Cacao Barry – the world’s leading brand of high-quality French chocolate and cocoa products for gourmet professionals – announced Anthony Vellut, Chocolate Manager for Jean Philippe Patisserie at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, as champion of the 2015 L’Art du Chocolatier Challenge. Runner ups for the coveted title of Chocolatier of the Year were Helen Hong and Wilfredo Barajas, who took home second and third place, respectively.

Awards for additional categories in the competition include:

Best Showpiece – Anthony Vellut 

Kitchen Skills Award – Helen Hong

“The L’Art du Chocolatier Challenge is a demonstration of these chefs’ proficiencies in working with premium French chocolate,” said Jérôme Landrieu, Pastry Chef and Director of the CHOCOLATE ACADEMY Chicago. “We are excited to award the contestants, after their display of creativity, innovation and unrelenting passion for their craft.” 

The two-day competition was held May 14 to 15, 2015, at the state-of-the-art Barry Callebaut CHOCOLATE ACADEMY in Chicago. During the two-day competition, the finalists prepared an original chocolate nut bar, soft caramel, gâteaux de voyage and original chocolate showpiece for judging. One month prior, the finalists shipped 30 pieces of chocolate ganache bonbons to Chicago to evaluate their shelf life during the competition.

A panel of renowned culinary experts evaluated all entries based on taste, appearance, creativity and interpretation of this year’s competition theme – “The Roaring Twenties Chicago.” This year’s panel of esteemed chefs included:

Chef Sebastien Canonne – Co-founder, The French Pastry School

Chef Jerome Jacob – Assistant Pastry Chef, Bellagio Resort Hotel and Casino, and Chocolatier of the Year 2013

Chef Frederic Monti – Corporate Pasty Chef, PreGel AMERICA

Chef Luis Robledo-Richards –Head of the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Mexico City and Owner of "Tout Chocolat" 

Chef Jerome Landrieu – Cacao Barry Pastry Chef and Head of the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Chicago

The L’Art du Chocolatier Challenge provides a platform for talented U.S. pastry chefs and chocolatiers to demonstrate their creativity and craftsmanship through the medium of premium French chocolate. The next L’Art du Chocolatier Challenge will take place in May 2016, coinciding with the 2016 National Restaurant Association (NRA) show.

The L’Art du Chocolatier Challenge is an initiative of leading chocolate gourmet brand Cacao Barry, which is part of the Barry Callebaut Group.