As someone who has taken a chocolate course or two in my own time (and have taken on the role of a photographer at other times), I can assure you that these CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM courses are not just about learning to master look-good recipes.
It is about the opportunity to glean techniques from some of the best chocolatiers and pastry chefs in the world. It is about diving deeper into the world of chocolate and developing an increased capacity to enjoy the finest chocolates available. Our Academy centers are venues for the exchange of technical skills, dialogue and the sharing of love for all aspects related to chocolate. Whether you’re a pastry chef, professional cook or simply a chocoholic, really, who couldn’t use this kind of training?
Besides establishing brand identity, the decision to upgrade the CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM Centers in Asia is telling of our entrepreneurial spirit as the leader of the gourmet chocolate sector in the region. Our Gourmet business in Asia recorded a double-digit volume growth over the last three years. In China, over the last four years, the gourmet volume has doubled. The investment we have made into these CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM centers conveys our commitment to the professional chocolatiers in this region.
In case you are not already clearing your calendar and making plans to enroll in a chocolate course in Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore or Tokyo, here is an interesting update on our four CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM centers in Asia that might just inspire you to take your relationship with chocolate making to the next level.
CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ center in Shanghai ready for growth in the premium market
Shanghai, the world’s most populous city and an international metropolis, is no stranger to renowned restaurants in the nation. It is also home to our newly upgraded CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM Center. Over the years, the Academy center has become an established training ground for the industry’s leading pastry chefs. It is also often a venue for key events such as the recent briefing by our CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique to a group of 12 local and regional members of the media. In that special chocolate gathering, French Chef and head of the Academy center in Shanghai, Jean Marc-Bernelin, rounded up the briefing with an interactive hands-on class on chocolate molding for the journalists.
As premium chocolate is fast trending in China, we have strengthened our Gourmet capabilities and expanded our offerings to meet the needs of the fast-growing segment of professional users of chocolate in the country. To extend our reach, we introduced a digital marketing platform on China’s leading social media channel WeChat to bring together a community of chefs and chocolatiers across the country, enabling them to upgrade their skills and to network with other professionals.
CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ center in Singapore to celebrate its 20th anniversary
Singapore, a diverse melting pot of cultures and races, is unique for its array of cuisines with fusion flavours and aromas. The country’s fascination with food can also be seen with the birth of chocolate specialty shops in the last decade. Two decades ago, we officially introduced the CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM center in Singapore - our first in this region. This June, there will be an official relaunch of the Academy center here, to coincide with Barry Callebaut’s 20th year anniversary in the country. No other chocolate making school in Singapore has this kind of long-serving record to match.
Today, the center is headed by award-winning Chef Seung Yun Lee. We also have an impressive lineup of guest chefs such as renowned chocolatiers Deniz Karaca and Hisashi Onobayashi who will lead a series of exciting courses in Singapore - gastronomic desserts and chocolate showpiece classes are amongst them.
CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM center in Mumbai to host the first “Callebaut Patissier of the Year” Competition in India
Chocolate did not have to pursue very long to win the hearts of the indian population. The sweet tasting dessert appeals easily to the consumption profile of the country. Today, gourmet chocolate desserts and creations are readily served in major hotels and restaurants, where chocolate promotions are a common sight.
Last month, the new, relocated CALLEBAUT® CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM center in Mumbai, hosted an event for professional homebakers. Taking center stage this April, the center will be the venue for to the first edition of the “Callebaut Patissier of the Year” competition. Positioned as a prestigious nationwide competition, chocolatiers, pastry chefs and other chocolate professionals will gather at the center to showcase their skills and creativity working with chocolate.
CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM center in Tokyo attracts an avid online following
Over at the Land of The Rising Sun, the skylight always seems to brighten our CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM center located high on the 21st floor of a popular commercial building in downtown Tokyo. Making fine chocolate with some of the best Japanese chocolatiers while overseeing the beautiful skyline of Tokyo simply heightens the experience.
The center which was the first to spot the new look amongst the four already has an avid online community on its Facebook page. Check out the beautiful chocolate masterpieces created by talented local chefs and do not be surprised if a trip to the CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM center in Tokyo brings you face-to-face with past and future World Chocolate Master champions.
Editorial note: Additional reporting by Nor Badron, Corporate Communications Director Barry Callebaut, Asia Pacific, Singapore.
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