Meet Our Ambassadors



Meet Our Ambassadors

The Cacao Barry ambassador team is a group of incredibly talented chefs from around the country, coming from all different backgrounds. Some own their own businesses, some teach at culinary schools, and some work for hotels & restaurants. They all have one thing in common: their love for chocolate. Our ambassadors are creative, passionate, and talented. Let's meet the USA Cacao Barry crew!

Chocolate Ambassadors Club 2020

Cedric Barberet

Barberet’s love for pastry creation started at Patisserie Barberet, his family’s bakery in France where he served as an apprentice and learned the techniques to become a pastry chef. Barberet’s experience includes being Executive Pastry Chef at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and working at the Las Vegas M Resort Casino & Spa. In 2009, Barberet joined Philadelphia’s Le Bec-Fin as the Executive Pastry Chef and then Executive Pastry Chef for Buddakan. In 2015, Barbert opened Bistro Barberet & Bakery. Barberet was named 2016 Top 10 Pastry Chef in America (Dessert Professional). 

Click below to find out more about Cedric and his French-inspired creations!

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Melissa Coppel

Coppel left her home in Cali, Colombia to study pastry in Argentina before moving to Chicago to attend The French Pastry School in 2006. Coppel worked at Joel Robuchon at the Mansion, a three-star Michelin restaurant and ran the pastry kitchen at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas. She later mastered her talent with chocolate at casinos like Caesars Palace and the Bellagio, where she exclusively focused on chocolate. She co-founded a wholesale chocolate company in Las Vegas before starting her own school in 2016.

Melissa's international prestige is for naught; her perfected course structure and colorful cocoa butter techniques are not to be missed at Melissa Coppel School.

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Juan Contreras

In order to snag a spot in the new kitchen at Abode, Contreras persistently called and emailed Chef Dominique Crenn. As part of the opening team, Contreras was able to work every station. At Luce, Contreras played a pivotal role collaborating in menu development and execution. After two years, Contreras left on a one year sabbatical, which encompassed stints at Alinea, De Librije, and Oud Sluis. He then returned to San Francisco and joined Crenn in opening her new project, Atelier Crenn. In 2019, Contreras was a James Beard finalist, Best Pastry Chef, and again nominated in 2020.

The secrets of Juan's pastry lie below; learn more below about this talented chef!

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Chris Ford

A Florida native, Ford graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu program at the Orlando Culinary Academy in 2005. Chef Norman Van Aken then offered him his first job at Norman’s at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando. Ford was named one of StarChef’s “Rising Stars” in 2009. Ford returned to Los Angeles and Four Seasons in 2016 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire. Afterwards, he recently took over The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills in May 2019. Wanting a new challenge, Ford's new focus is solely on Butter Love & Hard work, his solo project of breakables and sweet treats.

Chris has an eye for creativity that's all his own. Below contains all you need to find inspiration.

Discover his magic

Brielle Fratellone

Fratellone was the recipient of a 2007 James Beard scholarship and attended the esteemed CIA in Hyde Park, NY. Upon graduation, Fratellone began working as a pastry chef in notable Florida hotels and resorts. Today, Fratellone oversees the sweet side at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, including Chez Bon Bon. Her recent trip to the Or Noir lab has resulted in a custom chocolate blend called "Sapphire Noir."

We've got a delightful recipe and the inside scoop on Brielle's creative side.

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John Kraus

Trained as a chef and began his career in London, England, at the Dorchester Hotel then Chef Michel Perraud’s Fleur de Sel. Back in the USA, Kraus worked at the Wild Boar (Nashville) and NoMI (Chicago) before joining the French Pastry School, serving for 10 years. In 2011, Kraus opens Patisserie 46 in Minneapolis. Not long later in 2014, Kraus was selected as team U.S.A.’s captain at the 2015 Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie. Kraus opened his second business, Rose Street, and is the first American to be invited to join Relais Desserts in 2016.

With the kind of experience John has, you won't want to miss downloading his recipe (& more).

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Ramon Perez

Perez started out working in his parents’ restaurant Citronée. After Citronée, graduation, and Sona, Perez staged in Europe for six months working at several 3 Michelin Star restaurants. Perez returned to Citronée and Sona, sharpening his skills to eventually become the EPC of the David Myers Group. In 2002, he was a finalist at the National Dessert Competition. In 2011, Perez won the 2nd Annual StarChefs International Pastry Competition. Perez left the David Myers Group in 2012 so he could focus on Puur Chocolat, his own chocolate business, and was named 2016 Top 10 Pastry Chef in America (Dessert Professional).

Ramon's creations are not only stunning, they're also often locally sourced. Find out more about him below.

Creativity awaits

Amanda Rockman

Rockman attended CIA and completed her internship under Emily Luchetti at Farallon. In Chicago, her experience includes Tru, L2o, the Peninsula Chicago, the Bristol, and opened both Balena and Nico Osteria. In Austin, Rockman worked at Fino and Asti Trattoria. When she returned in 2015, she became the EPC of South Congress Hotel, then New Waterloo Restaurant Group, and eventually became corporate pastry chef of the group, where she remains at the helm today. Rockman was awarded the 2012 Jean Banchet Pastry Chef of the Year award, Zagat’s 30 under 30, and Chicago Tribune’s 2013 Pastry Chef of the Year.

As the chef in charge of many outlets, Amanda's creativity is always going further. Below, download her recipe.

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