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Valrhona opens its new school in the heart of Paris

After Tain l’Hermitage, New York and Tokyo, a L'École Valrhona school was inaugurated in the heart of Paris, in the Marais district, on May 2, 2022! This unique space providing experiences for all gastronomy professionals is a place where people can learn, meet others and pass on their skills. It hosts Executive Chef Thierry Bridron and his team of three pastry chef instructors.

Spread over 340 m² and two floors, the facility includes a large 78 m² laboratory kitchen that showcases French and international sweet cuisine. Offering creative and advanced sessions, technical training and friendly events devoted to discussion and sharing, this new school is designed for all talented chefs who are eager to learn and enjoy new experiences.

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Valrhona has worked to share its skills with the gastronomy profession for nearly a century. Thanks to L’École Valrhona (which was formed in 1989), the house was able to bolster its training program year after year, making its expertise available to all gastronomy professionals. As well as being a showcase for L’École Valrhona’s know-how, this new venue is a powerful training tool promoting creativity conducive to meeting new people, learning and passing on new gastronomy techniques and trends. It is intended for all professionals wishing to deepen their knowledge and perfect their work.

Nearly 30 customized and advanced courses will be available throughout the year, around 1 course per week, on all topics related to sweet cuisine, including chocolate-making (naturally) as well as catering in the broader sense, with content related to pastry making, ice cream and viennoiseries. These courses will be led by exceptional speakers, chief instructors from L’École Valrhona and/or exceptional pastry chefs and artisans. With its program of events, L’École Valrhona provides a real response to new consumer trends.

With this new school, Valrhona wishes to strengthen its close relationship with its French and international customers by offering them a place where they can enjoy a completely immersive experience in the heart of the world’s gastronomy capital.

L’École Valrhona Paris offers unique vocational training as it has a large laboratory kitchen that can accommodate up to 12 trainees, a vast preparation room and a space designed to inspire reflections on chocolate - specifically, a brand new relaxation area with an intimate feel, made up of a library and a set of coating machines. It also has offices, a meeting room and a media space to facilitate exchanges and conversations between the brand and its business customers.

This one-of-a-kind creative playground is intended to become a major platform linking the brand and its customers together, providing both with the perfect setting for interactions. A futuristic sweet cuisine hub, it was conceived as a space for discovery and inspiration in which the school's chefs will cultivate and pass on new ways of thinking, working with ingredients and teaching dessert-making techniques.

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Ecole Valrhona Paris

This new space will host plenty of friendly get-togethers in 2022, in addition to its courses. Throughout the year, Valrhona’s French and international customers will be invited to unique events where they will immerse themselves in contemporary sweet cuisine so that, together, they can design its future.

You will be able to take part in breakfasts, inspiration days themed around Easter, Christmas or Valentine's Day and even one-on-one monitoring. Top chefs and artisans will be invited to these events so that attendees get an even more intimate experience and an extra dose of creativity. These guests will share both their knowledge and their vision for culinary trends and gastronomy’s future.

A place embodied by an emblematic ambassador

Valrhona has chosen to hire pastry chef Claire Heitzler to lead this brand new school. An emblematic figure of French gastronomy who is devoted to committed, responsible and sustainable pastry making, she perfectly embodies the values of L’École Valrhona.

Over the years, she has forged strong links with Valrhona and its chefs, first as a customer and then as a collaborator on projects such as the “Reflective Handbook for Ethical Pastry-Making”.

Claire has engaged extensively with the profession and committed to working ethically with producers to make pastry-making more sustainable. She puts the right ingredients at the heart of her approach, as her online store demonstrates.

“CLAIRE Heitzler & Producteurs” is an online pastry store which only uses fresh and seasonal ingredients while reducing food waste. It is particularly attentive to the natural world, and provides an enlightened perspective on pastry-making. Claire’s virtuous approach makes her the ideal ambassador to accompany L’École Valrhona on its path towards the ethical sweet cuisine of the future.

Cheffe Pâtissière Claire Heitzler