Mars Master Chocolatier Chef Heads to World Chocolate Masters Finals | Mars Inc.
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Alejandro Salas (Chef Alex) is an award winning Master Chocolatier/Pastry Developer Chef. He works his magic at Mars’ Turin facility in Toluca, Mexico. At just 29-years-old, Chef Alex recently won first prize in the Latin American qualifying round of the World Chocolate Masters competition, and this October, he will compete in the finals against the most talented Chocolate Chefs from around the globe. To mark World Chocolate Day on July 7, we sat down with Chef Alex to learn more about his career journey and his love for chocolate.

What do you do as Chief Chocolatier here at Mars?

I’ve worked at Mars for five years. I am in charge of the development of new products in the gourmet area of the company.

My day-to-day is really fun and delicious, because we are always creating new products—cakes, breads, ice cream, chocolate bonbons, desserts and more—using combinations of flavors and textures. We have created more than 3,000 recipes already—always using chocolate as the main ingredient.

I am also in charge of giving workshops for professional chefs, advising them with the new trends of the global market.

Tell us a bit about your career journey; what inspired you to work in the Confectionery industry and your business function?

I have 13 years’ experience in the kitchen, working within the hotel industry, restaurants and global brands inside and outside of my country. I’ve trained with many world-renowned chefs. The knowledge I’ve acquired has allowed me to become an expert in chocolate, and soon I’ll have the opportunity to represent my country in the final of the World Chocolate Masters competition held in Paris this October.

Working in the confectionery industry, I have the freedom to create high quality products that give people a sweet moment in their day.

Can you tell us about a moment in your career where you faced a challenge that you had to overcome?

During the World Chocolate Masters pre-selection, several things did not go as planned. I was facing the best chocolatiers in the country, and I knew I couldn’t give up. Fortunately, my experience and positive mentality helped me solve the problems, and I had an excellent result.

What makes you most proud to work at Mars, and why?

The quality of our products, the originality and personality of our brands and The Five Principles are what make me very proud to belong to this great family. Mars has helped me so much in my development, and I’ve had a chance to contribute ideas that have resulted in the benefit of the business.

What is a favorite memory tied to Confectionery or our brands? Why is it your favorite?

When I was in high school, my classmates continually played soccer, and we made bets. The team that lost had to pay the other with Skittles® because we all loved them! Now my favorite product is Snickers® because it really helps to remove hunger and is an excellent source of energy!

If you were to offer advice to a future aspiring Chocolatier, what would that advice be?

Dream big, get ready with the best, give the best you can give and put passion in your creations.