MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You probably wouldn’t expect one of the best chocolate-makers in the world to be hanging out in his kitchen with a 9-year-old boy. But there’s something special about the connection between Josh Werner, and young Ryan Beaudry.

“The main reason I was so happy to have Ryan in the kitchen is that he reminded me of me,” Werner said.

Josh makes chocolate at Patisserie 46 and Rose Street Patisserie in Minneapolis with John Kraus, another internationally acclaimed pastry chef.

“I’ve known Joshua since he was 16-years-old,” Kraus said.

Werner’s road to pastry chef started when he was 3, when he asked Santa for a Kitchen-Aid mixer. He didn’t get it that early, but his parents did realize that their son was serious about going into pastry. His hometown St. Louis newspaper did stories about his baking success when he was in his early teens.

“I was fortunate a lot of people and the chefs would take the time to show me what the industry is like,” he said.

Werner’s parents opened doors for him.

“My dad came in with the newspaper clippings. Dad handed the clippings to Chef John,” Werner said.

The same is true for Beaudry. His mom, Liz Zurek Beaudry, made the connection at a fundraising event for the University of Minnesota Adoption Medicine Clinic.

“He was born at 2 and a half pounds,” she said.

She adopted Ryan Beaudry from South Korea, and he’s fought through medical challenges at the University of Minnesota, as a result of being born prematurely at such a low birth weight. His mother always knew that he was a special kid.

“We’re so proud of him, just the boy he’s grown into and the passions he has. This idea that every kid is unique,” she said.

At the fundraiser, she detected that same passion from Werner. She saw her son in the chef.

“You just get a sense someone has a passion. I asked him – I have a 9-year-old who wants to bake, who wants to be a pastry chef,” she said.

That led to a time or two in the kitchen together — chef to future chef, a chef who was mentored by a great, now passing that on.

“Hopefully Ryan when you become a pastry chef,” Werner said, “you’ll find some kid and show him the ropes and it’ll be a tradition.”

Patisserie 46
4552 Grand Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55419

Rose Street Patisserie
2811 W. 43rd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55410

Jason DeRusha