Cacao Barry is searching for the Chocolatier of the Year in 2012 in its annual L’Art du Chocolatier Challenge, a competition that encourages creativity and expertise in designing and executing original creations using the French premium chocolate brand.

With a rich French heritage dating back to 1842, Cacao Barry is associated with innovation and passion among the finest pastry chefs in the world.

Since founder Charles Barry traveled to Africa in search of the finest cocoa beans to create his first connoisseur’s chocolate almost 170 years ago, the brand’s vision always has been that the chocolate-maker’s craft is an art form.

L’Art du Chocolatier Challenge is currently open for registration at, with December 5 as the deadline to register.

Once registered, contestants are asked to submit an application package, which includes a portfolio of their personal information, photos and recipes as well as one gâteau de voyage and one spreadable paste.

All packages are due to arrive at Barry Callebaut in Chicago either on January 12 or on January 13, 2012 by 5 pm CT.

Up to 12 finalists will be chosen and flown to Chicago to compete at the state-of-the-art Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy the weekend of May 4, 2012 for the chance to be crowned Chocolatier of the Year 2012, and a chance to win one of three prizes totaling $12,000.

Each finalist will submit their two finished gâteaux de voyage and two containers of spreadable paste the morning of the final round. The gâteaux de voyage and spreadable pastes must be identical to the ones submitted for the finalist selection.

Finalists also will have six hours to prepare their original chocolate pastry, chocolate tablet and tabletop showpiece. Renowned pastry chefs will evaluate the items based on the published judging criteria.

The Grand Prize winner will be announced on the last day of competition and will receive $4,000, a Chicago Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy class coupon, round trip airfare to Chicago plus accommodations, a shared feature in a leading food industry trade publication, and a signed copy of Ramon Morató’s book “Chocolate.”

Awards and prizes also will be awarded to second and third place winners.

Official contest rules and entry form are available at

The French brand Cacao Barry offers a range of high-quality cocoa products, chocolate coatings, fillings, and decorating products.

Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate – from the cocoa bean to the finished chocolate product. Barry Callebaut is present in 27 countries, operates around 40 production facilities and employs a diverse and dedicated workforce of about 6,000 people.

Industry News, Cacao Barry