Teachers

Chocolate Academy Team

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.

Canada, Montreal

Alberto Simionato
Chef

Struck by the world of cuisine very young, Alberto Simionato decided to perfect his education at the Boscolo Etoile Academy where he came into contact with the world of high pastry. It is Maestro Cristian Beduschi who is passionate about chocolate and, after some experiences in the luxury hotel trade, Simionato arrives as chocolatier from the pastry chef Stefano Laghi. The meeting with Ramon Morató and the Chocolate Academy takes place in Spain: it is in 2010 that Alberto's journey with Cacao Barry begins.

Ciro Fraddanno
Chef

Ciro Fraddanno was born and grew up in the family ice-cream business on the Sorrento Coast, close to Naples in the south of Italy. After Culinary school he improved his pastry knowledge and, at a very young age, he arrived at the CAST Alimenti culinary school where, as an intern first, then as trainee and as a teacher years later, he personally experienced the joys of this art.

He worked with World Pastry Champions Cristian Beduschi and Luigi Biasetto, the latter experience leaving a profound and lasting mark. Desiring to learn more, he then decided to cross the Alps, landing first in Paris, at "Helenne Darroze", a two star Michelin restaurant; then onto London to the world famous Harrods department store and afterwards at the historic and enchanting Claridge's Hotel. Eventually, he returned for a short period to his home, in the warm sun of the Sorrento peninsula, where he gave a hand to relaunch his family’s gelato business. But, in search of new challenges, he agreed to move once again and get involved as a management assistant and coordinator of all the courses at CAST Alimenti, which over the years has become one of the most important culinary schools in Italy.

However, gelato is his primary passion and it is his love for ice cream that has long been part of his daily life. Passion for which Ciro has made a real profession of, that sees him involved in studying, creating and using ice cream in the various gastronomic spheres, always discovering new combinations and vast applications.

He therefore decided to focus his activities just on ice cream and share his passion by accepting a new and prestigious project, as the director of a new and beautiful school of ice cream called The Atheneum Comprital and to collaborate with one of the most important and rapidly growing businesses in the sector.

Since January 2018 he has been Chocolate Gelato Chef at the only Chocolate Academy™ centre of the biggest chocolate group in the world: Barry Callebaut; at the only one of their 23 sites that has a focus on gelato. Naturally the Academy could not but exist in one of the most fashionable and lively cities of Italy, Milano. He writes for several magazines; “Il gelaterie Italiano”, “Gelato artigianale” and “Tutto gelato” and continues to teach in other prestigious schools in Italy and overseas such as Congusto Institute, Icook, Hangar 78, CASTalimenti, Chocolate Academy Montreal.

Since 2012, when he first started sharing his passion for gelato, he has taught more than 100 courses about Italian ice cream with more than one thousand italian and international students.

Dimitri Fayard
Dimitri Fayard
Chef

Chef Dimitri began his culinary training at the age of 14 in France. In 1998, he traveled to the United States and started working for François Payard at his New York City Shop. From there, he joined the Bellagio Hotel opening team in Las Vegas, NV with MOF (“Meilleur Ouvrier de France”) Jean-Philippe Maury, as Assistant Pastry Chef. His team provided desserts for four restaurants, a 24-hour café and two pastry shops, in addition to creating all wedding cakes and room service desserts. Chef Dimitri then applied his pastry expertise at the Ritz-Carlton Corporate hotel in Atlanta, before traveling to Chicago in 2002. He helped open the Hotel Sofitel Water Tower and served as Executive Pastry Chef. From 2003 to 2011, he worked in his own Pastry Shop, Vanille Pâtisserie. Chef Dimitri has shared his techniques and passion with the students at the French Pastry School, focusing primarily on cakes, tarts and entremets. In May 2013, Chef Dimitri joined The Peninsula Chicago, where he oversaw pastry development for all food and beverage operations in the hotel. Chef Dimitri joined Barry Callebaut in 2019 and is the Head Chef at the Chicago Chocolate Academy. 

Awards

Over the course of his career, Chef Dimitri has received many accolades. He was awarded three gold medals at the Atlanta Pastry Classic Competition in 2001, and was named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Art & Design and Chocolatier magazines in 2007. Chef Dimitri was named a World Pastry Champion in 2008, in 2009 he was admitted as Academician into the Academie Culinaire de France, and was a finalist for the MOF in 2011

Lauren V. Haas
Chef

Lauren V. Haas is the Gourmet Lead Chef for North America, overseeing the Chicago and Montreal Chocolate Academy™ Centers. Well versed in the foundations of classical pastry and emerging trends, Lauren’s passion is educating students and pastry professionals in the art and science of pastry. In 2016, Dessert Professional named Lauren one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America, and in 2018 Bake Magazine named her one of the nation’s Top Educators. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including So Good: The Magazine of Haute Pâtisserie, American Cake Decorating, and Pastry Chef. Lauren has been a long-standing member of the prestigious Cacao Barry Ambassador's Club, and prior to joining Barry-Callebaut, she served as an Associate Professor at Johnson & Wales University. Previously, Lauren honed her pastry skills at some of the country’s most esteemed establishments, including the residence at the White House, the Hotel du Pont, and the Inn at Little Washington. Lauren’s interest in sustainability led her to pursue a master’s in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College, and she also holds bachelor’s in Baking & Pastry Arts from Johnson & Wales University.

@laurenvhaas

Nicolas Dutertre
Nicolas Dutertre
Chef

Head Chef, Pastry Chef, Chocolate Academy™ Montreal

Chef Nicolas Dutertre comes from one of the most renowned schools for craftsmanship in France, Les Compagnons du Devoir, where he learned the qualities embodied by the best pastry chefs: precision skills, hard work, respect and knowledge sharing. He honed his craft with many Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF) at the École Nationale Supérieure de la Pâtisserie Française. After five years alongside world champion pastry chef Christophe Michalak at the famous Plaza Athénée in Paris, Chef Nicolas decided to move abroad and settle in Montreal, where he focused for many years on perfecting the craft of macarons, often being asked to judge international competitions and helping his peers in perfecting their skills. Chef Nicolas has been part of the Chocolate Academy™ Montreal team since 2014, where he divides his time between creative pursuits and sharing his expertise with professionals and students. In October 2021, Nicolas assumed the role of Head Chef for the Chocolate Academy Montreal and today leads the team of chefs.

Philippe Vancayseele
Philippe Vancayseele
Chef

Master Chocolatier, Chocolate Academy™ Chef

Chef Philippe started his culinary training in 1975 in Belgium. After 6 years of working as a pastry chef, he joined Mondose & Corné Port Royal factory (now Neuhaus-Mondose). He graduated in Biochemistry/Groundings and Teachers Highest degree in Brussels. In 1994, Chef Philippe joined Barry Callebaut and became a worldwide Callebaut chef and technical advisor. This gave him the chance to become an expert in chocolate manufacturing & sharing his creativity and passion for chocolate in more than 80 countries. Chef Philippe moved to Canada in 2012 and is now the Master Chocolatier & Senior Technical Advisor at the Chocolate Academy™ Montreal Training Centre.

Ramon Morató
Chef

Global Innovation Leader Cacao Barry

With no family link to confectionery, after ending his schooling, Ramon began his training in various establishments.

He combined his training with the taking of each and every course offered by .. During a period in which he worked for several of the best Spanish confectioners he also went to a lot of important schools and technical centres such as 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 conduct courses, seminars and conferences all over the world, as well as special endeavours such as the Harvard University collaboration project through the Alicia Foundation.

Currently, he is the responsible for the Chocolate Lab in Barcelona and creative director for the French brand ‘Cacao Barry’.

Russ Thayer
Chef
       
As the Lead Digital Chef for the Chocolate Academy Centers in North America, Chef Russ Thayer guides the curriculum and works alongside the team of chefs who contribute to its content. He specializes in ice cream as well as modern confections. Russ is also a classically trained savory chef, however it is the technical accuracy and attention to detail in ice creams and confections that fascinates him. Before joining the Barry-Callebaut group, he was the Pastry Chef at PreGel America. Prior to this, he worked as a Pastry Chef for the Ritz-Carlton hotel group, and also held Pastry Chef positions in several prestigious private clubs. Russ is a graduate of both the Pastry Arts and the Culinary Arts programs at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. Russ has won numerous gold medals in ACF-sponsored pastry competitions, and was a finalist in Cacao Barry’s L’Art du Chocolatier Challenge 2012. He joined the Chocolate Academy™ Chicago team in 2014. In 2018, he transitioned to working at the Chocolate Academy in Montreal, Canada. Russ has been published in many industry publications throughout his career, recently featured in So Good magazine editions #19 and #23. His strong desire to work with the best pastry chefs in the industry continues to push him forward.
 
Alexandre Bourdeaux
Alexandre Bourdeaux
Guest teacher

Callebaut® Ambassador

Alexandre started baking at a very young age and knew that baking cakes and traveling was his calling. His career started in a 1 star Michelin restaurant in Belgium where he learnt classic recipes he still makes today. Later Alexandre left for Italy to work in a new Belgian pâtisserie and then was invited to work at Four Seasons in Milan with the Chef Sergio Mei. He went on to open the first Four Seasons hotel in Cairo and head a brigade of 12 pastry chefs and bakers in a 5 star hotel at only age 23. He then worked in other Four Seasons Hotel at the Canary Warf London, Tokyo and Chicago. Alexandre than made a royal return to Belgium, catering at the Court of the King of Belgium, and then as a Pastry chef for Callebaut.
 
At Callebaut headquarters he could develop his passion to share his knowledge and keep growing by continuing to meet with chefs from around the world while giving demonstrations in the Chocolate Academy™ and overseas. Alexandre became head of the Chocolate Academy™ in Belgium and led the opening of the new Chocolate Academy™ Callebaut in 2014, marking an historical moment in the story of the brand.
 
Alexandre keeps collaborating with Callebaut, but today he has spread his wings and has launched his own company in 2016 Pastry & chocadvice to give advice, help & solutions in the world of pastry and chocolate. In March 2018, he launch an online software "ganache solution" that help chefs to monitor their own recipes. He was judge together with Paco Torreblanca of an Italian television show "Best bakery". Alexandre is the perfect embodiment of his motto: ‘Live your dreams and work hard to achieve them’.
 
Arnaud Larher
Arnaud Larher
Guest teacher

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.

Christophe Morel
Christophe Morel
Guest teacher

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.

@cmorelchocolatier

Emmanuel Ryon
Guest teacher

He is one of the most respected and refined ice cream masters in the world. 25 years of experience, World Pastry Champion in Lyon 1999 with France, and Meilleur Ouvrier de France Glacier 2000, are milestones of the life of a great professional. His work philosophy in formulation is well explained in his book, Apprenez l’Art de la Glace et des Sorbets (2002), available only in French. The book details ice cream making from the traditional French perspective, with the ideal formulation to boost the ice creams’ flavors and textures to the max. Ice creams and sorbets, ice cream aperitifs, ice cream petit fours, nougats, plated desserts, savory ice creams, ice cream cups, among other creations, are found within the pages of this great book.

His last adventure is the opening of the ice cream shop, Une Glace à Paris, in 2015, with which he returns to ice cream, his true passion. In collaboration with the pastry chef Olivier Ménard, this ice cream shop recreates great classics of pastry and ice cream through an ornamental aesthetic, inspired by the past and with a very personal vision of the flavor influenced by travel. In his creations, Ryon proposes attractive sets of textures, which take the customer to a new level in the tasting of ice cream, with creations that reinterpret the past with the mastery of one of the most refined and versatile professionals.

Beyond ice cream making, his versatility in other disciplines such as pastry and plated desserts is also well-known, a virtue that has deepened in his time in Café Pouchkine and in the creative development of the desserts of the restaurants of the prestigious chef, Anne-Sophie Pic.

@emmanuelryon

@une_glace_a_paris

Frank Haasnoot
Guest teacher

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.

@FrankHaasnoot

Guillaume Mabilleau
Guest teacher
Jean-Michel Perruchon
Guest teacher

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.

Jeroen Van Helvoirt
Jeroen Van Helvoirt
Guest teacher
Teaches in:
Canada, Montreal

Growing up in Holland, Jeroen competed on the international level representing the Netherlands. As a professional for over twenty years, he has gained international experience working for leading patisseries in Europe, Asia and North America.   Now as the Executive Pastry Chef at The Food Dudes, Jeroen expresses his creative passion by combining traditional European pastry fundamentals with modern techniques, producing a style that challenges palates with innovative flavour combinations. By balancing textures and designing modern elegant looking creations, Jeroen represents a talented generation of European pastry chefs who have a global view and bring fresh inspiration to the pastry arts in Canada.

Instagram: @Jeroenvanhelvoirt

Johan Martin
Guest teacher

Pastry Instructor, Bellouet Conseil School in Paris

Career
• 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
Awards
• 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
Of Note
Enjoys traveling all over the world, from Japan to Kuwait, Colombia to Egypt, sharing his experiences and “savoir- faire”.

Julian Rose
Julian Rose
Guest teacher
Teaches in:
Canada, Montreal
  • Director of Research and Development at Moonstruck chocolate since 2008
  • Head of the Chocolate Academy™ Canada from 1999 to 2007
  • Consultant since 2005, he teaches chocolate technology and confectionery around the world
Ludovic Fresse
Ludovic Fresse
Guest teacher
Teaches in:
Canada, 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.

 

Marike van Beurden
Guest teacher

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.

In the past few years she trained pastry chefs in many different countries as Consulting Chef. Accompanied by a well known food-scientist she is currently in­vestigating how we can go plant-based without sacrificing in flavour, yet staying as clean label as possible.

Melissa Coppel
Guest teacher

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.

Nancy Samson
Nancy Samson
Guest teacher
Teaches in:
Canada, Montreal

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!

 

Philippe Urraca
Guest teacher
Teaches in:
Canada, Montreal
Pierre Mirgalet
Guest teacher
Roland Del Monte
Roland Del Monte
Guest teacher
Teaches in:
Canada, Montreal

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.

Romain Dufour
Guest teacher

He started baking early on with his uncle and continued as an apprentice with him. At the end of his apprenticeship, he continued his journey at Plaza Athenée Hotel in Paris beside Christophe Michalak.

In 2009, He decided to leave France and work in Dubai for 6 years, from a 5 star hotel to a semi industrial bakery. Since 2016,he has been the Master Baker of Research and Development of Eurogerm USA, a French/American company specializing in dough conditioners, bread mixes and pastry mixes. It has been an opportunity of growing his knowledge in technology and understanding the importance of ingredients and processes from artisan to industrial bakers.

 

Thierry Bamas
Thierry Bamas
Guest teacher

Pastry Chef and Proprietor, Patisserie Bamas

EDUCATION:
Pastry and Chocolate Certification

CAREER:
Since 1998, Proprietor and head chef of Patisserie Bamas in Bayonne, France
1989-1998, Head pastry chef at numerous Michelin Star restaurants in France

OF NOTE:
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

Yvan Chevalier - MOF
Guest teacher

23 years old, the chocolatier Yvan Chevalier, who grew up in Bain-de-Bretagne, was introduced to the population. "As part of his studies, Yvan Chevalier turned to a BEP pastry at Louis-Guilloux high school in Rennes," began the elected.

The young apprentice follows a one-month internship at Laurent Le Daniel in Rennes. This is where the profession and know-how are transmitted. Yvan Chevalier wishes to continue. To complete his skills, he enrolled in additional training in Nantes. There, he meets the famous chocolate maker Vincent Guerlais, who offers him a job as a worker in his chocolate factory. "At the end of his studies, Yvan Chevalier then joined the house Vincent Guerlais, Franklin Street, Nantes. "

Pastry Chef at 22.

The establishment is a recognized place for the production of pastries, macaroons and other quality chocolate specialties. Yvan quickly rose through the ranks, to be the chief chocolatier today.

The mayor went on to list the different distinctions of the young pastry chef: "Participation in television shows, especially Who will be the next great pastry chef? in 2013, on France 2, world chocolate championship, etc. "

In 2011, he had already won the 1st prize of the Serbotel contest. "At the end of 2018, Yvan Chevalier received the prestigious title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France in the chocolate-confectioner category. At this level of excellence, the products you design are almost more works of art than food."

Yvan Chevalier knew from an early age that he wanted to become a pastry chef, "by dint of making Breton fars with my mother." In response to the mayor who asked him what his future goals were, Yvan Chevalier replied: "I would see myself opening my own shop near Rennes, to keep my roots. A shop where I could work hard, but for me, and share my specialties, like my chocolate treats. " To consume without moderation.

@yvanchevalierofficiel