Manufacturing Happiness

Do you know that happiness can be manufactured? Well, Christophe Morel do.

Christophe Morel, is a French master chocolatier who decided to open his business in Montreal, Canada. Despite of his reputation and crowning achievement as the first prize winner for chocolate at the Coupe du monde de la patisserie in Lyon, France 2005, Morel has simple objective through his craft: to give pleasure to everyone around him. In the middle of his tight schedule, Christophe Morel managed to spare some time to share his knowledge about chocolate, exclusively for Passion Media.

1. Please tell us briefly about your career and your current activities.

I started as a chocolate pastry chef at the age of 15. After two years of apprenticeship, I obtained my CAP (Certificat d Aptitude Professionnelle or Certificate of Professional Competence) and I went to work in several large French pastry shops. At the age of 25, I opened my first chocolate pastry shop in Paris. After ten years, I wanted to see something else. I decided to sell my pastry shop and try my luck in Canada with my wife and children. After some time adaptation here, I have opened a chocolate confectionery production for 12 years.

I make products not only for my shop, but also for other chocolatiers, pastry chefs, restaurants and hotels. I have a very wide range of products in perpetual evolution at the request of the customers. I also give a lot of training in the world for Cacao Barry as its Ambassador, and also for schools, like Academy Pastry Art. It allows me to meet many chefs, to understand other cultures, other’s work visions, other products and to be able to develop other products in my company.

2. I heard you were born into a family of pastry chefs. Tell us the story about your family and childhood, related to the pastry.

My parents had a pastry & bakery shop in Paris, but my mother is mainly responsible for introducing the love of pastry to me. She made cakes for me when I came back from school or sport and whenever I go to see her in Paris. For me, it’s the taste of my childhood and it's always been the best cake in the world. She made me love pastry and I'm happy to be able to do this job.

3. Why did you choose to be a chocolatier, not a patissier? What makes chocolate special to you?

I am a pastry chocolate maker at first, but as my job progressed, I discovered chocolate, which must be the most difficult raw material for baking. Now, chocolate is part of my DNA, I don’t know how to do anything else. Chocolate is magic, from a fruit and multiple transformation, it managed to become exceptional products and dream for customers. I always say chocolatiers are the manufacturers of happiness. Therefore, every day I give pleasure to people around me.

4. Is there a time when you want to quit as chocolatier?

I was fortunate, I never have a moment of doubt in my career. After almost 35 years of working, I am always happy to come to work every morning. I have the chance to do a job that is also my passion and life.

5. What do you consider as your biggest contribution in the world of chocolate?

I think that my contribution in the chocolate business is to broadcast my knowledge during my classes and demonstrations around the world. I am happy to see my products made by other chefs around the world. I tell myself that I make the job of chocolatier progress.

6. What does MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France or Best Craftsman of France) mean to you? What’s the responsibility behind the title?

I did not have the chance to win the MOF title but I managed to participate in two finals. They allowed me to surpass myself and become who I am now. Even if I did not win it, I have the responsibility of transmitting my job and sharing all my knowledge.

7. According to you, who’s the greatest chocolatier in the world?

For me there is no bigger chocolatier in the world, there are influencers. From travelling to many countries, I saw many very good chocolatiers around the world with specialities to their country and that's what interests me. It is important to remind myself that everyone has his own vision and that we are unique.

8. What’s the current chocolate trend in the world? Do you have any prediction where it will go?

The current trend is the Bean to bar, but you have to be careful because it is another job. It is necessary to be on products of the departure, to supervise its origin, to make sure of the good hygiene of the beans and then to have the good material for a good transformation of the product. From this it can really be interesting.

9. It is said that chocolate will have issues with the limited supply and growing demand, what do you think about it?

Mr. Louis is right. Now there are many countries that begin to consume more chocolate products, especially in Asia, and this puts pressure on the cocoa crop. But I think that cocoa industry will continue to grow once it reaches a good price, the farmer will turn to cocoa instead of palm or latex, for example, which are more profitable for them.

10. Tell us one of your most memorable dining experience, in any places.

It is difficult for me to answer this question, being a French, whenever I have the chance to go to Michellin star restaurants that involve the art of the table, it is an extraordinary experience. However, I also had incredible and unforgettable culinary experiences in countries like India, Japan, China or Italy. I am a lover of food and all the cuisines of the world are incredible dining experience. The products, spices and influences in each country interests me.

I always say chocolatiers are the manufacturers of happiness