Chocolate is more than a hobby for Chef Jacques Torres – it’s an obsession.
French-born chocolatier Jacques Torres earned the nickname “Mr. Chocolate” for serving up hand-crafted chocolates for decades. After an 11-year stint at renowned New York City restaurant Le Cirque and a run on public television, Torres fulfilled his life-long dream of opening a chocolate factory in 2000.
“On the 20th of this month of December it will be twelve years since I opened my first store in Brooklyn,” Torres told FoxNews.com’s Kitchen Superstars. “We just opened a little store and customers came, to my surprise.”
Torres’ empire has now spread to five stores and one pop-up store and his chocolate is world-renowned.
“What we try to do is be real. To me, that’s the most important,” Torres explained. “If you look at our chocolate, it’s pure chocolate, pure cocoa butter – no additive, no flavoring.”
At his flagship store on King Street in New York City, you can find anything from small treats like chocolate-covered cheerios to larger-than-life chocolate Santa sculptures. At the holidays, Torres’ shop is reminiscent of a winter wonderland.
“Every holiday we’re going to decorate the store differently. Of course, Christmas is the biggest holiday for chocolate so we’re going to go overboard,” Torres said. “We’re going to bring extra racks into the store, we’re going to pile chocolate as high as we can.”
Torres’ love of chocolate knows no bounds. Torres says he’s constantly researching new ingredients and methods and even tailors his travels to places where cacao is grown or countries like Belgium or Switzerland where he can learn new techniques.
Torres is adamant that his chocolate maintain a “real” quality. He aims for the business to stay as transparent as possible – and that’s why at his store on King Street, the shop is smack in the middle of the manufacturing plant.
“I want to represent or to show that we are makers, so when you walk on the street you don’t see our store, you will see our manufacture,” Torres said. “We make it in front of you. We have no secrets. Everything is real – real chocolate.”