Chocolate making is a lifelong learning experience. We love to challenge ourselves and relight our chocolate passion periodically throughout our lives. Our Graduate Chocolate Programs are the next step forward for those who want to advance their skills and knowledge. Be prepared to be energized, enlightened and inspired while you take your chocolate knowledge, skills and expertise to a higher level.
Our Lead Instructor and curriculum developer, Pam Williams, discusses the Graduate Chocolate Programs and the philosophy behind Ecole Chocolat's offering of these intensive learning experiences. Each program is carefully organized to provide an in-depth hands-on training program while immersing our participants in the chocolate or cacao culture of the host country.
October 6 - 12, 2019. This is an opportunity to learn from the Belgian master chocolatiers. The one-week (six-night) experience combines a special program of hands-on training at the original Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Wieze with visits to Chocolate World in Antwerp and important chocolatiers in Brussels. Learn More Belgium Program Details
April 21 - 27, 2019. This is a unique week-long (six-night) opportunity to learn from the French master chocolatiers. The experience combines a special program of hands-on training at Valrhona's Ecole du Grand Chocolat in Tain l'Hermitage, France, with guided visits to important chocolatiers in Paris. Learn More France Program Details
May 5 - 11, 2019. This one-week (six-night) experience is an opportunity to learn from Italian master chocolatiers. The program combines intensive hands-on training at ICAM's Choco Scuola in beautiful Lecco on Lake Como with meetings at important Turin chocolatiers in their cioccolateria and laboratories. Learn More Italy Program Details
May 6 - 10, 2019. A one-week (five day) hands-on training at Cocoa West Chocolatier. Owner Joanne Mogridge is an well-known organic chocolatier. Under Joanne's guidance, you'll not only use professional equipment and techniques to produce fine chocolate bonbons but also discuss business issues. Learn More Vancouver Program Details
TBA 2020. The one-week (six-night) experience starting in Geneva then moving on to the beautiful alpine town of Schwyz, combines an intensive hands-on chocolate training program at Felchlin's exclusive Condirama and chocolate factory tour with meetings at important chocolatiers in Switzerland. Learn More Swiss Program Details
September 2019. A four day program of hands-on training in Mindo Chocolate factory, Michigan, US. The program includes making chocolate from dried cocoa beans using craft chocolate making equipment; overviews of cacao growing/processing and discussions on the business issues of chocolate making. Learn More Michigan Program Details
June 2020. A one-week (seven night) program in Ecuador to learn how to make chocolate from cocoa beans. You'll be in the chocolate factory making your own chocolate as well as exploring cacao fields learning directly from the chocolate makers and farmers who are actively working to save fine-flavor cacao. Learn More Ecuador Program Details
TBA March 2021. This week long (six night) program in Costa Rica teaches you cacao cultivation, post-harvest processing and artisanal chocolate making. Follow the tree-to-bar process firsthand from harvesting and fermentation to processing into chocolate with both artisanal and industrial equipment. Learn More Costa Rica Program Details
June 10 - 14, 2019. A five-day program with cacao expert, Daniel O'Doherty, and chocolate maker, Dylan Butterbaugh. Join us for an intense hands-on learning experience at the Maui Ku‘ia Estate cacao farm and chocolate factory - learn cacao cultivation, post-harvest processing and chocolate making. Learn More Hawaii Program Details
February 22 - April 19, 2019. This 8 week program gives you the opportunity to focus on the intricacies of chocolate flavor, while helping you use chocolate more effectively in your professional life. Understanding chocolate flavor and how to taste chocolate consciously will help you to create better products for your business. Learn More Flavor Program Details
April 12 - May 10, 2019. This 4 week program gives you the opportunity to do your homework and focus on what you know and don't know when it comes to marketing, operations and finance. This practical curriculum covers all the elements of a business plan from a chocolatier's perspective. Learn More Business Program Details
May 17 - June 14, 2019. This 4 week program is focused on the chocolate making from the cocoa bean business plan. During the program, students understand the issues of: management, marketing, operations and finance using your current knowledge and research on chocolate making. Learn More Program Details
September 27 - November 8, 2019. Our one-month online Quality Assurance & Keeping Limits for Chocolatiers Program is all about science – the science of producing a quality product, handling and storing it properly and knowing its keeping limits. We also discuss food safety regulations and labeling standards in depth. Learn More QA Program Details
These programs are usually one week in duration at selected professional facilities. At Ecole Chocolat we made a decision early on that our hands-on advanced programs would not be taught in an artificial classroom setting but in professional laboratories with actual chocolatiers, chocolate makers and chefs as teachers. This has made our opportunities to offer programs each year more limited but the resulting programs are much more beneficial for the participants.
In each program, you attend workshops and programs led by working professionals producing fine chocolates in higher volume with the help of commercial chocolate making equipment. Also included are instructor-led experiences to important chocolate boutiques and factories in the region, in order to absorb and understand regional and cultural differences in flavor, texture, ingredients and presentation.
An ADDED BONUS in any of the Graduate Programs that you might not have thought about - your fellow students:
“By the way, one aspect of the training that I did not mention as it was not readily apparent at the conclusion of the program is the friendship with fellow 'chocolatiers in training'. The relationships with several peers took roots on Bowen Island but have continued to develop in a very supportive way. We have all been in touch via email but three of us constantly email each other with questions or feedback about molds, equipment, recipes, etc. It is a very good support system. I think we each feel that, while our friends and families are here for support, we have finally found peers who really do understand why we want to do this. We are already making plans to see one another this summer for the Fancy Food Show in NYC.” Diane, Vancouver Program
See individual program overviews for registration details. The registration deadline for these programs is usually three to four months before the start of the program, in order to confirm program attendance and enable students to make their travel arrangements. Program registration usually opens about six months prior to the start date of the program.
All Ecole Chocolat Graduate Programs are delivered in English.
Prerequisite for our Graduate Programs: Ecole Chocolat Professional Certificate of Achievement or equivalent level of experience, knowledge and skills.
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