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Meet the Experts: Jacques Torres

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Jacques Torres

Chef, Founder & CEO 
Jacques Torres Chocolates

At age 15 Jacques began an apprenticeship at La Frangipane, a pastry shop in his hometown in France, where he completed his apprenticeship requirements and graduated first in his class. In 1980, Jacques approached the Michelin two-star chef Jacques Maximin at the Hotel Negresco and inquired for a job. During his days off he earned the degree of Master Pastry Chef and proceeded to teach pastry at a culinary school in Cannes from 1983-1986, where he honed his skills in preparation for the infamous Meilleur Ouvrier de France competition. In 1986, Jacques received the prestigious M.O.F. medal and was the youngest chef to earn the distinction.  In 1988, the Ritz Carlton Hotel Co. petitioned him to the USA as Corporate Pastry Chef and he launched the opening of their hotel in Palm Springs. He was later transferred to the corporate headquarters in Atlanta. Shortly after, legendary Sirio Maccioni invited Jacques to work at New York's famous Le Cirque. In 2000, Jacques opened his own chocolate factory, Jacques Torres Chocolates, serving the wholesale and retail markets with his fresh, handcrafted chocolates.