About Us

Academy of Chocolate- Ecuador is a non-profit organization whose members are professionals, experts, amateurs, and passionate chocolate and cacao lovers. Our goal is to promote access to technology, encourage research, disseminate information, and build a community where cacao growers, chocolate makers can meet with agronomists, researchers in addition to consumers .


Academy of Chocolate- Ecuador is an institution that steers activities aimed to the comprehensive development of Ecuadorian cacao and chocolate value chain inside the country and abroad.


To spread information and educate the consumer about cacao and chocolate in Ecuador while establishing connections between farmers, chocolate makers, researchers and consumers.



Lourdes Páez
She made a special connection with cacao while working for an economic growth program that aimed at improving the livelihoods of small farmers in the Coast and Amazonia of Ecuador. Visiting cacao gardens and learning the behind scenes of the cacao and chocolate business moved her into becoming a passionate advocate for Ecuadorian cacao. Lourdes co-founded the Academy of Chocolate-Ecuador in order to offer training, drive technological development and exchange, while working with chocolate makers and consumers to foster a culture of fine cacao and chocolate. Lourdes is the coordinator of the course Chocolate Expert offered jointly by the Academy of Chocolate and San Francisco University Quito.

Cyril Prud’homme
From childhood he has been into bakery and chocolate making not just because of passion but also due to his sweet tooth. After serious training at the Ferrandi French School of Culinary Arts in Paris he started work with premium chocolate makers such as La Maison du Chocolat, Fauchon, Ladurée. Cyril specialty is sweet cuisine and he is an expert chocolatier. He is the Executive Chef and Creative Director of “Cyril-Boutique”, full-time professor at San Francisco University Quito, co-founder of Academy of Chocolate- Ecuador, and author of the book “Glamour Sucré by Cyril”.

Members of the executive committee:

Lourdes Páez -President
Cyril Prud’homme -Vice president
Mauricio Cepeda -Treasurer
Cristian Melo -Secretary

Permanent members:

Persons professionally linked to Ecuadorian chocolate and cacao. They are invited to become part of the Academy in recognition of their experience and skills.

Honorary members:

Persons appointed by the Executive Committee for their achievements, significant contributions, or relevant services provided to the Academy.

Subscribing members:

Persons admitted for a specific time, whether upon the member’s application or by invitation of the Executive Committee or General Assembly.

New members are admitted upon an internal selection and recommendation process. Our goal is to grow as an inclusive community covering diverse disciplines and activities within the Ecuadorian cacao and chocolate value chain.