Chocolatier, pastry chef, candy maker and cookbook author. When it comes to sweets, Jacques Torres has it all wrapped up! This is one of the primary reasons Holland America Line invited Torres to be a guest chef during 2006 at its onboard Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine. Passengers are able to attend cooking classes in a theatre-style demonstration kitchen and also view the classes on large-screen plasma TVs.
With a charming smile and exciting personality, Jacques Torres is a natural with public speaking and teaching. Starting his career at the age of 15, Torres began his apprenticeship at La Frangipane, a small pastry shop in his hometown of Bandol, France. Upon graduating first in his class, Torres began to refine his intuitive sense of creativity and artistry under the direction of two-star chef Jacques Maximin at the Hotel Negresco.
Always a proponent of education, Torres went back to school to earn his Master Pastry Chef degree from 1980 to 1983. Immediately upon completion, he began sharing his wealth of knowledge and his talent with students at a local culinary school in Cannes. In 1986, however, Torres set a record by becoming the youngest chef ever to receive the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France medal: something in which he and his students took great pride.
An ever-growing list of distinctions follows Jacques Torres, including:
participation in the rededication ceremonies for the Statue of Liberty
winning the Japanese Pastry Chef Association’s gold medal
winning the 1986 French Championship of Desserts
guest chef on Julia Child’s Master Chefs program
recognition as James Beard’s Pastry Chef of the Year
receipt of Chefs of America Pastry Chef of the Year award
recognition as Chocolatier magazine’s 10 Best Pastry Chefs and
membership in Academie Culinaie de France
Likewise, his accomplishments are equally amazing. Torres has:
developed two television shows: Dessert Circus with Jacque Torres and Dessert Circus At Home
authored a companion cookbook entitled Dessert Circus At Home (Morrow, 1999)
opened two chocolate and pastry shops in New York: one in New York City and one in Brooklyn
made frequent guest appearances on the Food Network
sailed as guest chef onboard Holland America Line cruises
served as Dean of Pastry Arts at the French Culinary Institute
prepared desserts and pastries for presidents, kings, celebrities and the wealthy worldwide
and much more!
Deeply concerned with giving back to the community, Torres donates his time to a wide variety of notable charities, including the American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, Gods Love We Deliver, New York’s Hard of Hearing Association, Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center, the Association to Benefit Children and others.
With a fun, fanciful style, Torres creates delightful confections that look as fabulous as they taste. His goal is to appeal to all the senses, as he engages the eyes with creative presentations, the nose with exceptional aromas and – most importantly – the mouth with textures and flavors that can only be described as decadent.
The guest chef lineup for 2007 includes other amazing chefs. Check with your travel agent or Holland America for details on who will sail on which ships throughout the coming year.