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Cacao Barry® USA announces Chef Gabriele Riva as new brand Ambassador

May 24, 2012


Cacao Barry® website

  • Former Executive Pastry Chef of Nobu restaurants joins prestigious Cacao Barry® Ambassador Club
  • Riva’s experience and chocolate know-how to inspire pastry chefs and chocolatiers
  • Brings influences from art, science and philosophy to the world of pastry
Chef Gabriele Riva

Chicago, May 24, 2012 – Cacao Barry®, the French premium chocolate brand, today announced the appointment of Chef Gabriele Riva as its newest Ambassador. In this role, Riva will not only assist the brand in evaluating new products, developing new recipes and applications, but he also will conduct pastry demonstrations and work closely on special projects with the Cacao Barry® team.

“We are pleased to have someone of Chef Riva’s international caliber to represent the quality and heritage of Cacao Barry,“ said Alexandra Urbe, Cacao Barry® Brand Manager, Americas. “He not only brings a passion and perfection to pastry making, but his artistic sensibilities will inspire others chefs and broaden their horizons.“

“It is an honor to work with and represent Cacao Barry,“ said Riva. “It is such an iconic brand in the industry and I look forward to sharing my vision, skills and knowledge of chocolate and pastry with both experienced and new pastry chefs.“

With a rich French heritage dating back to 1842, Cacao Barry® is associated with innovation and passion among the finest pastry chefs in the world. Since founder Charles Barry travelled to Africa in search of the finest cocoa beans to create his first connoisseur’s chocolate almost 170 years ago, the brand’s vision always has been that the chocolate-maker’s craft is an art form.

Riva started his pastry career as an adolescent assisting in his father's pastry shop where he learned the fundamentals of traditional Italian pastries. At the same time, he began studying the art of kung fu. His martial arts studies influenced his approach to pastry as he found a parallel connection between the two disciplines: both crafts required precision and discipline. Soon, he sought professional training at C.A.S.T. Alimenti Pastry School in Brescia, Italy, and learned the contemporary techniques of pastry preparations and production.

Upon completion of his studies, Riva began his professional career at Pasticceria Piave where he trained under owner Silvano Lullini, who was recognized as one of the best traditionally trained pastry chefs in Milan. Under Lullini’s mentorship, Riva developed skills in orchestrating large-scale production and gained insight into the coordination and tasks of the various departments. From there, he worked at Le Corti, a large pastry shop and tearoom in Milan, as head pastry chef. It was this opportunity that enabled him to put his ideas into action and test his modern concepts. He eventually left Italy and worked at Pâtisserie Valérie in London. After one year, he was named Head Pastry Chef.

Riva then became Pastry Chef at Nobu London, eventually moving to New York City to work at Nobu 57. He also consulted as Executive Pastry Chef for Gramercy Park Hotel’s pastry department and its restaurant Wakiya. He subsequently became Executive Pastry Chef for the various U.S. restaurants within Nobu Corporation and consulted with various Nobu Restaurants worldwide.

During this time, his work dramatically shifted as he incorporated more influences from art, science, and philosophy. Explorations in architecture, descriptive geometry and various artistic expressions influenced his notion of new form making. He applied the science of nutrition, health and wellness into his dessert creations and expanded his menu to offer vegetarian and vegan selections. Having finished his tenure with the Nobu Corporation, Riva now dedicates his time to teaching and training pastry chefs. He has been involved in the development of various specializations in the culinary field and offers consultation services.

Cacao Barry® USA ambassador team includes: Chef Frederic Monti from Pregel America in North Carolina, Chef Rocco Lugrine Instructor at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Chef Patrick Fahy from the Sofitel in Chicago and Chef Pascal Janvier, owner of Fleur de Cocoa in Los Gatos, Calif.


About Cacao Barry® (www.cacao-barry.com):

By constantly inventing and reinventing Pastry and Gastronomy, France gave its name and mark to this art. It is a tradition envied by the whole world. It is all about creativity, innovation, and above all passion. Since its creation in 1842, Cacao Barry® has been entirely committed to this heritage. Today Cacao Barry® provides the most complete palette of products, to all passionate chocolate craftsmen around the world: chocolate and couvertures, pralinés, origins and exclusive plantations, decorations and moulds, inspiring them and opening doors to new creative experiences. Besides, Cacao Barry® offers the widest international community of chocolate professionals, Ambassadors’ Club and Chocolate Academies to support craftsmen and chefs on their quest for perfection. Cacao Barry® is a global Gourmet brand of Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate.


Barry Callebaut (www.barry-callebaut.com):

With annual sales of about CHF 4.6 billion (EUR 3.6 billion/USD 5.0 billion) for fiscal year 2010/11, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate – from the cocoa bean to the finished chocolate product. Barry Callebaut is present in 27 countries, operates around 40 production facilities and employs a diverse and dedicated workforce of about 6,000 people. Barry Callebaut serves the entire food industry focusing on industrial food manufacturers, artisans and professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), the latter with its two global brands Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®. Barry Callebaut is the global leader in cocoa and chocolate innovations and provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing. Cost leadership is another important reason why global as well as local food manufacturers work together with Barry Callebaut. Through its broad range of sustainability initiatives and research activities, the company works with farmers, farmer organizations and other partners to help ensure future supplies of cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods.


Contact for the media:

Christie Ly

Grayling for Cacao Barry

Phone: (213) 802-1153                                   



Contact for the media:

Sally Howard

Grayling for Cacao Barry

Phone: (202) 863-4225