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A fourth-generation pastry chef, Thomas Haas has parlayed stints with the Four Seasons Vancouver and Daniel Boulud’s New York flagship Daniel into his own exquisite two-shop mini-empire. At his tightly controlled lab in North Vancouver, he creates 20,000 bespoke chocolates—beautiful to behold, glorious to indulge in—a week. Exquisite cakes and tarts, killer croissants and patisserie; he’s steadily improving on the fame he first found with his signature Chocolate Sparkle cookies. The imaginative flavour pairings—chocolates infused with organic herbs and spices, B.C. wines, or barrel-aged maple syrup—succeed because of intelligence and an insistence on top-quality (often organic) beginnings. And he finishes every single one by hand, somehow managing to stay rail-thin in the middle of all that caloric glory. In a city with “an embarrassment of notable pastry chefs,” said one judge, “Thomas is both a craftsman and an artist.”