How does an artist really see the world? The real source of ideas for their masterpieces is a mystery. Many believe that the artists’ sources for their ideas are included….
Culinary artistry goes beyond the ordinary art forms. Unlike painting, literature, and the performing arts, culinary arts offer more than just the usual ocular, intellectual, or auditory experience. The culinary arts combine all of the aspects of all the art forms that we know of – a culinary masterpiece, unlike any other masterpiece in any art field should offer a multi-disciplinary experience as well as please the two other remaining sensations of taste and smell.
A culinary obra maestra has to complete the experience by offering visual appeal, the application of the concepts of food preparation, as well as the ultimate experience for the palate. Chef Jacques Torres has undoubtedly mastered the art of food preparation and more. Our likely chef was already a master in the kitchen at the tender age of 15. He spent most of his childhood in Bandol, in the south of France and was an apprentice in a relatively small pastry shop called La Frangipane.
His two years being an apprentice was sheer pleasure for this young chef, and as a testament to this passion for cooking, he graduated at the top his apprenticeship class. Chef Torres went to attend high school and spent a year in the military; these however, did not dampen his passion for the culinary arts. Upon leaving the military he pursued his love for cooking and polished his culinary skills at the La Cadiere d’Azur where he earned the degree of master pastry chef.
At 26 years old, Chef Torres was recognized by his countrymen with the most prestigious award for French craftsmen, the Meilleur Ouvrier de France Patissier (Best Pastry Chef in France), making him the youngest in history ever to receive this coveted recognition. He did not stop here – during this considerably early period in his career, Chef Torres already began to reap awards from all over the world; among these are the gold medal of the Japanese Pastry Chef Association and his win in the 1986 French Championship of Desserts M. O. F.
, to name a couple. He was quite aggressive in pursuing his passion as he went on to spend culinary weeks in Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, and Spain as well as went on a culinary cruise with Le Figaro’s through the countries of the Mediterranean. He also offered consultation and product development services to Cointreau and Valrhona. Later, he also left for the United States to participate in the rededication ceremonies of the Statue of Liberty honoring President Francois Mitterand of France and President Ronald Reagan of the United States.
Chef Torres wanted to share his expertise to aspiring chefs, which made him a cut above other chefs who would like to keep their secrets to themselves. Chef Torres believed in the value of legacy and made sure that his legacy lasted forever by ensuring that his skills and knowledge was appropriate transferred to younger chefs who shared his passion for pastry. Ideally, Chef Torres wanted to improve the area of pastry making so that the world could experience the wonders of this desert.
To accomplish this particular objective of his, Chef Torres joined the French Culinary Institute Faculty in 1993. He even went to as far as designing the Classic Pastry Arts curriculum for the school. His dedication to the education of aspiring chefs appropriately made him the program’s Dean of Pastry Arts. His commitment to the education of young chefs allowed him to pay back the industry that made him into whatever he has become. He was a good educator and many of his students have gone on to pursue their own careers and make milestones of their own.
Chef Torres was also a health buff, he regularly joins the New York City Marathon. As a testament to his love affair with health a few of his recipes appeared in the French Culinary (your family name) 3 Institute’s ‘Salute to Healthy Cooking (Rodale, 1998)’. This recipe book pays particular attention to healthy eating and cooking and so features menus arranged according to season availability that are a made from low-fat, healthy ingredients the classic French culinary way. No less than the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company hired Chef Torres as the corporate pastry chef in 1998.
He was with the Ritz for a year until the great Sirio Maccioni invited him to be the executive pastry chef of Le Cirque which featured a custom-built state-of-the-art pastry kitchen. His work at Le Cirque allowed him to wow patrons with his creations. He gave them the culinary experience of a lifetime, one they will never forget. People from all over the country and even the world began to consider Le Cirque as the home of deserts made only for the gods. More and more, the patronage of Le Cirque grew.
The patrons wanted more of Chef Torres’ deserts, and not only that, they wanted the diversity of the choices and expected more to come from this culinary genius. Chef Torres, on the other hand, never wasted a dull moment in making his creations and as a result, none of his patrons went away disappointed. They either had a wide smile on their faces or a small paper bag filled with more of his deserts to take home. For eleven years, Chef Torres impressed his clientele with his culinary expertise. As his fame spread throughout the land, his fame also grew.
Soon enough, the demands were too much for the culinary genius; and as if his work at Le Cirque was not enough, Chef Torres also launched Dessert Circus with Jacques Torres, a public access show that aired 52 episodes; aside from this, he also released two recipe books to accompany the show, “Dessert Circus: Extraordinary Desserts You Can Make at Home” and “Dessert Circus at Home”, the former of which earned a 1999 James Beard Nomination. He did not however take any offense against these demands, in fact, ;his spirit was more than willing to indulge in the demands, but his flesh was weak, and so stress took the culinary genius down.
After eleven years of heavenly deserts and more than satisfied customers, Chef Torres made a milestone decision; he left Le Cirque to start his own business. Fortunately, Chef Torres was not just an exquisite pastry chef but a businessman as well. He opened his own chocolate factory in Brooklyn and called it Jacques Torres Chocolate. The name was synonymous with the chef’s amazing deserts, and who can resist chocolate created by someone who can create divine deserts?
Chef Torres wasted no time in building his business; he personally took care of the retail, wholesale, and internet operations, and in not time, his creations reached chocolate lovers from all over the world. His Chocolate Coconut Napoleon, Chocolate Bark, and Chocolate Mousse all became instant hits. How else would chocolate stuff made from real chocolate fare? To add to this, Chef Torres also created some unusual chocolate flavors like ginger-laced and chili-laced chocolates which became demand items! Soon after, in 2004, Chef Torres went into another giant venture, he opened a chocolate factory in Manhattan.
The factory is a mix of cafe, retail, and manufacturing so that the guests can actually see how chocolate is created straight from cocoa beans, making Chef Torres a real live Willy Wonka. A feature to note is that Chef Torres is the only chocolatier who not only creates his own candy, but his own chocolate as well. Chef Torres’ chocolate has earned a name for itself in the roster of great chocolate makers like Godiva. Chef Torres too has earned a name for himself, even before his chocolate acquired his very own signature.
Chef Torres was named the James Beard Pastry Chef of the Year, received the Chartreuse Pastry Chef award, was named the Chefs of America Pastry Chef of the Year, and earned membership into the Academie Culinaire de France. (your family name) 4 Chef Torres also has a big heart for children and the elderly. He has never hesitated to share his blessings to the less fortunate members of society, so aside from teaching the art of pastry making at The FCI, demonstrating his skills around the world, and creating and selling exquisite chocolates, Chef Torres also spends time with and donates generously to various charity organizations.
We don’t really know if it is this commitment and dedication of Chef Torres to the needy that has given him all the great things that he is currently enjoying or his inherent talent and expertise in the craft that he loves; but one thing is for sure, whatever the reason for Chef Torres’ success, he is one individual who was never afraid to take the risk. His initially venture in Brooklyn was a big risk in itself considering the area in which his factory would be in. He took the risk and put more confidence in his business mind than in his fears and went on to pursue the challenge.
This makes Chef Torres not only a brilliant chef, a chocolatier, or a teacher, but also a successful and proactive businessman. A passion in one’s chosen field always yields great results. Chef Torres is a classic example of this particular philosophy; like other great artists who came before his time, whether in the field of literature, visual arts, or the performing arts, Chef Torres has proven himself to society and to the world. There are challenges in pursuing your own particular field of endeavor but being persistent and being dedicated to your chosen field can always work for your dreams.
Perhaps, Chef Torres did not know or dream of how great he can be, perhaps he just did well in pursuing his particular field of endeavor, but the burning passion and love that he spent on his craft paid-off well, and big time. The lesson that we could learn from this great chef is that it doesn’t really matter where you come from and what you believe in so as long as you have passion for your particular field of endeavor – always, what happens is, people acquire the contagion of our passion, dedication, and sincerity, and whether they like it or not, they all end up developing an acquired love for our art.
(your family name) 5 References Treuting, J. (2007). Jacques Torres. Retrieved March 1, 2009, from http://www. delish. com/cooking-shows/famous-chefs/celebrity-chef-jacques-torres? ref=findex Chef2Chef (2007). Chef Torres’s Biography. Retrieved March 1, 2009, from http://topchefs. chef2chef. net/recipes-2/torres/