Pierre Abi HaylaPastry and chocolate chef, Le Noir - Atelier du chocolat
The 30 year-old Beirut-based chef Pierre Abi Hayla, owner of Le Noir Atelier is passionate about chocolate and has in very little time become an iconic figure of Lebanon’s foodie scene.
His philosophy: preparing chocolate masterpieces through the use of modernist techniques to produce and enhance luxurious premium quality chocolates.
His story reads like a Hollywood script.
He was a “difficult” child, son of a Lebanese father and Armenian mother and wasn’t exactly a model student. But he did love fruit and, as the story goes, it’s all he ate until the age of three, often finding what he wanted in neighbor’s gardens.
Attending a technical school in his early years, he explored a wide range of subjects and found his passion: pastry-making.
He earned his professional diplomas, before working in the kitchens of Fadel, Nazira Catering, Al Bustan and Bellevue Hotel.
At 21, he was hired by the world-class Intercontinental Le Vendôme hotel in Ain Mreisseh, where he ran an exclusive restaurant, room service and outside catering, meeting great guest chefs along the way from around the world.
He also managed Le Vendome’s chocolate boutique, Chocodôme. With the hotel’s support, he traveled to France for training at the Grande École du Chocolat (Tain l’Hermitage), the École Nationale Supérieure de la Pâtisserie (Yssingeaux), and Lenôtre (Paris).
In 2016, as a crowning achievement, he won first prize at the prestigious Valrhona Easter Contest.
In 2017, in partnership with his brother, he opened Le Noir, where he has built up a loyal clientele of chocolate lovers and supplies hotels, restaurants, caterers, pastry shops, and corporate customers.
His mentors include master pastry chefs Patrick Roger, Pierre Marcolini, and three-star Michelin chef Alain Ducasse. He has plans to expand his thriving business to the Gulf States and throughout the Middle East.