for a few years before signing up. I am very happy about my experience and I definitely feel my expectations were met and in some ways exceeded!"
-Courtney, April, 12 Graduate
"I’d like to express my gratitude for an amazing program.
And I’d also like to say that it was an impressive course and especially via online, because without it, I’d probably miss that opportunity. I’d also like to thank the tutors Heidi Hudspith and Rachel Sawatzky for reviewing all my assignments and also for the helpful feedback. "
- John, Jan., 11 Graduate
"Absolutely, I learned so much about chocolate and the industry that I never knew about.
It was great having the support of the instructors when things weren't going right and I could ask them questions. And all the topics that were covered made it very easy to learn."
- Sue, Jan., 11 Graduate
"The comments all three instructors
give to the assignments are thoughtful and hit just the point. I began to think that you'd installed a camera in my kitchen to be able to give such appropriate judgments."
- Randy, Sept., 09 Graduate
"This was an outstanding class!
The instructors were supportive, only an email away, very encouraging, and full of helpful tips and information. I very much enjoyed it and am looking forward to taking another course. "
- Pamela, Sept., 08 Graduate
"The class was very well organized
and the instructors were available any time that I needed them. I learned more about chocolate than I realized I would."
It's very important to us that our instructors be working
chocolate professionals as well as educators. They bring practical, real-world experience
to the programs. That's also why our Master Programs happen "in the field"
in actual chocolate production facilities.
I founded au Chocolat
in 1981 in Vancouver, B.C. after moving there from California, and spent 10 years as Master
Chocolatier. au Chocolat started as a chocolate making retail and wholesale business (the present owners are now
only wholesale). Our specialty was gourmet chocolate
truffles and we had a multitude of flavors in stock at any one
Our gourmet chocolate truffles were hand-made. We then
either rolled them in a traditional dry coating such as cocoa or nuts
or coated them with fine chocolate. We started out doing the chocolate
dipping by hand but as sales increased we moved to an enrobing
machine. The machine was a life-saver – especially during the
holidays when demand for our chocolates peaked.
Our other gourmet chocolate offerings were molded from solid chocolate (our
signature was a chocolate duck with a jaunty bow around
his neck made with a mold taken from our childhood favorite –
a yellow rubber ducky), panned chocolate items such as chocolate-covered espresso beans and our perennial favorite – chocolate
mousse cake. In the summer, we included ice cream products
as well. When time came to semi-retire from the day-to-day chocolate
making business, I was able to sell to a friend-of-a-friend who
loved the chocolate-candy making business as much as I did.
During that time, I also taught chocolate-making programs and
courses on starting a business for many different organizations.
As well, I've written numerous articles on chocolate and chocolate
candy making. See some of these articles at Sally's
I wrote my first cookbook, Oh Truffles by au Chocolat, and while
the book is now out of print, it was a best-selling cookbook with
a second printing. My goal with the cookbook was to teach home
cooks how to work with chocolate and then give them lots of different chocolate recipes to try.
Besides becoming proficient in working with chocolate for obvious
business reasons, I always encourage creativity and joy
in the chocolate-making process itself. Working with chocolate
can be a very sensuous experience. Early chocolatiers used their
hands to temper the chocolate and coat the truffles or sugar fillings
– some companies still do. Like kneading bread, successful technique
becomes one of "feel". The chocolatier knows just when
the chocolate mass is ready to use.
I wish you much success in your endeavors and will be delighted
if our programs can be of help in getting you where you want to
go in an industry that is my passion.