About our Chocolate School

About Our Chocolate School

Ecole Chocolat delivers programs that will increase your knowledge and expertise in chocolate making. We can't believe we're now more than 10 years old! In February 2003, our Founder Pam Williams opened registration for our first Professional Chocolatier Program. Not a week later, our first student registered – from the Netherlands! She was followed by students from all over the world. What have we been up to since 2003?

Our Graduates' Success

Ecole Chocolat Graduates

Over the past 16 years, we've worked with students passionate about chocolate from 74 different countries. To see what some of them are up to, Click Here.

Chocolate Programs

Program Curriculums

We have been doing our darndest to make all our programs the best they can be.

Starting with our Professional Chocolatier Program in 2003, we carefully introduced a new program about every two years. It takes us at least a year to develop and test the curriculum for each of our programs. Our programs only focus on chocolate work – nothing else. We want to make sure that each program delivers an intensive learning experience. And we update the curriculum weekly so we keep our students current and knowledgeable about the latest techniques. We also stay connected to our graduates and have a very active Graduate Centre. For an overview on all of our programs: Click Here.

The Fine Chocolate Industry awarded Pam Williams with the Recognition of Excellence for service to the industry.

Giving Back

Preserving Heirloom Cacao

Pam Williams not only founded Ecole Chocolat but also was instrumental in founding the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) and its most recent initiative aimed at saving fine chocolate from extinction: Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund (HCP). As farmers continue to remove or replace fine-flavor cacao trees with less flavorful hybrids and clones, Pam is very involved in the effort to save fine-flavor cacao from extinction. Currently, she is also a founding member of the Hawaii Chocolate and Cacao Association and a Grand Jury Judge and Advisor for the International Chocolate Awards.

Keeping Us Up to Date

Bonbons on newspaper

Join our community and keep up-to-date with what's happening in the world of fine chocolate. Ecole Chocolat's Twitter, Google+ and Facebook sites deliver global chocolate news. We first started keeping track of the news for our own students and graduates. Then we thought you might like to keep up-to-date on what's happening as well so we moved our chocolate news feed to Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. Then came YouTube, Flickr, and Instagram. We love pinning our favorite things and recipes in Pinterest. Also read the journal of our Chocolate Apprentice.

Connecting Chocolate Lovers

At Ecole Chocolat, we've been privileged over the years to get to know and work with many of the wonderful people who make chocolate bars, confections and bonbons. Sponsoring chocomap.com is our way of giving back, by providing an easy way for you to Find a Chocolate Shop, whether you're looking in your hometown or are traveling. We've created an easy-to-use map where you can search for a chocolate shop by city or name.

Our Book: Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar - The Future of Fine Chocolate

We are very excited about our book: Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate. In the book, we take a global journey from cacao gene and cocoa bean to chocolate bar and bonbon. We also look at the future of the world's finest chocolate as seen through the eyes of people who live chocolate every day and strive to preserve its richest, most complex and endangered forms for future generations.

More About Our Unique Programs and People

Ecole Chocolat was "born" because of the large number of requests our lead instructor, Pam Williams, received from novice chocolate makers all over the globe who were looking for training in professional chocolate making. They all wanted an opportunity to increase their expertise and make products on par with the best in the business.

When trying to help, Pam realized that there were very few training opportunities in chocolate making for non-professional cooks, and most of those are very expensive (see the resources that Pam found on our Questions? page in the right-hand column under Chocolate Training). We want you to be aware of all your options before deciding if an Ecole Chocolat program is right for you.

Based on Pam's experience, the Ecole Chocolat program curriculum offers what she considers to be the foundation for any successful chocolatier or chocolate maker – a complete understanding of the chocolate making process, matched with a "plan of action" to fulfill your career or personal goals.

Our success in making that happen is seeing many of those original novices succeed: See our Ecole Chocolat graduates link at the top of the right column and meet graduate Rachel Sawatsky below:

Pam Williams, founder of EcoleChocolat.com, responds to the news that the school has been recognized for "Outstanding Service to the Industry" by the FCIA (Fine Chocolate Industry Association).

For better quality go to our Vimeo version

Pam answers the question: "How did you get into the chocolate business" in an interview right after the awards ceremony. It was an exciting night for the industry, as you can tell by the noise level!

For better quality go to our Vimeo version

Our 10th Birthday Celebration

In 2013, Ecole Chocolat announced kickoff celebration for 10 years of teaching professional chocolate making to students from all over the world

'We have the best job. Each day we get to work with students who are as passionate about making fine chocolate as we are!' - Pam Williams, Ecole Chocolat Founder

VANCOUVER, February 26, 2013 - It's been 10 years since Ecole Chocolat, a professional chocolate arts school, first opened its cyber doors and a look back shows both the power and the reach of its online chocolate programs. The list of Ecole Chocolat's graduates includes many high-profile chocolatiers who have received national and international awards and been written up in major magazines and newspapers.

"We can't believe it's been 10 years since we signed on our first student. The time has gone by so fast!" says Pam Williams, Founder and Lead Instructor of Ecole Chocolat, which was launched in 2003.

Williams has been involved in the fine-chocolate industry since 1981 and in February 2003, opened registration for the first Professional Chocolatier Program. Not a week later, the first student registered - from the Netherlands!

That student was followed by others who hailed from more than 74 countries, such as Birgit Church, a graduate from the UK, who recently sent Williams the following:
"Just a quick email . . . to say a big thank you to you and everyone else involved in the courses I completed. You really have made a difference to my life. I've always loved chocolate but now I live chocolate. It has been life changing and I can't wait to share it with everyone!"

Other graduates who have found great success with Ecole Chocolat's online programs are Gail Ambrosius of Madison, Wisconsin whose chocolate creations have been picked as favorites by both Oprah and Martha Stewart in their magazines. As well, EH Chocolatier of Somerville, Maine, Dandelion Chocolate of San Francisco, Ca., Woodblock Chocolate of Portland, Ore., and Veruca Chocolates of Chicago, Ill., - all Ecole Chocolat graduates - were singled out for their fine chocolates in Food&Wine Magazine this past December. Meanwhile, Dessert Professional recently included three Ecole Chocolat grads among its top 10 chocolatiers for 2012: Ambrosius, Shaineal Shah of Xocolatti in New York City, and Rick Jordan of Rick Jordan Chocolatier in St. Louis, Mo.

Over its 10 years, Ecole Chocolat has responded to student request for more extensive training in such areas as making chocolate from the bean, chocolate quality control, and professional programs in major chocolate centres across Europe as well as in the tropical forests where chocolate begins its journey. Williams says a new program takes at least a year - and sometimes two - for development and testing of the curriculum, and adds: "Programs focus only on chocolate and chocolate work, nothing else."

Ecole Chocolat now offers a range of chocolate making programs suitable for both beginners and those with experience who want to improve their knowledge and skills. Programs include the Professional Chocolatier Program, Chocolate Making from the Bean, Quality Assurance & Keeping Limits for Chocolatiers and Graduate Chocolate Programs.

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