Asian chocolate academies gain key revamp
The Gourmet division of the Barry Callebaut Group has celebrated upgrades to four of its key chocolate academy centres across Asia Pacific.
Facilities in Mumbai, Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore, which are part of a wider group of 19 global sites have undergone a makeover integrating a new visual brand identity designed to inspire chef communities.
As the company explained, the centres have been developed to glean techniques from some of the best chocolatiers and pastry chefs in the world.
The centres aim to dive deeper into the world of chocolate and develop an increased capacity to enjoy the finest chocolates available.
Investment for upgrading the four centres comes as the gourment 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 company’s Shanghai academy centre has become an established training ground for the industry’s leading pastry chefs.
It is also often a venue for key events such as its recent briefing from the company's CEO Antoine de Saint Affrique to a group of regional media. 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 its reach, the company 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.
Meanwhile, the company’s academy in Singapore is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
As a diverse melting pot of cultures and races, it is renowned 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.
The official relaunch of the Singapore academy in June coincides with Barry Callebaut’s 20th year anniversary in the country.
Today, the facility is headed by award-winning Chef Seung Yun Lee, supported by guest chefs including chocolatiers Deniz Karaca and Hisashi Onobayashi who will lead a series of exciting courses in Singapore - gastronomic desserts and chocolate showpiece classes are among them.
Barry Callebaut’s chocolate centre in Mumbai is set to host the first “Callebaut Patissier of the Year” Competition in India, as sweet desserts make their mark in the country.
As the company explained, gourmet chocolate desserts and creations are readily served in major hotels and restaurants, where chocolate promotions are a common sight.
The new Mumbai centre also recently 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 Pattissier 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.
For the chocolate industry in Japan, Barry Callebaut’s academy is 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 centre, which was the first to sport the new look among the four, already has an avid online community on its Facebook page.