Meet Our Chefs
The GODIVA global team of Chefs and Chocolatiers keep the Belgian tradition alive – and delicious. GODIVA Chefs and Chocolatiers are passionate about continuing the vision of our company’s founder Joseph Draps. Monsieur Draps believed in creating complex, yet always balanced notes of super-premium chocolates, an ode to the Belgian tradition. Today our global team of Chefs and Chocolatiers has the pleasure of creating extraordinary Belgian chocolates that are available in over 80 countries.
Thierry Muret, Executive Chef Chocolatier
A native Belgian, Chef Thierry studied the art of chocolate, pastries, and confections through an apprenticeship with Master Rene Gossens in Antwerp, Belgium. Chef Thierry credits Gossens for “bringing him into food.”
“He opened up the full scope of taste and flavor to me,” explains Chef Thierry. “He used to say, ‘Taste this strawberry – now explain what those flavors are.’ I learned a lot.”
After moving to the United States, Chef Thierry opened a chocolate shop with his sister in Chicago called Le Caraque. Five years later, Thierry left the family business and joined GODIVA.
Over the last 23 years, Chef Thierry’s chocolate expertise, sophisticated palate, and global vision have been integral to innovation at GODIVA. His background in chemistry and science has proven to be a large asset in understanding the inner workings of ingredients and the complexity of chocolate. Signature truffles, classic chocolates, proprietary caramels, and handcrafted bark are just a few of his many successes that have delighted Godiva customers.
Despite working with chocolate every day, Chef Thierry says it remains his comfort food. “Sometimes at the weekend, when the day is over, I like to sit down in the garden and have a glass of port or red wine with 67 or 72 percent cocoa chocolate,” he says. “That to me is comfort. It is nice to view the product you work with every day in another light.”
Wilmots Ilse, Chef Chocolatier
After studying at the Coovi-Ceria school in Anderlecht, Chef Ilse worked as Chocolatier in a pastry shop and then as Chocolatier at Valentino. In 1991, she joined GODIVA and eventually found her way onto the Research & Development team.
"Together with our American colleagues we create and develop the finest, most delicious, delightful, and wonderful chocolates,” she says proudly.
Jean Apostolou, Chef Chocolatier
After graduating at the age of 17 from CERIA in Belgium, Jean Apostolou, began a career as a Chocolatier-Patissier at Patisserie Jacobs in Brussels, where he learnt the foundations of the Chocolate trade.
Throughout the 1980’s his career enabled him to acquire in-depth knowledge of chocolate production and large scale-confectionery. After 32 years of extensive experience working with prestigious brands, Chef Jean invested in the world of Godiva.
As a member of Research & Development team, Chef Jean bought with him a wealth of experience. Jean’s deep rooted passion for chocolate, together with his knowledge of complex ingredients meanthat his expertise is perfectly placed to develop a range of artisanal concepts which blend Belgian tradition with Godiva’s signature innovative flair.
Since his arrival at Godiva, Chef Jean has used his extraordinary flair and invention to conceive a collection of six perfectly balanced praline centered chocolates which are presented in the award winning Reserve Privee Collection. More recently Chef Jean has created the brand’s 90th Anniversary signature flavor – Rose & Raspberry. This new innovative flavour will feature in many of Godiva’s exciting collections launching throughout 2016.
“Joining Godiva has been like a cherry on the pie for me in my professional path. Crafting chocolate is a journey of passion and skill. I am very proud to be part of the Godiva Chef Chocolatier team and it is a privilege to work alongside my colleagues to innovate and build on the Draps Family legacy which has been entrusted to us.”