Meet the Master Chocolatier Who Is Also a Chemist
Godiva’s Thierry Muret stumbled into making chocolate purely by chance after studying industrial chemistry, physics, and molecular-level crystal formation.
Thierry Muret is not your typical chocolate-maker. For more than 20 years, the native Belgian has been the executive chef of Godiva, dreaming up luxury bites to go inside little gold-bowed boxes. But that sleek chef’s uniform he wears day in and day out—a white jacket with a hat, and detailed golden embroidery—was almost the plain, practical lab coat of a scientific researcher.
Muret stumbled into making chocolate purely by chance. Before setting foot into kitchens, the artisan confectioner studied industrial chemistry, physics, and molecular-level crystal formation at the University of Belgium. In a profession where temperatures run high for traditional know-how and gastronomy, Muret’s left-brain thinking is an outlier.
He’s passionate about aromas and flavors like any gourmand, but the chocolatier’s creativity also comes from a different place—calculating chemical compounds and making those flavors work based on molecular makeups. The two worlds actually blend better than a rich ganache. Muret is an expert in crystallization, which is the essential and most challenging final step in the process of making chocolate.
How to make Chicken Mole?
• 8 Bone-In chicken thighs
• ¾ cup unsalted chicken stock
• ¾ cup tomato puree
• 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
• ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa poweder
• ¼ cup raisins
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 ½ oz godiva bittersweet chocolate chips
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
• ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
• 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
• 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
• ½ cup olive oil divided
"Sometimes in life you strike with luck, like how some people win a million dollars," he said. "I won the jackpot by just being able to combine what I studied and my new passion. That it would be chocolate was absolutely not intended."