse D’Or’, in Chocolate Sculpture category. This first experience motivated him even more to compete and challenge himself. Since then, it is always with the desire of open mindedness and curiosity that he approaches his job.
To expand his expertise, he moved to the South West of France and became executive pastry chef for the famous pastry shop owned by Thierry Bamas, world champion pastry chef for iced desserts.
Encouraged by Thierry, Vincent registered to the Criollo Trophy and won the first prize allowing him to qualify for the French finale of the World Chocolate Masters.
Thanks to his hard work and high expectations he becomes champion of the world at the chocolate masters in Lyon and quickly obtains with honours the title of Best Chocolate Maker of the world.
This high recognition, his curious and voluntary mind lead him to surpass himself every day, improving his technique and renew his discoveries to stay at his best.
Vincent shares his expertise and chocolate passion with enthusiasm during conferences and demonstrations around the world.
Willem Verlooy, a young Belgian chef patissier who was elected by Gault & Millau in 2016, became one of Belgium's best patissiers.
He develops for exclusive high end restaurants exclusive desserts and performs international demonstrations for IBC Belgium, Barry Callebaut & Crop's.