- Barry Callebaut opens a new Chocolate Academy in Chekhov, Russia – a training center for professional users of chocolate
- Courses include workshops, seminars and demonstrations, designed to encourage the exchange of technical expertise in the handling of fine chocolate
- 150 years of knowledge, creativity and passion for cocoa and chocolate collected to create an information network among professionals
- 500 chocolatiers, confectioners and chefs gather each week in the 12 Chocolate Academies worldwide
Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high quality cocoa and chocolate products, today inaugurated a state-of-the-art, Chocolate Academy in Chekhov, near Moscow, as part of its commitment to building its business in Eastern Europe and strengthening its relationships with chocolatiers and chefs in Russia.
The Chocolate Academy, which is the only one of its kind with worldwide locations, offers a diverse range of seminars, demonstrations, theoretical courses and practical workshops designed to inspire artisans and culinary professionals, including pastry chefs, confectioners, bakers and caterers, from around the globe to:
- Share their passion for fine chocolate with other skilled professionals
- Continually improve their skills in working with fine chocolate products, such as “Callebaut” (fine Belgian chocolate), “Cacao Barry” (exquisite French chocolate), and “Carma” (high-quality Swiss chocolate) and locally produced “Sicao”
- Learn more about the latest chocolate-making trends, techniques and recipes
The state-of-the-art training center is located on the premises of the Barry Callebaut chocolate factory in Chekhov, 60 km south of Moscow. Barry Callebaut now has a network of 12 Chocolate Academies worldwide. The new academy in Chekhov will showcase the knowledge that has been accumulated by Barry Callebaut. It is designed to encourage the exchange of technical expertise in the handling of chocolate between professionals.
Famous Russian pastry chef to head the Chocolate Academy in Chekhov
Edward Lebedev will share his experience in the art of chocolate as the head of the new Chocolate Academy in Chekhov. Prior to joining Barry Callebaut Lebedev worked as a pastry chef at some of Russia’s best restaurants. His passion for chocolate led him to attend courses at some of Europe’s most famous pastry schools including the École gastronomique Bellouet Conseils – the prestigious Parisian school for the art of desserts.
“The Russian chocolate market shows a shift in consumer preference towards high-quality premium chocolate. Through our courses at the Chocolate Academy we can help our artisanal customers to create new and exquisite taste experiences for consumers,” says Edward Lebedev.
Russia: A fast-growing chocolate market
The Russian chocolate market offers the largest growth potential in Eastern Europe. Business intelligence provider Euromonitor expects the Russian chocolate confectionery market to grow yearly on average 15.3% in value and 5.4% in volume between 2007 and 2012; this compares with a 2-3% growth rate for the global chocolate market.
“We are on track to triple our sales in Russia within the next three years. We see good demand from industrial and Gourmet customers. Growth in the chocolate market is defined by a shift in consumer preference towards high-quality premium products. Our Chocolate Academy responds to this trend by helping chefs enhance their chocolate-making skills. Russia’s middle class is expanding rapidly – also outside the urban centers of Moscow and St Petersburg. This is leading to a strong increase in the country's overall chocolate consumption,” says Filip De Reymaeker, Vice President Eastern Europe at Barry Callebaut.
Barry Callebaut operates Chocolate Academies in France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Poland, China, Singapore, India, Canada, the United States (opening date 24.09.2008) and Russia.
With annual sales of more that CHF 4 billion (approximately USD 3.6 billion or EUR 2.5 billion) for fiscal year 2006/2007, Zurich based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high quality cocoa and chocolate – from the cocoa bean to the finished product on the store shelf. Barry Callebaut is present in 24 countries, operates more than 40 production facilities and employs approximately 7500 people. The company serves the entire food industry, from food manufacturers to professional users of chocolate to global retailers. The company’s Callebaut, Cacao Barry and Carma products are specifically designed to meet the special needs of artisan customers, including bakers, pastry chefs, hotels, restaurants and caterers. Barry Callebaut also provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing.