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化学怪才如何蜕变为歌帝梵顶级巧克力制作师?

Hayden Field 2017年01月30日

作为Godiva全球巧克力主厨兼消费科学负责人,他肩负着在北美市场打造新产品的职责,并担任这家高档巧克力制作商的食品发言人。

瑟瑞•穆勒特现身2012年伦敦哈罗德百货歌帝梵巧克力店开业现场。

Dave M. Benett Getty Images

当瑟瑞•穆勒特微笑时,他一侧的笑容会融入隐藏在胡须下面的酒窝中,并继续蔓延至深褐色的眼眸中。脸上的细纹记录了他在比利时、芝加哥、宾夕法尼亚州雷丁所度过的美好岁月。

穆勒特每天会品尝至少20块巧克力。这是他的工作。作为Godiva全球巧克力主厨兼消费科学负责人,他肩负着在北美市场打造新产品的职责,并担任这家高档巧克力制作商的食品发言人。他于1988年加入了歌帝梵,自2012年开始担任上述职务。明天春天,穆勒特将迎来他在公司的第29个年头。

当见到56岁的穆勒特时,我们很难想象他还曾怀揣其他的梦想。但是他的职业,与众人一样,都是抱负、好奇心与机遇共同作用的结果。

When Thierry Muret smiles, one side of his grin disappears into a dimple hidden in his beard. The smile continues up into eyes the color of cocoa beans. Fine lines mark the years he’s enjoyed in Belgium, in Chicago, in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Muret eats at least 20 pieces of chocolate a day. It’s his job. As global executive chef chocolatier and head of consumer sciences at Godiva, he’s is in charge of creating new products for North America and serves as the upscale chocolate maker’s food spokesperson. He’s been in the role since 2012 and with Godiva since 1988. Next spring, Muret will celebrate 29 years with the company.

Looking at Muret, 56, it’s hard to imagine he ever dreamed of doing something else. But his career, like so many others, was equal parts ambition, curiosity, and chance.

歌帝梵松露巧克力,Charley Gallay -- WireImage

穆勒特在布鲁塞尔长大,擅长数学和科学。在中学时期,一名老师曾建议他就读一个特别项目,这样便可以同时完成高中和大学学业。在第一学期,他便爱上了化学,并于4年后拿到了化学和晶体学学位。

1981年,当穆勒特开始攻读其工程学学位时,他的妹妹玛蒂娜问他是否愿意搬到美国,和她一道开设一家比利时巧克力公司。玛蒂娜当时住在芝加哥,而且当时精品食品也越来越受到人们的青睐。

他对此十分感兴趣,但他对于制作巧克力一无所知。在他妹妹的鼓励下,他四处寻找相关学习机会,然后在比利时找到了一个十分严格的学徒项目,由国家政府举办。抱着能尽早与妹妹开设公司的希望,他立志要找到一位最严厉、最苛刻的老师,并让他传授有关巧克力的一切必要知识。他一开始师从瑞内•古森斯(Rene Goossens)这位个头矮胖、性格强硬、拥有30年经验的巧克力师。穆勒特在一开始吃了不少苦头。有一段时间,古森斯一直让他洗盘子,擦地。随后,他才让穆勒特接触其拥有上百年历史的钢制巧克力模具,但是最终,穆勒特开始了其巧克力制作流程的学习。

他的第一课:如何在大理石上调制巧克力。流程包括将融化的巧克力倒在食品级大理石平板上,然后用抹刀搅拌,让其冷却;在穆勒特看来,这一流程跟酷圣石冰淇淋连锁店工作人员的工作没有什么区别。关键在于在什么时候停止搅拌,而且要掌握好时间和温度。最后,巧克力被放入容器,然后放至能够让其保持合适温度的机器中。

这一流程所蕴含的科学原理让穆勒特感到吃惊,他迅速地掌握了其诀窍。学徒项目通常长达4年,但在两年后,古森斯告诉他,该教的都已经教完了。

巧克力梦想

穆勒特于1984年搬到了伊利诺伊州,并与妹妹开设了名为Le Caraque的公司。他们雇了5名雇员,并直接面向消费者销售。巧克力门店位于海兰帕克,距离他们位于格伦维尤的巧克力生产作坊20分钟车程。

1987年,在纽约高档食品展上,有人来到了穆勒特的展柜前,要求品尝巧克力。他吃了一块又一块,一句话也没说。穆勒特十分恼火,对他说,如果要是觉得好吃,他可以购买这些巧克力。他记得这个人对他说,“展会后过来见我”,并递给他一张名片,上面写着“汤姆•费伊(Tom Fey),歌帝梵巧克力首席执行官”。

穆勒特在展会结束后又在纽约呆了一天,与费伊见了面。歌帝梵当时正在寻找一位巧克力制作大师,执掌其北美甜点业务,费伊想找一位无拘无束、思想开放,并热衷于食品制作的人。穆勒特对费伊说,他也不知道自己能否胜任这一职务,毕竟,他有自己的公司。

3天后,穆勒特接受了这份工作。他的理由是:能够自由自在地进行食品创作。在自己的公司中,运输、账单和库存总是会让他分心。在歌帝梵,他可以全身心地投入到他钟爱异常的食品制作当中。在穆勒特和妹妹关闭了Le Caraque之后,歌帝梵购买了他在店里厨房所使用的所有设备,而这些设备都是按照古森斯的设备仿制的。如今,穆勒特仍在使用这些设备。

甜美的事业

在歌帝梵,穆勒特成长迅速,最初担任其产品开发总监,后得到了多次晋升,并于2008年担任公司全球巧克力制作主厨。他每年有21周都在国外度过,辗转于日本、中东、上海和韩国。了解不同人群的口味需求已经成为了他的一项工作,而且他也非常享受这一过程。从某种意义上来说,他是歌帝梵全球不同地区6名主厨之间的桥梁。

Growing up in Brussels, Muret excelled in math and science. In middle school, a teacher suggested he enroll in a special program where he could finish high school and college at the same time. During his first semester, he fell in love with chemistry and graduated four years later with degrees in chemistry and crystallography.

In 1981, when Muret was starting his engineering degree, his sister Martine asked if he would consider moving to America to start a Belgian chocolate company with her. She was living in Chicago, and artisanal foods were starting to become more popular.

He was interested, but he didn’t know anything about making chocolate. Encouraged by his sister, he dug around and discovered a strict apprenticeship program in Belgium that’s run by the state. Hoping to start his career as soon as possible, he set out to find the hardest, meanest boss he could to teach him everything he needed to know about chocolate. He began as the apprentice to Rene Goossens, a tough, stocky chocolatier with 30 years of experience. It was a rough start — Goossens made him wash dishes and clean the floors for a while before he let him near his hundred-year-old steel chocolate molds — but eventually Muret began learning the chocolate-making process.

His first lesson: how to temper chocolate on marble. The process involves pouring melted chocolate on a food-grade marble slab and mixing it with a spatula to cool it down; Muret likens it to what workers at the ice-cream chain Coldstone Creamery do. The key is to know when to stop mixing — a matter of time and temperature. Finally, the chocolate is put into a container, which goes into a machine that keeps it at the proper temperature.

Muret was surprised at how scientific it was and caught on quickly. Apprenticeship programs usually last four years, but after two, Goossens told him he couldn’t teach him anything more.

Sugar high

Muret moved to Illinois in 1984 and started a company with his sister called Le Caraque. They had five employees, and they sold directly to consumers. The chocolate stop was located in Highland Park, about a 20-minute drive from their own kitchen in Glenview.

In 1987, at the New York Fancy Food Fair, a man approached Muret’s booth and asked to taste some chocolate. He ate one piece after the other without saying a word. Annoyed by this, Muret told him he could buy the chocolate if he wanted to. He remembers the man saying “Come see me after” and handing him a business card that read “Tom Fey, CEO of Godiva Chocolatier.”

Muret stayed an extra day after the show to meet with Fey. Godiva was looking for a master chocolatier to lead development of their candies in North America, and Fey had someone relaxed, open-minded and driven by the food in mind. Muret told Fey he wasn’t sure it was the right role for him — he had his own business, after all.

Three days later, Muret accepted. His reason: the prospect of creating freely. In running a business, he was often distracted by shipping, bills, and inventory. With Godiva, he could turn his complete attention to creating the pieces he so loved.

After Muret and his sister closed Le Caraque, Godiva bought all the equipment he used in his store’s kitchen, which he had modeled after Goossens’ own. Muret still uses them to this day.

A sweet career

Muret rose quickly through Godiva, starting out as supervisor of product development and being promoted several times before becoming a global executive chef chocolatier in 2008. He spent up to 21 weeks abroad every year, working from Japan, the Middle East, Shanghai, South Korea. It became his job to learn about the flavor expectations of different populations — and he’s enjoyed the learning process tremendously. At one point, he was a sort of bridge between six different Godiva chefs located in different parts of the world.

歌帝梵的瑟瑞•穆勒特与明星厨师吉亚达•劳伦蒂斯(Giada De Laurentiis)合影(2008年)Seth Browarnik 2008

在其任职期间,歌帝梵也经历了数次的转型。当他加入公司时,歌帝梵是Campbell’s Soup Co.的子公司。2008年,土耳其食品巨头Yildiz Holding以8.5亿美元购买了该公司,并将其并入其饼干和糖果子公司Pladis。6月,Yildiz将Pladis拆分为一个独立的公司,后者预计于2020年前在伦敦交易所上市。歌帝梵计划在2019年前在中国大陆开设近200个店面,其2017年销售额有望达到10亿美元。

未来会怎么样,穆勒特无法做出定论,但他希望能够在有生之年继续打造这一品牌。他说:“我愿意从公司退休。我唯一能够留下的遗产就是,这一美妙的食品中包含着我微小的身影。” (财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

The company he works for has also undergone several transitions during his tenure. When he started, it was owned by the Campbell’s Soup Co. In 2008, it was bought by Turkish food giant Yildiz Holding for $850 million, and became part of its biscuit and confectionary division, Pladis.

In June, Yildiz split Pladis into a separate company that’s expected to list on the London Stock Exchange by 2020. Godiva plans to open nearly 200 stores in mainland China by 2019 and sees sales topping $1 billion for 2017.

Muret isn’t sure exactly what the future holds for him, but hopes to keep building the brand for as long as he can.

“I would love to retire from the company,” he says. “The legacy would just be that I was a little part of this beauty.”

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