Meet the Chefs behind the Creations

Unleashing their plant-based creativity
Chefs at work

Meet the Chefs behind the Creations

Unleashing their plant-based creativity
To take plant-based indulgence to the next level, we’ve invited 17 chefs from across the globe to explore what textures, flavors and colors make ultimately indulgent plant-based chocolate tablets, pralines, biscuits, muffins, drinks and ice creams. Meet our Crafts(wo)men!

Alberto Simionato

Alberto Simionato

Head of Chocolate Academy™ Milano - Cacao Barry Chef, Italy

Alberto started taking his first steps in the Pastry world very early: immediately after his vocational training he started working in a bakery and later in an ice-cream laboratory.

A couple of years later he deeply fell in love with Pastry: after working in a local pastry laboratory he became eager to advance his skills by attending a whole-year course at the Etoile School. There he discovered the highest Pastry standards.

In Cortina he later met Beduschi who introduced him to the Chocolate World. He further developed his pastry skills in luxury hotels in Milan, Marittima and in a restaurant in Bergamo.

He worked as a Chocolate Chef at the Stefano Laghi’s laboratory, to finally meet Ramon Moratò in 2007 at the Chocolate Academy, where in 2010 he started his path in Barry-Callebaut as a Technical Advisor. He collaborated personally in the opening of the Chocolate Academy in Milan of which he became the director at the beginning of 2019.

Andy Van Den Broeck

Head of Product Development ANZ, Australia

Andy's love for crafting with chocolate started during his bakery, pastry & confectionery studies at age 14 at the famous Belgian "Ter Groene Poorte" school, in Bruges. The ability to share this love with others was cultivated while getting his teachers degree, in the same city. These two skills have allowed him to discover the Asia Pacific region, "home" for the last 15 years.

Andy gained experience in all steps of the chocolate production process (creating chocolate as an ingredient, shaping it into a consumer product & even distribution) while working in Belgium, Singapore, Australia & Indonesia and has performed many demonstrations throughout the region.

His creative style is to blend his Belgian roots with flavours from the East, which he applied on a daily basis when he was a Senior Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Asia Pacific. In that role, Andy shared his Technical expertise & understanding of chocolate production through demonstrations, classes, troubleshooting & inspiration sessions.

Andy is currently the Head of Product Development for Australia & New Zealand market, based in Melbourne, where he oversees all R&D projects and shapes the local R&D team & facilities at our newly commissioned production site.

Andy Van Den Broeck

Ciro Fraddanno

Ciro Fraddano

Gelato Chef, Chocolate Academy™ Milano

Ciro Fraddanno was born and grew up in the family ice cream shop in the Sorrento Coast. After school, he improved his pastry knowledge and, at very young age, he arrived in CAST Alimenti where, as an intern first, then as trainee and then as a teacher, he personally experienced the joys of this art.

He worked with world champions Cristian Beduschi and Luigi Biasetto, the latter experience transformed him in a profound and lasting way.

Desiring to learn more, he then decided to cross the Alps, landing first in Paris, at "Helenne Darroze" two Michelin star restaurant; then in London at the Harrods department store and afterwards at the historic and enchanting Hotel Claridges. Tired of grey and persistent rain, he returned for a short period to his home, in the warm sun of the Sorrento peninsula, where he re-invented himself as Cocktail Manager.

But, in search of new challenges, he agreed to move once again and get involved, first as a management assistant at CAST Alimenti and then as coordinator of Athenaeum Comprital.

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

Since January 2018 he is Chocolate Gelato chef at the Chocolate Academy™ Milano where he shares his passion for gelato.

Clare England

Academy Chef, Chocolate Academy™, United Kingdom

After working with small artisan chocolatiers, Clare England joined the Chocolate Academy UK team as a junior chef in October 2015. Clare's passion lies in the development of new concepts from cookies to cakes and all things chocolate.

Clare is 100% plant-based and has always helped the team develop new vegan recipes and 'veganise' existing ones. She is always looking to learn new techniques and pass these on to our customers.

When Clare is not teaching, she is behind the scenes preparing and working with the team to problem solve and create with the goal of educating and inspiring customers. Outside of work Clare has just completed a Master Degree in Clinical Nutrition, and has been awarded status as a Registered Associate Nutritionist. Always full of food facts and insights from the latest scientific journals, Clare tries to bring her learning into everyday life in the Academy.

Clare believes that we can change the world through what we eat, that making foods with conscious thought about every ingredient can create lasting change and give people a true moment of chocolate joy.

Clare England

Daniel Nemeth

Dan Nemeth

Sourdough & New Product Development Specialist , United Kingdom

Daniel Nemeth, from a little village of Ingleton, North Yorkshire, is the founder of Seasons Bakery, world renowned for its famous Sourdough, artisan pies and now its amazing pastries.

Daniel has over 300 awards relating to his fabulous creations. The newest one of which is his free from croissant which won the top accolade at this year's baking industry awards.

Daniel creates new and fantastic flavors and pushes boundaries in all fields of baking. He is most famous for the world-renowned Beetroot multi-seed sourdough which has won many awards including Britain's Best Loaf.

Daniel's wife Charlotte and children all have an active part in the bakery which operates all year round. The free-from is becoming a massive part of Seasons bakery and Daniel and Charlotte are aiming to be free-from palm oil in all products before April.

Dan loves creating new things that have never been done before and thinking outside the box which has now made him famous in creating new products for much larger companies on the side of his day-to-day work life.

Daniel says he loves going around meeting other passionate bakers and business owners, creating something special with them and breathing a new path or direction within their business. Daniel quotes "The feeling I get when leaving a business after creating something specific to them which makes the counter look so inviting to the customer gives me the most fantastic feeling. Also going back and seeing them selling hundreds a week is amazing."

If you ever get the pleasure of meeting The Sourdough King, as he is now referred to in the bakery world, you will never forget his amazing talent, skill, and passion.

Joël Perriard

Chef at the Heart of Swiss Chocolate

Joël was trained as a confectioner in the atelier of Wodey-Suchard in Switzerland, Neuchâtel and gained experience as a pastry chef in various restaurants.

In 2010, Joël and his wife ran a Hacienda, a boutique hotel in Ecuador. Coming back to Europe, he worked at the Mesa restaurant in Zürich (awarded 2 Michelin stars and 18 Gault Millau points).

Joël joined Barry Callebaut and the Chocolate Academy in Zürich in 2012 as a Technical and Export Advisor and later as the head of the Chocolate Academy.

Today Joël is a passionate Chef Chocolatier for the Barry Callebaut Group.

Joel Perriard

Johanna Le Pape

Johanna Le Pape

Healthy Pastry Chef, World Champions of Art Sucres 2014, France

Intended for a professional sports career, Johanna Le Pape decided to go to Australia for 1 year in order to improve her English but also to recharge her batteries and think about her future.

During this trip, she was hired in a bakery in Perth as a team manager, the opportunity for her to discover a new world. Love at first sight takes place, during her working days she takes the opportunity to spend time in the kitchen and learn pastry techniques from her colleagues.

One thing is certain, on her return to France, she will pass the CAP pastry to follow her new vocation. After obtaining her CAP, she trained with the greatest chefs in major Parisian palaces (Le Meurice, with Cédric Grolet, Le Lutecia, etc.). However, Johanna wants to go even further and stand out. Her love for sport and physical and moral well-being led her to rethink contemporary pastry.

For her, combining indulgence and well-being is the leitmotif. She thus decides to create her own consulting company and travels to the four parts of the world to share her philosophy of healthy, responsible and conscious eating.

Many brands have trusted her for several years in this process of satisfying the new aspirations of society. Nowadays, eating well and taking care of your planet and your body is a real and common one for more and more people.

In 2019, still in her transmission process, she took over the reins of the Initiation Gourmande culinary workshop located at Porte Maillot, in the golden triangle of Neuilly-sur-Seine.

In 2020, she inaugurated the new identity of her workshop as she renames Atelier Auraé which corresponds to her philosophy as a committed chef. It offers cooking and pastry workshops for individuals and businesses in order to instil in as many people as possible the power that they have through their food.

Her workshop stands out by also offering customers a private vegetable garden, where they can pick their own fresh eggs, aromatic herbs, fruits and vegetables that they can cook at the workshop with the Auraé Chefs brigade.

Chef Johanna Le Pape was chosen by Pierre Hermé to be part of the new International Organising Committee for the new 2021 edition of the World Pastry Cup, alongside Christophe Michalak and Julien Alvarez.

Jürgen Koens

Pastry Chef Chocolatier, The Netherlands

Jurgen has gained experience as a qualified chef, chocolatier and pastry chef 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 ( together with two pastry/chocolate businesses in Eindhoven, namely Pastryclub 1.0 and 2.0 (

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.

Jurgen Koens

Leon Krohn

Leon Krohn

Chef Pâtissier Chocolate Academy™ Switzerland, Germany

Originally from Germany, Leon Krohn learned the art of pastry-making in France with the French artisan guild “Les Compagnons du Devoir” which allowed him to work in different cities across France and overseas.

After working at Relais Dessert, Sadaharu Aoki in Paris, he expanded his skills and his know-how by working for small and big pastry and confectionery shops in Toronto, Grenoble and Marseille.

As sous-chef in research and development he joined the renowned luxury catering company, Potel et Chabot in Paris where he worked with Michelin-starred chefs and created desserts for events such as the tennis championship Roland Garros and the galopp horse races of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. During this time Leon won the plated dessert trophy La toque an Breizh at the chocolate salon in Vannes.

After six years in France he decided to move to Switzerland to work alongside Joel Perriard, the Confectionery Chef of Barry Callebaut. Together they worked on concept development for major food manufacturing companies.

Martin Diez

Director, Chef Services Americas, USA

Martin Diez is the Lead chef of the Barry Callebaut Studio based in Chicago. He is recognised worldwide for his creative mindset in confectionery, ice cream and pastry.

Martin is constantly travelling the world to give classes around his art and artwork which allows him to always discover new ingredients, meet chefs and experts. He loves to push the boundaries of his chocolate playground, pairing the most fascinating product (chocolate) with hundreds of rare and unique ingredients from all over the world.

Martin studied and qualified in pastry, confectionery, chocolaterie and ice-cream. He started his career in the reputed pastry shop in Bordeaux called Antoine.

He was also a member of the highly skilled artisan guild "Tour de France des Compagnon de Devoir" for several years, which gave him the opportunity to work in many prestigious pastry and chocolate shops around France. Later, he was International Demonstrator travelling whole world.

His international experience and his travels allow him to have a very specific vision and signature in his creations. He considers himself as an artist passionate about culinary art and flavour pairings.

Martin Diez

Nick Colman

Nick Colman

R&D Technical Services Expert, Belgium

Since Nick was younger he always had a passion for Bakery & Pastry. So logically when he was older he decided to attend the the Bakery - Pastry & chocolate school in "Ter Groene Poorte" in Bruges. Here he discovered his love for chocolates.

Nick started his career in a local bakery shop, but quickly made the switch to the biggest chocolate company in the world, Barry Callebaut. Today, he has been part of the Barry Callebaut family for more than 20 years. Here he learned all about chocolate processing from bean to bar on large scale. Later Nick was able to use his chef experience in the Application Lab.

Ever since, this has been is playground, working with the newest technologies available in the chocolate industry to do product development, sample creation, studies, give trainings and work together with customers on new innovations.

Nils Hendrikse

Master of Ice Cream & PastryChef, The Netherlands

Nils has been trained as a Restaurant Chef specialising in Patisserie through various training and courses, including: SVH-specialised patisserie, Sugar Craft Margharet Ford Birmingham, UK, School of Pastry Arts Orlando USA, sugar techniques The Netherlands.

At 24 Nils started working at the famous Michelin star restaurant De Swaen, Oisterwijk, The Netherlands as a pastry chef alongside a young team who became the best Chefs in the Netherlands. In these years he developed his tasting and pairing skills and start making ice cream on a high level.

After continuing his career through famous hotels and restaurants he became a pastry chef at “ Creme De La Creme” , Zoeterwoude, The Netherlands which is co-owned by Jeroen Goossens (2nd Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and Pastrychef Royal Family). In these 5 years Nils worked together with WCM winner Frank Haasnoot and Coupe de Monde Silver medal winners Arthur Tuytel and Ivo Wolters. Nils also worked on his chocolate and pastry craftsmanship. In 2007-2009 Nils joined The Coupe Du Monde team as assistant Sugar Art Piece and took care of big part of the organisation.

In 2010 Nils opened his pastry shop: Soetenso, Leiden, in the Netherlands.

Nils has been a consultant for Barry Callebaut since 2014 in the field of ice cream and chocolate worldwide. In addition, he does training and demos at various schools, trade fairs and Chocolate Academies in Europe.

Nils has been able to call himself SVH Master Ice Cream Maker since August 18, 2021.

Nils Hendriske

Paul Morel

Paul Morel

Beverage and Hospitality Specialist, The Netherlands

Paul discovered his passion for hospitality at a young age. After gaining experience at restaurant Pure C Paul was able to develop his skills and focus on the fascinating world of beverages.

He further expanded his expertise during various internships in London (Whistling Shop), Barcelona (Tickets bar / 41 grados) and Chicago (The Aviary). In 2014 Paul moved to Antwerp to set up and manage the bar at The Jane of Sergio Herman.

Later on Paul went his own way with Atelier Paul Morel where he currently shares his knowledge through consultancy, product development and events. Working together with professionals, being surrounded by guests, creating new recipes and challenging the extremes, is what Paul loves doing most. Always inspired by his travels and eagerness to work with other professionals.

His liquid creations represent creativity, purity and a unique experience which he likes to link to food and funky kitchen techniques. After having worked in Japan at the organic sake brewery, Terada Honke, Paul uses this versatile drink whenever he can.

Peter Hernou

Coffee and Cocoa Drinks Consultant, Belgium

Peter is a passionate consultant and educator. He is an independent consultant, influencer and trainer. This "World Latte Art Champion & Barry-Callebaut 'barista' Ambassador" is traveling throughout the world helping and advising professionals with the noble art of perfecting and understanding drinks. Whilst optimising your business revenue and workflow.

Peter is also founder of Aēralab : The world’s first intelligent milk steamer for world-champ quality milk foam. Awarded with the 'Host 21 Innovation Smart Label.'


Peter Hernou

Ryan Stevenson

Ryan Stevenson

Ryan Stevenson is an Australian pastry chef recently returned home after spending more than 20 years working overseas.

Upon completing his apprenticeship in Queensland, Ryan left Australia to work in 5 hotels, 3 Michelin Star Restaurants and famous pastry shops in the UK and Belgium. His last job was Director of the Belgium Chocolate Academy which is the flagship Academy for the Callebaut Chocolate Brand.

Ryan has won the title of Best Praline in the World in 2009 and has also been the Belgium Chocolate Master twice. Ryan represented Australia in 2014 with Dean Gibson as his coach to achieve 3rd place at the Asian Pastry Cup.

Currently he is living and working on the Gold Coast.

Sarah Hartnett

Pastry and Chocolate Consultant, United Kingdom

Sarah Hartnett is a London-based international pastry and chocolate consultant. As a Callebaut Ambassador for UK & Ireland, she works closely with customers to develop pastries, desserts, drinks and confectionery in a variety of ways- through recipe development, training, hands-on classes and demonstrations. Sarah also works closely with IBC Belgium, and is also chef Ambassador for UCC Coffee UK & Ireland for whom she designs cakes and desserts to complement flavour profiles in specialist coffees.

Cork-born, Sarah relocated to London after a 2 year course at CIT, where she completed the Advanced Diploma in International Culinary Arts, achieving the Victor Ceserani award for the highest practical marks. Sarah has held positions in Claridges and the Sheraton Grand hotel in London.

An active member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Sarah is joint-chairman for the pastry committee for the Annual Awards of Excellence, held annually to inspire and encourage candidates to self-improve and learn new skills. A competition enthusiast, Sarah has also been on the judging panel for the NCOTY in the UK since 2007.

In 2010, Sarah was awarded the Craft Guild of Chefs Pastry Chef of the Year. Also in 2010, Sarah was awarded the EAME Starwood "President’s Award".

In 2014, she received an Honorary Fellowship by Westminster Kingsway College for Excellence in Education. Two years later in 2016 Sarah was also recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

Sarah Hartnett

Wim Rottiers

Win Rottiers

R&D Technician Application Lab Wieze, Belgium

Wim Rottiers started his career as a patissier in an artisanal bakery in Lebbeke. Over the 3 years he spent there, he became so passionate about the chocolate world that he decided to join Barry Callebaut.

After seven years of learning how to master chocolate & chocolate products and working in one of the biggest chocolate factories in the world, he joined the Barry Callebaut R&D team in the Belgian application lab. Here, for the past 13 years, he has been mastering the most important chocolate applications: from confectionery to bakery & pastry, he helps Barry Callebaut customers to test & develop the delicious chocolate treats.


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