The community
for chocolate inspiration.

For chefs / By chefs.

To know chocolate, explore new creative concepts and truly unlock its full potential, Chefs are eager to collaborate and exchange their expertise and ideas. More than a platform, CacaoCollective is a community.

By harnessing the power of the collective, CacaoCollective aims to elevate the knowledge, creativity, sense of belonging and success of chefs.


Located at the ocean shore of Algarve, in a beautiful 5 star resort Vila Vita Parc’s two Michelin starred restaurant Ocean, creates Marcio Baltazar stunning desserts inspired by the sea and the Portughese traditions in contemporary interpretations.


This week we had a chat with Gabriele Leo, the passionate executive pastry chef of The Ned, the new Soho House hotel in London. Get to know how he became a pastry chef and how he sees the desserts of the future.


When interviewing Graham Hornigold, then the executive pastry chef of the Hakkasan Group, for the first time, we met for a lunch. He wanted me to get an insight into his way of thinking and his values before doing an interview. He gained a great respect from my side - as a professionist and as a human being. Recently Graham left the group for which he has built pastry teams all around the world and is starting a new chapter in his career, so it was the right moment for a new interview.


Hideko Kawa moved from Japan to London to learn and gain new experiences. Trained at Le Cordon Bleu she first gained her working experiences as a pastry chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Restaurant. After six years of work with Gordon, she has moved to Helene Darroze at The Connaught, followed by very valuable years of work as head pastry chef of Heston Blumenthal’s empire. She is talking to us about her Christmas and presenting her first pop-up where you can see and buy her fantastic sweet creations.


Heather Kaniuk, the executive pastry chef of the Shangri-La at the Shard moved to the UK from New Zealand. We talked with her about Christmas on her beautiful green island and at her new home.


Christmas is just around the corner. How is it celebrated in USA? We asked Juan Pablo Colubri, who has moved to USA from the UK after becoming the executive pastry chef for Hakkasan USA.


Christmas is just around the corner. Today we approached Davide Comaschi, one of the previous winners of World Chocolate Masters and the president of the Cacao Barry’s Chocolate Academy in Milano and asked him to share with us his Christmas.


Jacopo Bruni, the Executive Pastry Chef from the London EDITION hotel has moved to London from Italy to find new challenges. After he conquers London, he will be moving to Shanghai. Get to know his exciting story and a view of an Italian pastry chef in London on the pastry world in Britain.


Paul Kelly, the Executive Pastry Chef and Cacao Barry Ambassador who is this month celebrating his 20th year at The Marrion hotel in Dublin where initially he planned to stay just for a short period, is sharing with us his passion for pastry, love for chocolate and gratitude for the great support he always had from the hotel team.


Barry Johnson, Chocolate Lecturer at The National Bakery School of London South Bank University, has won the UK & Ireland preselection for WCM. The jury was impressed by his high standards, explosive flavour combinations and well-thought-out designs. The chef’s unflinching attitude completely convinced the jury to send him to the World Chocolate Masters finals in Paris.


His career started in Italy, where he was born. There, Fabrizio Fiorani was working with some of the greatest Italian chefs at the most prestigious establishments. Then he moved to Tokyo and is now taking care of the sweet delights at the Bulgari Il Ristorante Luca Fantin in Tokyo, along side the very inspiring executive chef Luca Fantin. His story is a story of two very strong food cultures.


“I’ve always had a drive to go out and achieve things. It’s like jumping out of a plane with a parachute, it gives me that rush.”


As I always tell my students: “Whether you work at a shop or restaurant, every day is a competition. Every creation must be delivered perfectly to the client.” Students often fear exams, while in fact every day is a test.


“Being able to filter out ideas and opinions that are not suitable and pick the appropriate ones is crucial. This applies in my life as a chef and as many other roles.”


“It was a big challenge to get everything ready in time! I had about 8 weeks to build up everything from scratch: the concept, designs, testing, fine-tuning… Luckily, I’m rather immune to stress and I don’t get scared off easily.”

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