After a grandiose opening ceremony Barry Callebaut’s 20th CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM center on June 19, 2017 including a massive 20 story cake, we all needed to wake up early on the next day to start for our intensive 3 days seminar.
Pascale Meulemeester, Vice President Global Gourmet, set the scene for all of us when opening the seminar emphasizing that “Gourmet is Barry Callebaut’s creative heart and we would not be who we are without our Chefs.”
First things first: Train the trainers
The morning of this first day was focused on sharing best practices within the CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ centers’ community to leverage synergies. In the afternoon we spent intensive sessions with the Callebaut and Cacao Barry brand managers to leverage the involvement of the Chefs in the brand strategy for the coming year.
After this intensive day, we all enjoyed a delicious cocktail dinner at D’O, by Davide Oldani, who is a famous Cacao Barry Ambassador. We all were blown away by the taste of the food despite the simplicity of the ingredients!
On day #2, all Chefs participated to a highly technical carrousel. The first workshop focused on Free From dairy and gluten-free recipes animated by Anne Cazor from Scinnov, Doctor in Molecular Gastronomy and Food Engineering, and the Chef Rodolphe Landemaine, founder of Maison Landemaine. Indeed, these major trends can be observed across the continents and represent a challenge for the pastry business of tomorrow.
Not to forget the Italian classics: Gelato e Panettone!
The second carousel found naturally place in the Chocogelato Lab of our just opened CHOCOLATE ACADEMYTM center in Milan, where our expert Paolo Cappellini immersed our Chefs in the complexity of the Italian treat most probably nobody can resist: artisanal ice cream, or, maybe a more common term, gelato!
Last workshop but not least: Davide Comaschi, World Champion and Head of the CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ center Milan, together with his Chef colleague, Alberto Simionato, shared the secrets of a local classic: the panettone.
After an introduction into our global decoration brand Mona Lisa we all enjoyed the visit of Eataly: a food store dedicated to local products, combined with a walk to THE symbol of Milano: the famous Duomo. We all concluded the day brilliantly at the rooftop of La Rinascente, Obica with a breath-taking view over the impressive architecture of the cathedral.
Closing the loop with colors boosting creativity
The last day was fully dedicated to creativity: Judith Van Vliet (VP Communications & Public Relations of Colour Marketing Group) introduced us to the Colours of Tomorrow.
After her inspiring talk, our Chefs were set on a mission: to re-create an original dessert by teams of four, based on a briefing about global food trends. This was the perfect opportunity to observe our Chefs at work, deep in concentration, but as well for them to share and exchange technical tips among themselves.
We were all amazed by the level of the creations at the end of the day – not an easy job for the jury to do their judging. Finally after a tasting which felt like an explosion of savors, the best team award went to:
- Mathieu Dierinck (Belgium)
- Philippe Marand (UAE)
- Fabian Sänger (Switzerland)
- Jean-Marc Bernelin (China)
Already today, we all are looking forward to next year’s edition and to pay our Asian Gourmet Chefs a visit: Shanghai will host the 7th edition of our Gourmet Chefs’ gathering in June 2018. See you there!