Food Tales

A Rare Peek Inside NYC's Favorite Chocolate Factory

by Berit Baugher

Candied Ginger on its Way to the Coating Machine. All photos by Berit Baugher.

It's one thing for a sweet lover to eat an insanely delicious chocolate bar. It's another thing for her to tour a chocolate factory where it was made. Fathom editor Berit Baugher got a rare look behind the scenes at Jacques Torres Chocolate in Brooklyn. 

BROOKLYN – This week, I went to the Brooklyn Army Terminal to tour the chocolate factory of Jacques Torres, New York City's favorite chocolatier. I was invited by the International Culinary Center, where Torres is the Dean of Pastry Arts. This was a rare pleasure, as the factory is not open to the public, though I'm told that might change soon.

Torres, who may be the nicest French man ever, introduced himself to our small group by zipping into the room on a scooter. He guided us through the 40,000-square-foot space as if it where his own playland — which it basically is — passing out samples as we went along.

I ate so much chocolate that I filled my sugar quota for the year. It was like being in Willy Wonka's factory. We had a million different chocolates, two kinds of ice cream, sorbet, Champagne, and chocolate chip cookies. Totally insane. The cookies were so good we asked for the recipe.

But because this was essentially a school trip, we also learned a little about the art of chocolate, from grinding to pan-coating to ganache-spreading to decorating and packaging. Gelato was made. Pretzels were coated. Ginger was candied. Everyone left happy. Have a look.

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