At the end of each Ecole Chocolat program, we ask our students to fill out evaluation forms. Their responses help us to keep each of our program curriculums the best they can be in helping our students reach their goals. The following quotes are taken from our student program evaluation forms over the past few years with permission from the student. We hope that they're helpful and informative.
Natasha, Nov. '14 Graduate, Chocolate Making Program
"I felt like there was so much information I needed to gather to be chocolate maker, and I was a bit confused on how to start. But this course has answered my questions on how to become a chocolate maker, even though it didn't mention a lot about Indonesian chocolate (as that is my goal). But the understanding about how to be an artisan in fine chocolate is quite comprehensive here."
Sergio, Nov. '14 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
“ I'm enjoying more tempering by hand. It's all about practice and feeling comfortable with the products and materials. I learned how to develop a tasting palate, how recipes are developed, how to source my own equipment and research suppliers, how to craft chocolate products and how to store them. The feedback from the tutors showed me things I can improve and so challenge myself to be a great chocolate artisan."
Celia, Sept. '14 Graduate, Quality Assurance Program
“The product testing, storage plan and HAACP documentation were very helpful in formulating what I need to consider for creating a chocolate business . . . I also found myself much more cognizant of food contamination, preventative measures, and areas where I could improve my products, even in my home kitchen for now.”
Jo, 2014 Vancouver Masters Program
Based on what I had read about the course, I had high expectations for the practical skills I would learn and these were more than met. It was the extent of the support and experience shared by the team at Cocoa West and also the other students which I didn't expect and truly appreciated."
Susan, Aug. ’14 Graduate, Business Plan Program
“I had previosuly researched and found several comprehensive business plan formats that I attempted to use. But I quickly realized that business planning isn’t a form-fillling exercise. Your program helped me think of areas I hadn’t even considered, and the sequential arrangement of the material helped me to go from step to step and feeling like I was making progress.”
Vitor, March ’14 Graduate, Chocolate Making from the Bean Program
“I was humbled and touched by the generosity of shared knowledge and information throughout the course. The richness and the effort put into this course is amazing. I was taken by how well-tailored and how deep this course was.”
Samuel, March ’14 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
“Every inch of skepticism I had about an online-based training for such a job vanished after the first few hours into the program. It is demanding and I really liked practicing a lot to achieve the desired results.”
Jean, Jan. ’14 Graduate, Quality Assurance Program
“I have not yet started my chocolate business so the course far exceeded my expectations. . . It would have taken me years to research this information on my own.”
Ann, Sept. ’13 Graduate, Chocolate Maker Program
“All of the case studies on today’s chocolate makers were a fascinating read – and the videos were great as well. I also loved the business info at the end.”
Cynthia, Sept. ’13 Graduate, Quality Assurance Program
"Wonderful details about recipe development and all that should be considered. The program clearly illustrates how to set up best practices for a chocolate business. It clearly shows the pitfalls and how to avoid them as well as best practices for best results.”
Johnna, Aug. ’13 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
“I expected to learn how to temper chocolate and make confections. However, I never dreamed I would learn such an in-depth history of chocolate, how the cacao beans are prepared, and the social issues surrounding the industry. . . I have never had such success in an online class before.”
Cindy, Aug. '13 Graduate, Business Plan for Chocolatiers
"I've taken many business courses and have never understood why they're designed to be so difficult for students to understand – no real life examples, no relevant information and very convoluted. This was not my experience with this course. Business profs could learn and benefit from your course layout and design."
Darrin, June '13 Graduate, Chocolate Making From the Bean Program
"The greatest strength of the chocolate-making program at Ecole Chocolat is the depth of knowledge possessed by Pam Williams and our tutor, Julio Fernandez. Their hands-on experience and obvious passion for producing high-quality chocolate make this program a fantastic learning experience."
Diane, March '13 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"I'm amazed at how much I learned in such a short time. Thank you so much for this course. It has been a transformative experience."
Rosemarie, 2013 Graduate, Belgium Master Program
"It all still seems surreal to me that we had the rare opportunity to be taught by Chef Jean Pierre Wybauw, a classic master chocolatier, and to meet Chef Bart who is such a maverick chocolatier. I am so inspired and challenged to learn more."
Renee, Jan. '13 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"I expected that I would learn the basics of chocolatiering, and that I would gain product knowledge, but the program offered so much more than that. I love the marketing and business research and tools, and the ability to connect with EC grads and other students in my class."
Pierre, Sept. '12, Vancouver Masters Program
"I was happily surprised to see how easy it was to make good chocolate when helped by professionals (really different from my kitchen tries). Very good training. . .Would suggest time be allowed to practice by ourselves on truffles, candies, sculptures, cakes, packaging, perhaps with only minimal supervision."
Bettina, Sept. '12, Mastering Color on Chocolate Program
"I thoroughly enjoyed the program and found both Joanne and her husband to be very knowledgeable and wonderful people. The other students were lovely and it was a delight to get to know them. My only critique is that I felt the work area was too tight for what we were doing."
Patrick, Jan. '12 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Overall an excellent program. I was very impressed with it and would strongly recommend it to anyone. You have designed a great program."
Katarina, Jan. '12, Graduate, Quality Assurance Program
"The program met all my expectations. This was my first time with Ecole Chocolat and I must say I really had a great time! The program helped me to gain an overview and confidence in all different issues related to food safety and shelf life of bonbons. It also contained lots of useful links for further study."
Aleksandra, Jan. '12, Graduate, Business Plan Program
"Absolutely!! The guest lectures by Rachel were really helpful in understanding the concepts related to setting up of business and also to manage it effectively."
Linda, Oct. '11 Graduate, Professional Quality Assurance Program
"The program covered a tremendous amount of information that, for me, was mandatory after taking the professional chocolatier program. I am now equipped to start a professional business with confidence about quality assurance and keeping limits and understanding the laws of the industry."
Jan, Sept. '11 Graduate, Chocolate Making From the Bean Program
"The class surpassed my expectations. It was an excellent eye-opener that gave a wonderfully realistic view of the exciting, complex and challenging world of bean-to-bar manufacturing. This course introduced so many topics and tips that may not be on the students' radar screens. It literally saved me a year or more of research. I would not be able to consider the possibility of bean-to-bar manufacturing without taking this class."
Terri, Aug. '11 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"I was a little skeptical about taking an online chocolate program, but decided to take a chance and I'm so glad I did. I learned far more than I ever expected to. . .There are so many strengths to the program including: a vast number of web links; videos on various techniques; helpful instructors who provide useful feedback in a timely fashion; sharing assignments with other fellow students to learn from one another; and industry contacts, to name just a few."
Barbara, Jan. '11 Graduate, Quality Assurance Program
"Absolutely! I am amazed at the amount of information provided. I am still reading and learning. It was also interactive. I made new friends from all over the world. And the critical information is all organized and placed in a binder. I will continue to update this binder and tweak it to fit my unique situation. This course gave me the tools to do just that. Without this course, I would not have known where to begin."
Marlene, Jan. '11 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"I found (the program) stimulating, exciting and it exceeded all my expectations. The program was very well rounded in that it gave a balanced overview of the chocolate industry from all angles, the history, technique of chocolate making, fair trade and related issues and the significance of all those factors that influence the establishment and maintenance of a successfull business. I found the information on social media particularly significant as it is not something I have used in my present business and I will be expanding on this in any future endeavours. Although many of us may aspire to be chocolatiers, the program allows us to examine our own strenghths and weaknesses and come to our own conclusions about our capabilities."
Theresa, Jan. '11 Graduate, Quality Assurance and Keeping Limits for Chocolatiers Program
"Expectations were exceeded. So much packed into the curriculum with a lot of supplemental information to reinforce the basics at the click of a button. Absolutely! Nice to know that I won't be inadvertantly poisoning anyone anytime soon. . ."
John, Jan. '11 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"I have learned many things in this course in an unbelievably short time. I'm very pleased, not only with the sheer amount of education material available but also with the amazing ease of the step-by-step learning process. Ecole Chocolat have managed to put every single item of information into an online course, especially the video demonstrations on working with chocolate."
Laura, Jan. '11 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"I think this course has propelled me on my path to starting an artisan chocolate business. I have created a foundation of useful knowledge that I will be able to build upon. I have not found any other culinary programs in the U.S. dedicated solely to chocolate, so the Ecole Chocolat program has given me knowledge that I could not find anywhere else. The strengths of the program were the volume of information provided in the lectures, the up-to-date information provided (news articles, video, etc), and the fast turn-around time of graded assignments."
Jeannie, Sept. '10 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Absolutely! I never expected such an extensive collection of information in an online course. I have taken online courses for my M.Ed. and we were never provided with so many articles and references. The course was so thorough, that I did not have to look for outside information at all."
Billy, Sept. '10 Graduate, Chocolate Making from the Bean Program
"I expect to learn about how to make chocolate from bean but I received much more than that. The course gave me a profound knowlegde on how to taste chocolate, where in the world the bean are growing, a plan of action, how to start a chocolate business, including a lot of real examples. It is not only the topics but the quality of the information. Before the course, I bought 10 books about chocolate but I feel the material of the course allowed me to gain more knowledge than what I found in the books. The information is so well prepared that it can only come from people with a lifetime of experience in this field. Pam, I want to take this opportunity to thank for your excellent work."
Charlotte, Sept. '10 Graduate, Quality Assurance and Keeping Limits for Chocolatiers Program
"With all of this information at my disposal I now feel confident that I will be able to implement a rigid and practical quality assurance program in my own facility.The links were invaluable and even though I may not need to refer to some of them immediately, I know I will be looking for that exact information later in my endeavors. I also understood the tempering process in a totally different way this time around, in relation to shelf life of products.
Nicole, Sept. '10 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"It was more thorough and challenging than I even imagined, covering everything from research, intensive coursework on sourcing chocolate, bulk ingredients and equipment, selecting packaging and designing a production line to hands-on practice tempering chocolate and making chocolate confections."
Jamie, July '10 Graduate, Business Plan for Chocolatiers Program
"Yes I gained the knowledge that I needed because most of the content & examples were presented from the perspective of chocolate businesses. It addressed my questions and it helped me to focus and organize my objectives within the business plan. The worksheets were helpful and guided me through the modules to better understand each area of the business plan. I now have the tools to finish building my plan."
Katrina, April '10 Graduate, Chocolate Making from the Bean Program
"Very well organized and complete information. The video clips were nice too. A job well done also on assembling information from a multitude of publications and articles into a nice coherent curriculum."
Nancy, April '10 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"My expectations were met beyond anything I had imagined. I had some serious doubts about an online chocolatier learning program. I felt that to move forward, I had to do something and this curriculum promised what I hoped to learn to increase my expertise in chocolate making. I can honestly say that Ecole Chocolat excels in understanding online teaching and 'gets' their student base."
Brigid, Jan. '10 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"My expectations were not only met but far exceeded. It was my first experience with on-line learning and it was fantastic. The real strenght of this course is that it takes you on a journey in which you get an insider's view of the world of chocolate. The insights you get from leaders and professionals in the industry are amazing. The course covers all aspects of the industry, not just the making of chocolate. It forces you to face the reality of the business side of the industry. If you are thinking about a career in chocolate then this is the course for you."
Duffy, Sept. '09 Graduate, Chocolate Making from the Bean Program
"The course far exceeded my expectations. The curriculum was well organized, the content packed with relevant and up-to-date information, delivered in a direct and inspirational manner. It was a wonderful experience taking this course."
Jennifer, Sept. '09 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"My expectations for this class were met and vastly exceeded. From what I had read about the course before I began, I was expecting a great class. However, when I actually began the class, it was so much more comprehensive than I had imagined. The makers of this class have really done an amazing job of creating informative materials and collecting a great deal of knowledge about so many aspects of the chocolate-making process and the chocolate industry into the single resource of this class. This class allowed me to easily learn techniques and have access to information that would have taken me ages to find and explore on my own. I had to work hard for this class, but I had so much fun doing it! It really was a wonderful experience! Thank you!"
Loyd, Sept. '09 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Yes! I feel well equipped to advance my current chocolate business. The curriculum was actually more than I expected. I wasn't sure how chocolate making and business planning could be taught via the web, but they did it and I have a learned a ton."
James, May '09 Graduate, Chocolate Making from the Bean Program
"I believe the large amount of information is the program's greatest strength - each topic was covered thoroughly, including not only the instructor's lessons but links to detailed information from all parts of the chocolate industry."
James, April '09 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"The modules were fantastic. The program definitely met my expectations. I started the course daydreaming about making chocolates...upon graduation I feel I have all the necessary information to actually open and manage a successful chocolate shop."
Sylvie, Jan. '09 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Despite my initial skepticism about the ability of an online program to help me master the techniques required for a professional chocolatier, I think I actually learned more through this class than I would have through traditional practical training. Performing the techniques in my own kitchen allowed me to make multiple trials and errors until I mastered the techniques, which wouldn't have been possible in a traditional class format where we have to keep up with the pace of the class."
Joao, Jan. '09 Graduate, Quality Assurance and Keeping Limits for Chocolatiers Program
"This program was quite comprehensive on quality, production, sanitation, food safety, shelf-life recommendations, storage, ingredient specification, preservative use and limits in chocolate making. It was intense and generated curiosity and thinking and interest. A great manual in quality production."
Joanne, Sept. '08 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Most of my previous learning has been in a face-to-face environment, either classroom or hands on/coaching. I wasn't sure what level of communication would be achieved and how that would impact my learning. However, the vast amount of information available, the various sources it comes from, the way it is presented and the ease of using the site all contributed to this being a great learning experience for me. Very informative, ample amount of time in between assignments, good feedback provided on the work submitted. I think the school is run very professionally and lives up to the commitments made to the students. Schedules for module information are kept, emails are answered quickly and updates/changes are timely. The school has created a very positive and encouraging environment that feels friendly and inviting!"
Phoebe, Sept. '08 Graduate, Chocolate Making from the Bean Program
"Yes, I did. I set out to learn the chocolate process starting from cacao plantations and I definitely learned that. The modules are packed full of information that anybody who is serious in starting this business will find crucially important. The information I have gathered will be sources of reference for me long after I have gone into this business."
Linda, Sept. '08 Graduate, QA Program
"Yes, this course is full of information, much more then I could have imagined. I didn't know what to expect because I knew there was so much info I needed to know. However this was exceptional. "
Bola, April '08 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"My expectations were exceeded – in all honesty I was unsure on what to expect. I had read the testimonials from others and thought anyone of the tutors could have done the writeups. I found the course content extremely relevant, valuable and useful and have downloaded quite a few articles to keep in my library. I found that one module built up on the next. Although learning is a continuous process I feel that I now have the grounding to begin work as a chocolatier. I was happy with the prompt tutor response to queries I raised. This course completely challenged and focused me – it has given me a sound solid base of what I need to do to establish myself. I am so pleased I did this course and would recommend it to others. Thank you"
Katrina, May '08 Graduate, Chocolate Making from the Bean Program
"Yes, I was particularly pleased with the way the skills aspect was taught – something I had envisaged would be very difficult over the internet."
Lynn, Jan.' 08 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Yes, most definitely. The curriculum exceeded my expectations. Everything for me in the beginning was intimidating and like anything else in life, working with chocolate required a bit of practice. Once I understood how chocolate works and how not to panic, I was good to go and I was able to relax and enjoy to process of learning. Today I can look back and laugh at that intimidation and I can look forward to a whole world opening up when it comes to using different ingredients, textures and colors with chocolate!
I will be highly recommending this course. At first people couldn’t believe that it was 100% online and little by little they saw my improvement, my technique developing. I’m a true believer that what you put into something you will get out of it. This course required my focus, determination, passion, heart, courage and gave me a firm foundation that has added to my business as a Personal Chef and even more, the course added another level of skill, talent, and also gave me another goal to work towards! Thank you so much!"
Michelle, Jan. '08 Graduate, QA Program
"It taught me what I expected to learn with regard to keeping limits but I learned a tremendous amount of information that I did not realize I needed to know at this early stage in the process of preparing to start a business."
Sue, Sept. '07 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Completely! I haven't been challenged like this in a long time. The curriculum removed me from my comfort zone, which I greatly enjoyed. At times I was overwhelmed with all the information, but it only made me realize that chocolate is a serious business and one that I cannot take lightly if I am to succeed."
Deb, Sept. '07 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Yes, I learned more in three months than I ever have in any other course I've taken. I had no idea what I was really going to learn, but this has really given me the foundation to take the next steps to starting a business. Plus, I look forward to practicing the chocolate making techniques we learned.It opened my eyes to a whole new world of chocolate.
It was so well rounded. I learned things about the chocolate business it would have taken years to figure out on my own. The list of suppliers was amazing and the "tours" of places like Paris and New York really made me feel like I was there. Inspiring! The exercises were really challenging – they forced me into thinking about my own business. There was enough information provided to start me off and then I was able to research more to suit my needs. It was great to be able to focus on my own vision. It made it such a useful way to do exercises."
Ivanka, April '07 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"The course exceeded my expectations. I kept reading this in your testimonials but it does not really become true until you have experienced it... Once immersed in the lectures, it became a virtual classroom in my mind, and it ceased to matter that "Pam" was not standing there in the flesh. The tangential explorations, both as directed by the course and self-directed through curiosity, were beneficial.
I always felt as though Pam was present, and the personal touch of the lecturer's voice was very appreciated. The greatest strength of the program is the depth of knowledge presented to us, and the confident and benevolent virtual presence of both Pam and Heidi. The gradual build-up of background knowledge and the flow of the course material was obviously well planned."
Isabel, April '07 Graduate, QA Program
"I think the strength is the broad range on aspects that are reviewed. The basics for building the GMP plan and the shelf-life tests on the master recipes are the strongest points in the course. They are a fantastic base!! As with all the Ecole Chocolat curriculums, this is another interesting, full of knowledge and mind opener course."
Christopher, Jan. '07 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Absolutely: I was almost overawed with the amount of literature and articles that were made available. This alone was worth the money -- but the expert "on call" advice of Pam and Heidi was invaluable. I would recommend this course to anyone who was serious about becoming a chocolatier in a heart beat!"
Penny, Jan. '07 Graduate, Quality Assurance Program
"I thought this was an excellent follow-up course to the chocolatier program. It should be an industry requirement for every chocolatier. To me, this is a stepping off point to further my education in this field. This is an intriguing field and not just chocolate specific. I found it extremely interesting and learned a great deal. Thanks goes to the staff and all of their efforts for a job well done."
Steve, Sept. '06 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"I have done various courses in chocolate production, and I believe this course was an excellent one. Even more expensive industry-accredited chocolate courses on chocolate manufacturing in my country don't offer one-tenth of the information this course offers. It helped me to improve my knowledge and skills in handling chocolate and creating my own signature chocolates. The assistance, immediate response, comments and advice of the lecturers were very helpful and professional."
Debbie, May '06 Graduate, QA program:
"Yes. This was exactly the course I needed and exactly at the right time, as I am launching my business. Although I have a lot of familiarity with GMP because of my experience managing the quality assurance laboratories for the manufacturing function of a major chemical company (including FDA-regulated products), the specific application to chocolate was new and just what I needed. My familiarity did make the reading easy to grasp since the concepts and terms were something I have dealt with before.
One of the added benefits to these classes is the development of a network of peers, and the compilation of a lot of valuable information in one place. And for me, with my allergy to nuts that prevents me doing any "hands-on" internships, this course was invaluable (along with your other course). Without them, I would not have been able to develop the skills and start my business."
Marcia, Jan. '06 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Yes-above and beyond my expectations. I thought I would just be 'learning to make candy' and ended up excited about the possibility of a new avenue of creativity and possibly a new career!
What a gift from the two of you to share your knowledge and your time to those of us wanting to become a part of the industry that you are obviously passionate about. It takes a special person to share these industry 'secrets' and resources knowing that the ones that you are teaching could possibly become the 'competition' at some point. It was also so refreshing to receive help from so many others in the industry willing to give advice and help."
Linda, Sept. '05 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"This program far exceeded my expectations! It was chock full of references that are crucial information for succeeding in this field. I gained much knowledge and confidence in honing my chocolate-making techniques as well as expanding my knowledge of this field in general."
Shannon, April '05 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"The strength of the Ecole program is the intensive course materials coupled with hands-on assignments or assignments that required real world application. I learned an incredible amount about the chocolate product but more importantly I learned this is a medium to which I want to dedicate my next professional venture.
The Ecole Program was inclusive and intensive enough to teach me that something that I have enjoyed my whole life could be worth the effort and become a passion. At times I was challenged by the assignments to the point of throwing up my hands in confusion or defeat, but at the same time, the challenges allowed me to grow as a creative culinary person and a business person."
Lisa, Jan. '05 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Yes. I found it to be very comprehensive and covered every topic I'd wondered about and many I'd never thought of. The information provided has given me a sound knowledge about the chocolate industry, being a chocolatier and working with chocolate that I did not have before. The techniques are described very well and with the feedback and more practice, I feel sure that I can master them. At this point I don't want to say I've mastered everything, but that is just because I haven't been doing this long enough...no fault of the program.
The organization is excellent, the instructors knowledgeable, and the ability to work independently while having a forum for learning from others is invaluable."
Jill, Sept. '04 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Yes. The curriculum was well set out and easy to understand. It was also very informative and interesting. Yes, I learned so much about chocolate which was fantastic. I also know where to find out more information. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the techniques and look forward to further improving them.
The amount of information available and the way the program was set up was also appreciated. It was very easy to use the website and discussion forum."
Janet, April '04 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"Yes, by all means! I learned a great deal! I found that the program structure was interesting and all the research and links that were combined with the lectures were terrific. It was inspiring to visit so many web pages of chocolatiers and to learn from their experiences as well as the very excellent lectures.
I really enjoyed this course. If I hadn't taken it, I wouldn't even have thought of creating a micro-business. Now, I'm already registered to sell chocolates, have a logo being registered, and my goals for clientele have already been surpassed! Yikes! I'm an entrepreneur! My web page, which is very much 'in process' is chocolaticos.com. I also have many goals for the future in developing chocolates as beautiful as Norman Love or Thomas Haas. However, for now, I want to concentrate on the basic skills, both in chocolatiering and in managing a micro-business."
April, Jan. '04 Graduate, Professional Chocolatier Program
"The curriculum greatly exceeded my expectations. I went into the program thinking I would learn a bit more about the fundamentals of working with chocolate. I came away with a well-rounded education not only in the fundamentals but in the business aspect of owning my own shop. The exercises and resources are invaluable, giving me information on everything from the chocolate itself to the packaging.
I was blown away by the amount of knowledge I obtained from this course. I would have been happy to pay two to three times the amount for this course. I have a greater understanding of the chocolate industry in total, from each aspect of the business. I was made to think outside the box to accomplish the goals of certain assignments, teaching me valuable lessons. My vision and understanding of the fundamentals and logistics of being a chocolatier have clearer meaning to me now and have spawned limitless dreams for my future."
Ecole Chocolat graduates are an international group. They have completed our programs from many different countries:
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
United Arab Emirates