26 Nov 2019
At Belcolade we want you to experience our chocolate in the best possible way. We have developed a full range of Real Belgian Chocolate to meet all your customers’ needs. But what’s the best way for you to get the most striking results with our chocolate? What kind of creations will offer your consumers an unforgettable taste experience? Our team of Chocolate Experts is happy to show you.
Puratos hosts virtual and physical Innovation Centers all around the world. These centres educate and inspire customers - ranging from artisans and retailers to food service chains - in the noble crafts of baking bread, creating patisserie and making chocolate. Our Chocolate Center - based in Erembodegem, Belgium - is completely devoted to chocolate. Here we share all there is to know about the craft of chocolate making, and more. By now, the centre has become a truly international training venue and a forum where professionals from around the world exchange ideas, tips and best practices. In co-creation with customers we try out new recipes, develop new product formulas, create new applications, test new concepts, design new processes and discover new technologies, tailored to specific customer demands worldwide. In addition, in the heart of Brussels, our partner, the ‘Art of Chocolate’, delivers dynamic masterclasses about Belgian chocolate savoir-faire. Driven by passion for chocolate, we perpetuate the Belgian chocolate legacy and the bean to consumer philosophy to chocolate professionals around the world.
But there is more. You and your team won’t always be able to travel all the way to Brussels. No problem! From Vietnam to Spain and from Iceland to the United States, our team of Chocolate Experts will travel the entire globe to give you a taste of our indulging Belcolade chocolate. They will help you to start creating the best chocolate and patisserie items, regardless of your style or level of experience. From highly artistic, to bold and innovative, to traditional and authentic. With tremendous dedication, superior craftsmanship, an innovative way of thinking and plenty of positive energy, our Chocolate Experts will give demonstrations, training sessions and seminars that help push your chocolate skills and applications to the next level.
Stephane Leroux has always had a sweet tooth. From age six he knew he wanted to be a patissier, following in the footsteps of his uncle who was a pastry chef, and his grandmother who used to make lots of pastry, in the old days. Now, after 37 years in the patisserie and chocolate business, his passion for pastry and chocolate has evolved into a passion for teaching. On behalve of Belcolade he now spreads his knowledge all over the world. Stephane has devoted a lot of his time to competing in various high-end competitions. As a result, he has now places second in the US World Pastry Championship and has the prestigious title Un des Meilleur Ouvrier de France. Stephane: “Working in a team of three different generations is very rewarding. We all learned the same basic techniques but in different eras. That’s why we manage to inspire one another and also push each other to the next level.”
Did you know that Stephane has already published three books in which he creates the most beautiful chocolate and patisserie artworks? Get inspired!
As Chocolate Expert Michel Eyckerman is a true allrounder. As supervisor of the Belcolade Chocolate Center, he knows his way around chocolate. Whether we’re talking pralines, chocolate decorations, patisserie or semi-industrial chocolate making, his 23 years of experience in patisserie shine through in every area. Michel biggest tip? “Remain curious and keep experimenting with ingredients, textures, combinations. The sky is the limit!” Want to get into a tasty conversation with Michel? Ask him how he likes to pair his chocolate with specialty beers. And of course follow him on Instagram.
The rookie of the bunch is Jeffrey de Weyer. He started at age 21 as a junior advisor at Belcolade and now travels all over the world to show customers the newest innovations in the field of chocolate. “Being able to teach customers and colleagues all over the world is really rewarding. The personal interaction with people who care for chocolate so much gives me a real adrenaline rush”, says Jeffrey. His specialty is in the area, panning and applying chocolate pralines and decorations. Curious to see for yourself? Follow his Instagram.
Stef Aerts is undeniable the top expert when it comes to technical knowledge about chocolate and producing chocolate-based finished goods on an industrial scale. “In the 1980s I started working as a baker and later got into patisserie. My love for the chocolate profession grew when I got hooked by the quality of the Belcolade products and the people working there. And that passion never stopped growing.” Stef’s knowledge of the technical potential for chocolate has already provided great added value for many Belcolade customers. He enables clients not only to ask advice about products, but to also discuss packaging, transport options and behavioural characteristics of chocolate.
If you’d like to visit one of our Puratos Chocolate Centers, or meet up with one of our Chocolate Experts, please get in touch! We would love to hear from you!