Executive Pastry Chef, The Spiced Pear, European Chocolatier
Born in Paris and raised in the town of Perpignan, Laurent Vals was 16 when he began his professional education at “l’Ecole Hoteliere du Moulin a Vent”. He received his diploma in 1988, first as chef, and then as pastry chef, in 1989. Laurent went to work with Robert Barajas, Master Pastry Chef, and Jean Philippe Mehamli, finalist of the famous “Prix Taittinger” in Paris.
Laurent began his international career in 2001, traveling to the United States to work in Charleston, South Carolina, New York City and Newport, Rhode Island.
By 2004, his work attracted the attention of local media, capturing the front cover of RI Monthly Magazine, as well as being featured in a plated dessert segment on TV, and in several other articles in local newspapers.
While working at the hotel, Laurent developed a collection of chocolate confections for guests of the hotel and restaurant. He was later featured in a chef profile for a national pastry magazine, Pastry’s Best.
By 2007, after only 3 years, Laurent had come to be considered one of the top pastry chefs in the state. In January 2008, he formed his own company “LAURENT VALS HANDCRAFTED CHOCOLATES”. In 2008, RI Monthly Magazine awarded him the distinction of “BEST EUROPEAN CHOCOLATES OF RHODE ISLAND”. In 2013 Chef Laurent returned to The Spiced Pear, the fine restaurant that first brought him to Newport, as Executive Pastry Chef.