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In my job, my scientific background is extremely important.
You want to push envelope.
You want to be innovative.
You want to really like create beautiful foods.
But you need to be able to do it consistently.
So, you need to really build those prediction novels that say okay, yeah, I'm pretty sure that this is going to work.
And if it doesn't, you need to be able to react fairly quickly.
And know why.
The scientific background is "the why."
My name is Thierry Muret, and I'm the executive chef for Godiva.
I have been working for Godiva since May 8, 1988.
So, 31 years.
Whatever you read about not doing in interviews, I did.
Right, everything.
People ask me, "what do you think about this candy and Godiva?"
I said "pffft, don't like it."
You know.
Everything wrong.
Then after the interview, they say, "okay, can you start Monday?"
I think that it's... I was genuine.
You know, and I had the vision actually of what I would like to do in R&D, and that's what they were looking for.
I'm a master chocolatier, if you want me to work for you, here is what I take.
So, I guess they liked it.
Can I have one?
Yes, you may.
You're the chef.
Don't copycat.
Create your own style.
That's, for me, the most critical thing.
Create your own style of preparing food.
Inspiration is, you know, it can come from anywhere.
It can come from a good book.
It can come from just walking the streets of the city.
You're pretty much in the palettes of the reds, red and purple.
So, I was born in Belgium.
I did my high school in Brussels, and then I went to the university where I actually studied chemistry, industrial chemistry.
And my last year, I took specialization, which is crystallography.
Then I was going to go for a second degree, which was chemical engineering.
And at that point, my sister called me, and said, "hey bro," you know, this in the '80s.
"Belgium chocolate is becoming very visible here."
"I want to open a business."
"Are you interested?"
I said, "sure, but I don't know anything about chocolate."
She said, "well, go find out."
So, I decided to go to an apprenticeship.
To really like, learn the trade.
Cooking is definitely a science.
You need to know what you're doing, but then it becomes an instinct.
This is what we call the Bible.
Ah, come on out.
And the Bible is, it's just like a dictionary.
A composition of the molecule, the melting point.
It's just tables after tables after tables.
I think the attraction for me being a science major was pretty big because, you know, when you work for a company like Godiva, you need to really have a good understanding of how things work, you know, how the product is going to react.
What color did we see a lot in the flower district, right?
First orange, reds, browns, yellows.
You know, all these fall colors, very warm tones.
But then we saw spikes of citruses and pepper.
And when you eat this piece, you will actually have the same walk as we did on the city.
I still love to play with chocolate.
It's such a sensual material and difficult.
My God, if you rush chocolate it's going to bite you back.
We're almost there.
I think that one thing that is very, very important to give as advice for the young chefs.
Never lose your passion.
Continue to cook.
Continue to just have fun.
You cannot make happy food if you're not happy yourself.
So, be passionate: study, read, challenge yourself, stay in tune with what's going on around you.
Ta-da!
A day in the city.
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How Chemistry Landed a Chocolatier His Dream Job | WSJ

4441 Folder Collection
Fibby published on December 24, 2019    Fibby translated    Steve reviewed
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