8 Facts About Chocolatiers
Chocolate is a delicious treat enjoyed by millions around the world. It comes in different shapes, colours flavours and so many things. Chocolate is a huge industry around the world and it is interesting how one ingredient can have so many things surrounded around it.
Chocolate is a fun ingredient which some people dedicate their entire lives to. The people who do this are known as chocolatiers and they use their creativity to develop new amazing treats and recipes.
1. Chocolatiers play with chocolate
Chocolatiers make confections out of chocolate by combining their passion for art and chocolate. They craft a range of chocolate treats, ranging from specialty artistic chocolate to molded designs. Chocolatiers specialize in customized products that large organizations don’t cater to. This allows these professionals the opportunity to show off their creative flair. Finally, chocolatiers use a scope of skills such as tempering to prepare chocolates for dipping, decorating and molding.
Related: Careers in the Chocolate Industry
2. Chocolatiers are creative
In order to stand out in a saturated market with big chocolate companies like Puratos and Barry Callebaut, chocolatiers need to be creative with their work. Chocolatiers demonstrate their creativity through both taste and aesthetics. Each chocolatier has their own unique experiences. By channeling this into their work, they can come up with tasty delights.
3. Chocolatiers know chocolate
To be a creditable chocolatier, you must have a solid knowledge about chocolate. Dark, white and milk chocolate are all different varieties with their own unique distinctions. Chocolatiers understand these differences and know the proper use of these chocolates. They gain their knowledge through years of training and performing independent study on the topic.
4. Chocolatiers go to culinary school
The most common route for chocolatiers is attending culinary arts school or attending a specific chocolatier course. At the time of writing this book, there are currently no schools that offer chocolatier degrees in Canada or the United States. However, many schools offer courses which teach you the basics of chocolate work.
Many employers require workers to have completed some sort of baking and pastry arts program. These programs teach students the fundamentals of pastry and provide students with hands-on experience working in various settings.
An alternative route to becoming a chocolatier involves becoming an apprentice and working under an experienced chocolatier. Although less common, some chocolatiers are self-taught. Typically, these professionals work out of their homes and through hard work learn all the tricks about chocolate.
5. Chocolatiers enter competitions
If a chocolatier enjoys the challenge of creating beautiful chocolate art pieces, they have the option to enter a chocolate competition. In these competitions, chocolatiers are expected to create chocolate showpieces. Many chocolatiers enter competitions because they increase customer bases and secure corporate accounts. Competitions also develop chocolatiers’ skills at a rapid rate, encouraging an avenue of creativity not seen in everyday work.
6. Chocolatiers may work retail
When you go to the local shopping mall, you will likely come across a chocolate store with a chocolatier working behind the counter. It is not uncommon for chocolatiers to work in a commercial retail setting, acting as a primary contact for retail store staff. They work the front lines, receiving constructive feedback from customers and ensuring that all in-store staff understand the features and benefits of chocolate.
7. Chocolatiers need to handle pressure
Working with chocolate is a labour intensive occupation. This job involves standing on your feet most of day. In addition to the physical stresses, there are many external pressures that a chocolatier must face, including deadlines and dealing with the challenges of showpieces. These professionals must be able to handle pressure and repetitive tasks.
8. Chocolatiers skills include:
As with any occupation, there are certain sets of skills which will aid you better than others. For a chocolatier, these skills include:
- Patience- Being a chocolatier requires an immense amount of patience as creating different blends of chocolate requires time. In order for chocolate to obtain that characteristic shine it requires time and proper tempering. Chocolatiers need to to be patient and avoid taking short cuts as chocolate is temperamental and will likely end in poor results.
- Ability to work for long hours- Although the idea of working with chocolate sounds exciting (which it is) at times it can become laborious work. In order to create intricate pieces of chocolate work it requires working for long periods of time. Not to mention the work can become repetitive preparing, molding and decorating different chocolates.
- Attention to detail- If you ask any chocolatier they will tell you that chocolate is a science. You have to be exact with the temperature you melt and cool at. Chocolatier pay attention to every aspect from flavour to texture in order to create tasty treats.
Check out our interview on Breaking into the confectionery industry with Elizabeth Hagerman, Food Scientist at The Warrell Corporation