The choice of Japan is not accidental. “Japan is Asia’s largest consumer market for chocolate confectionery and it is highly recognized for chocolate innovation. The new center in Tokyo brings us even closer to our regional Gourmet customers and will enable the Barry Callebaut Group to be in a better position to capitalize on growth opportunities in the region. It also reaffirms our commitment to the Japanese market place and its highly skilled professional chocolatiers and other users of chocolate,” said Mikael Neglen, President, Chocolate Asia Pacific, Barry Callebaut, at the official opening ceremony.
This center will hold a wide range of workshops, courses, and demonstrations for chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakers, as well as professional chefs working in hotels, restaurants and in catering who want to perfect their knowledge of chocolate. Students will be able to benefit from a full kitchen with modern appliances, exchange ideas and experience new creations under the direction of specially trained chefs by Barry Callebaut and the elite Chocolate Ambassadors.
At the official opening ceremony, Kohei Ogata was appointment as the head of the new training center and Callebaut chef. He is most recognized for his work as the Chef Pâtissier in Japan for Henri Le Roux, the famous French chocolatier and caramélier, which has its chic chocolate shops in Paris, Brittany (France) and Tokyo. Andrés Lara, Cacao Barry Regional Chef Asia Pacific, will also be based in the Chocolate Academy center in Tokyo. “The opening of the Chocolate Academy Tokyo for me is very special”, explain to us Andres Lara. “To be a part of something built from the ground up that will make a huge mark in Asia, in terms of support for chefs, inspiration, and hopefully lead the way in creativity and trends. It’s a great next step for me in my career. It’s so different than being in a pastry shop or restaurant. It forces you to use another part of your brain. You are not going through the emotions of setting up a shop in the morning or doing a service. Every week is different, always creating different recipes and adapting them to the needs of our customers in different kitchens, different conditions, and countries. You’re always on your toes!”