This past April, Woody and I traveled to Brooklyn, New York for Valhrona's celebration of the Silver Anniversary of L'Ecole du Grand Chocolat with the opening of Valhrona's first school in the United States. Created in 1989 by Frédéric Bau, a passionate and visionary pastry chef, L'École du Grand Chocolat Valrhona has become a showcase for Valrhona's expertise, quality and creativity over the past 25 years. I visited Valrhona in Tain Hermitage over 25 years ago when I was bringing a team of engineers from Proctor and Gamble on a chocolate odyssey in France. I have been using their wonderful chocolate ever since as one of my top favorites for ganache fillings, buttercream, and glazes. So it was very sentimental to be there for the opening in my original hometown city all these years later. It was pouring rain all day but did not keep people from coming to the events. The school's opening was celebrated over two days with seminars, tastings, panel discussions, ribbon cutting ceremony, and a grand finale ball. Along with connecting with long-time friends and colleagues, we were able to accompany my dear friend and chocolatier Zach Townsend on his first extended trip to New York. Valhrona operates three other schools: two in France and the third in Tokyo. As an American school with French roots, L'École Valrhona Brooklyn combines the knowledge and approach of an American team with the Valrhona spirit, notes Anthony Valla, Valrhona Inc. CEO. We bring the time tested process and know-how from our flagship L'École du Grand Chocolat in Tain l'Hermitage to Brooklyn, which we selected for its unique character, as well as its key role in the culinary world, adds Valla. The school offers private classes for chefs, and classes for non-professional gourmet enthusiasts, with two to three day workshops. A complete listing of courses and other information on the school is presented on L'École du Grand Chocolat in Brooklyn - Pastry.
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