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.
Chef Thierry Muret has been with GODIVA since 1988 and is based in Reading, PA. Chef Muret was born in Dendermonde, Belgium and immigrated to the U.S. with his sister to open their own Belgian chocolate shop in Chicago. After five years, Chef Thierry crossed paths with GODIVA and was quickly brought on to develop new products for the iconic brand. A graduate of the Institut Technique Provincial de Droguerie-Chemie et Parfumerie, Chef Muret studied chemistry, physics and crystal formation and completed a two-year confectionary apprenticeship in Antwerp. He is an expert in chocolate confectionary and ice cream. The Belgian heritage and the focus on craftsmanship and quality, with exposure to different cultures, convinced Chef Muret to leave the artisanal world and join the company and he has since then been enjoying every moment of it. Chef Muret finds inspiration for chocolate designs in the fashion industry because of its lines, flow and colors, and flavors are inspired by those he encounters in his daily life.
Chef Ilse Wilmots has been with GODIVA since 1991 and is based in Brussels. Chef Wilmots was born in Brussels, where she grew up near the GODIVA factory. When her mother came home late from a long day of work, Chef Wilmots and her siblings helped prepare the family dinner. It was during these evenings, when Chef Wilmots started experimenting with making tarts and cakes, that something clicked. She knew she’d dedicate her professional life to food. A graduate of the CERIA-ELISHOUT culinary school in Brussels, Chef Wilmots is highly skilled in food and beverage, retail, R&D, handcrafted chocolates and hand decoration. She began her career with Valentino Chocolatier before accepting her dream job with GODIVA in 1991, where she worked on the plant floor for eight years before joining the R&D Team. She joined GODIVA because there was an opportunity to work in the atelier for handcrafted products, allowing her to use and develop her creativity and make high-quality chocolates. Chef Wilmots also felt a connection to the company’s namesake, Lady Godiva, who was known for her generosity, passion, boldness and pioneering spirit. Chef Wilmots delights in the complexities of working with chocolate and finds Ideas for her creations from just about everywhere. Things she sees, smells or tastes—along with her own imagination—inspire her to develop new products in the GODIVA kitchen.
Chef Sébastien Bauer has been with GODIVA since 2019 and is based in Shanghai. Chef Bauer is a third-generation pastry chef with almost 30 years of experience in Paris and international markets. Chef Bauer learned the trade form his grandfather, a pâtissier-chocolatier, and is fascinated by creating new flavors, mixing texture and ingredients. He is a graduate of both Chambre des Metiers d’Alsace in Schiltigheim and INBP in Rouen. Prior to joining GODIVA, he put his skills to work at Hôtel Le Bristol Paris, Pierre Hermé Paris, Groupe Bertrand, Grand Lisboa and City of Dreams Macau and the Ritz Paris. He chose to work for GODIVA because of his deep love of chocolate and the joy it brings to everyone. GODVIA’s vast scale and international presence excites him because it provides a platform for him to share his passion with the world. Highly skilled in research and development, manufacturing, and operations, Chef Bauer finds inspiration from his travels, tasting and learning about local delicacies and ingredients.