A Conversation With Jacques Torres, Aka “Mr. Chocolate”
The Epoch Times: When did you know you wanted to be a chocolatier?
Jacques Torres: In France you can begin work at a young age as an apprentice, where you can learn for two years. After that, you take an exam and if you do well, they give you a paper saying that you can work in pastry shop. For me, I was 15 years old, working during my vacation, and I basically fell in love with it right away.
The Epoch Times: What’s the best thing about being “Mr. Chocolate?”
Mr. Torres: The best thing is you can eat as much chocolate as you want! If you crave something, you just make it. The excuse is, “Maybe the customer will like it,” but you can try it for yourself. It is a cool job. It’s fun. We make people happy. We work with a great product—everybody loves chocolate—kids, adults, everybody.
The Epoch Times: What’s your favorite kind of chocolate?
Mr. Torres: That is difficult because it changes during the day. In the afternoon, after lunch, maybe you want something rich and creamy with nuts, but after dinner maybe you want dark chocolate. It depends on your mood, the time of day, and what you’re eating or drinking.
The Epoch Times: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a chocolatier when he or she grows up?
Mr. Torres: I would say, never settle for mediocrity. That’s most important. Whatever you want to do—chocolate, pastry—get educated. First get a general education, then go to school for that profession. Learn the product, the technique, learn about the profession. Travel if you can and see what’s going on, not just where you are, but around the world. Have fun! You have to have fun or else you won’t do it for many years. If you’re not having fun, do something else. Always stick with quality. Always work with good products, in good places; respect yourself, and respect others. Success is actually not that difficult; success and longevity is the most difficult.