Our Graduate Chocolate Programs are the next step forward for our Ecole Chocolat graduates who want to advance their intermediate skills with an intensive experience. Be prepared to be energized, enlightened and inspired to 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 7 - 13, 2018. 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
April, 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
May 6 - 12, 2018. 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 Italian chocolatiers in their cioccolateria and laboratories in Turin. Learn More
February 19 - 23, 2018. 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 enrobed and molded chocolates but also discuss business tips. Learn More
TBA 2019. The one-week (six-night) experience starting in Geneva then moving on to the beautiful alpine countryside in Schwyz, combines an intensive hands-on chocolate training program at Felchlin's exclusive Condirama training centre and chocolate factory tour with meetings at important chocolatiers in Switzerland. Learn More
September 24 - 27, 2018. A four day program of hands-on training in Mindo Chocolate factory, Michigan, US. The program includes making batches of chocolate from dried cocoa beans using craft chocolate making equipment; overviews of cacao growing/processing and discussions on the business aspects of chocolate making. Learn More
June 9 - 16, 2018. 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
March 2019. This week long (six night) adventure will take you to the cacao orchards during harvest. Your chocolate making benefit from a much better understanding of cacao cultivation and processing while gaining skills and knowledge in cacao genetics and post harvest processes, bean selection, and artisan chocolate making. Learn More
March 12-16, 2018. A five day program with cacao expert, Daniel O'Doherty, and chocolate maker, Dylan Butterbaugh. This is an intense but fun hands-on learning experience at the Maui Ku‘ia Estate cacao farm. You will gain a deeper understanding of modern best practices in cacao cultivation and post-harvest processing, and how this impacts bean flavor and quality.Learn More
February 23 - April 20, 2018. 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 and more interesting products for your business. Learn More
November 3 - December 1, 2017. This 4 week program gives you the opportunity to do your homework and focus on what you know and don't know about your business when it comes to marketing, operations and finance. This practical curriculum covers all the elements of a business plan while at the same time focusing on those issues of importance to a chocolatier. Learn More
January 5 - February 2, 2018. This 4 week program is focused on the chocolate making from the cocoa bean business plan. During the program, students work each week on a different section of the plan: management, marketing, operations and finance using the knowledge and research you learned during the Chocolate Making from the Bean Program. Learn More
What our graduates have to say
“First, Joanne and Carlos (and, frankly, their entire staff) were wonderful. They were patient, thorough, professional yet very friendly, and forthcoming. They answered all of our questions with such patience. They are truly impressive professionals and people. Secondly, in terms of content, the course description was exactly what the program delivered. Having said that, my expectations were exceeded. It was an incredible week.” Diane, 2015 Vancouver Program
"This trip was amazing! I would tell anyone who is even the least bit interested to go. It was a wonderful experience. I know I'll remember it for the rest of my life. I'm glad that I took the class at the time, place, and with the people that I did. Each day seemed to build upon the next. We covered history, sociology, anthropology, biology, ecology, and business... The great thing was that Julio, George, and Steve were able to pull it all together and relate it all to the making of chocolate." Michael, 2015 Costa Rica Program
"The France program gave me an extraordinary experience and different perspectives in chocolate. I now feel I have both greater knowledge and professional skills. Many thanks to Pam and Rachel for their kindness and patience during this program." Polly, 2014 France Program
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, 2015 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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