Class of 2022

Yu Hsuan Cheng

Gamechanging Producers

34 / Taipei

The inspired chocolatier bringing Taiwanese flavours to the world

“I still remember my first bite of decent chocolate; a fruity, Madagascan dark chocolate. That experience has been echoing throughout my entire career,” says Yu Hsuan Cheng, the Tainan-born chocolatier who has made his life’s work out of sharing the best chocolate flavours with the world. Through Yu Chocolatier, he shares his Taiwanese culture through his bold creations, featuring local ingredients like calamansi and longan fruits, jasmine flowers and maqaw pepper in a series of beautifully boxed, intricate chocolate bonbons. Yu Chocolatier has been a cult success in Taipei, winning multiple global accolades and becoming the first Taiwanese chocolate brand to be invited to the Salon du Chocolat in Paris. With a book about his time in France, Chocolate Monologue from Paris, Yu Hsuan is also planning to open a shop in the French capital.

Having grown up in Texas with his family, who moved to the US when he was one, it was when Yu Hsuan studied English literature in 2007 that he bit into a square of chocolate that changed his life and career. He dedicated the next few years to self-study during university, reading everything he could, practising chocolate-making and later moving to Paris, where he studied at the Ferrandi school and interned at Pavillon Ledoyen under Christian Le Squer. Now, through Yu Chocolatier, he wants to build a sustainable model for the chocolate and pastry industry in Taiwan, sourcing his ingredients responsibly and improving worker conditions in terms of salary and working hours. A young, cosmopolitan entrepreneur with a taste for the finest chocolate, he is committed to sharing his country’s culture with the world while showing the potential of its ingredients and flavours.
“As a creator of taste, I believe it is our duty to foresee the unimaginable, to explore the unknown. People can only decide if they like a taste or not once they have tasted it. It is up to us, the innovators, to imagine and realise the never-ending explorations of human mind." – Yu Hsuan Cheng

Read more about 50 Next

View more in this category