24-06-2014

Callebaut opens new flagship Chocolate Academy centre in Wieze (Belgium)

Built in Wieze/Belgium, where the Callebaut story began in 1911

  • New Callebaut Chocolate Academy is a state-of-the-art training centre which takes the professional on a journey from bean to chocolate.
  • This is the flagship academy in a current network of 16 Chocolate Academy centres worldwide, with four training rooms and a greenhouse where cocoa is grown.

Wieze/Belgium – June 24, 2014 – Today, the new Callebaut Chocolate Academy centre was officially opened. The flagship Chocolate Academy centre offers professionals from all backgrounds a place to learn and strengthen skills while working with Callebaut Finest Belgian Chocolate. Located next to the factory where Callebaut has been crafting chocolate from cocoa beans since 1911, the Academy builds upon 25 years of sharing know-how with artisans on each production step from bean to chocolate. Callebaut is the Belgian chocolate brand of Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium chocolate and cocoa products.

“The Chocolate Academy centres are unique when it comes to sharing best practices and increasing chocolate mastery. Currently, in our 16 training centres around the world, we partner with craftsmen such as chocolatiers, bakers, pastry and kitchen chefs,” says Freek van der Knaap, Vice President Gourmet Western Europe. In the Chocolate Academy centre, chocolate professionals will come to train themselves, follow courses and receive demonstrations – from professionals for professionals.”

1,000 professionals expected per year
To date in Wieze, about 300 people follow training and take courses each year. That number is expected to climb to 1,000 with the new Academy. Trainings are conducted by Callebaut Chefs and complemented by “Chocolate Ambassadors,” a global network of renowned chefs who share their chocolate expertise with other members of their profession.
“More than ever Belgium is seen the world over as the home of Callebaut and heart of chocolate know-how,” says Geert Kiesekoms, Gourmet Sales Director Benelux.
“This new Academy is an incredible asset to chefs. Where else can one find a mini-production line to illustrate how Callebaut chocolate is made, or even make chocolate themselves?” says Chef Alexandre Bourdeaux, Head of the Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Wieze.

From Plantation to the Chocolate Tasting Ritual Room: a 360° chocolate experience
The new Callebaut Chocolate Academy centre offers a variety of attractions to its visitors, such as:

  • The Chocolaterie, Bakery Shop, Pastry Lab and the Chef’s Table: Individual training spaces geared towards instructing one specific group of artisans, i.e. chocolatiers, bakers, pastry chefs and restaurant chefs
  • The Plantation: A small-scale reproduction of a tropical forest which features cocoa trees – where chocolate professionals can be immersed in the world of cocoa and see cocoa fruits in a natural habitat.
  • A Chocolate Tasting Ritual Room: A special room where a sensory specialist guides the guests through the varied world of chocolate flavors
  • The Chocotorium: a 100-seat theater available for lectures given by chocolate experts
  • A Chocolate Bar: Visitors can sample freshly-made hot and cold chocolate drinks
  • A Chocolate Library: Offers a vast collection of books on chocolate – and the variety of potential applications

Sustainable Chocolate
All Callebaut Belgian Finest Chocolate used in the Chocolate Academy centre is made with sustainable cacao. Callebaut’s Growing Great Chocolate program actively supports farmer cooperatives in adopting innovative and modern agricultural practices offered through training programs in the field.

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