There’s a new set of heroes in town and they aren’t the typical cape-wearing kind. These heroes wear aprons, are the sweetest kind – they’re the first Australian Callebaut Chocolate Heroes.

Chocolate Heroes is a concept developed by Callebaut – creators of the finest Belgian chocolate – to pay tribute to dedicated pastry chefs and chocolatiers around the world. The perfectionists who work hard at their craft every day, ensuring they delight the taste buds of every guest and customer.

Selecting a truly fitting group of artisans, the Callebaut team are excited to announce Darren Purchese of Purchese Sweet Studio, Jodie Van Der Velden from Josophan’s Fine Chocolate, along with John Ralley and Steve Anderson of Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie as the first Callebaut Chocolate Heroes in Australia.

Known for his exquisite sweet creations, Darren Purchese is the director and founder of Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio in Melbourne. As one of the country’s most respected and in demand pastry chefs, Darren is renowned for his extravagant creations, in which he skillfully balances flavours, textures and modern kitchen techniques to produce revolutionary dessert concepts, making him perfect for the job as a Callebaut Chocolate Hero.

Darren Purchese @ Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio for Callebaut. Photo © Ari Hatzis
Darren Purchese @ Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio for Callebaut. Photo © Ari Hatzis

Joining Darren is Jodie Van Der Veldon who is the owner of the truly spectacular chocolate store Josophan’s Fine Chocolates, nestled in the historic village of Leura in the Blue Mountains. Jodie’s story is truly special, in that she is a self-taught chocolatier, whose natural gift for creating fine chocolates is evident throughout her spectacular displays and fine chocolates made using fresh flavour infusions.

Jodie Van Der Velden - owner of Josophan's Fine Chocolates
Jodie Van Der Veldon – owner of Josophan’s Fine Chocolates

Completing the first group of Heroes is John Ralley and Steven Anderson who joined forces to create Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie in Sydney. When it comes to a dynamic duo, these two emulate just that – both successful in their own right with Steve becoming a bread scientist and John forging his way into the international and Australian pastry scene, making the Textbook combination one of the finest in Australia.

John Ralley & Steven Anderson - Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie
John Ralley & Steven Anderson – Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie

Joining an international line-up of Chocolate Heroes from around the world, the Australian Heroes become part of a growing roster of global chocolate chefs who are known to inspire others in the industry through the creation and sharing of incredible chocolate desserts.

Callebaut is extremely excited to announce the very first group of Callebaut Chocolate Heroes in Australia and to celebrate the passion-fuelled artisans who continue to inspire and excite us with their chocolate creations. 

For further information on the Callebaut Chocolate Heroes, visit:

**Information & Images Courtesy of Callebaut/Evil Twin PR

F.Mayer Imports is the Australian importer of Callebaut chocolate, crafted in the heart of Belgium from Bean to Chocolate since 1911. Passed on from generation to generation, Callebauts love for the finest Belgian chocolate has no boundaries. Callebaut chocolate is relied on every day by chefs and chocolatiers around the country and the world to craft truly delicious creations.


Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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