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I'm looking for the best schools for chocolate, specifically artistic chocolate. Please let me know what you think and what the school's specialty is.

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I see that you are in California along the coast north of Santa Barbara - do you care where these schools are located? West Coast? Outside the US?
I'm interested in the best school regardless of the location. Of course, closer is better, but my daughter will be in Paris next Spring, so I'd love an excuse to visit.
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I've taken some courses at the Notter School in Orlando. Very good. He also has several others teaching there as well. Check out his web site. Also some good classes at ICE in NYC.

Good luck and enjoy
The artistic part is what you, yourself add after studying and refining good basic techniques. The techniques are taught by Callebaut Academy, Ecole Chocolat in their Masters courses, Notter School, CIA in NY, ICE and various workshops with people like Andrew Schotts, Jin Caldwell or a host of other accomplished chocolatiers. I personally see more "artistic" chocolate being done in the US. Many of the schools, such as Callebaut have international instructors so I wouldn't presume Europe is better. A Good solid foundation is required no matter what.
Any suggestions for schools in Paris?
Valrhona, Lenotre, I can't remember others...
buy chocolate, buy a book(roger geerts, andrew shotts, peter grewling), buy a tempering machine, practice.

good luck
I work as a chocolatier making truffles daily, but I wanted to branch out to sculpting chocolate and thought it might cut down the trial and error time if I went to a school.
I agree that practice will take you wherever you want to go, but there is nothing like a real school experience. So much trial and error is shaved off; and watching how things are made is invaluable (especially if this is your first time working with chocolate).
Jeff, don't make it sound like working with chocolate is that piece of (chocolate) cake - it gets complicated once you get to the "whys" behind it :-)
I didnt mean to belittle the school experience. By all means, take classes if they are what you can afford. My comment is one one based on personal experience. Trial and error are part an parcel of the game., even with school. I have never taken a class. I built my business from the ground up through experimentation. I probably SHOULD have taken classes. Alas that is not to be for me; old dog, new tricks.
It is really amazing that you never took a class. Your business is amazing and an example to follow by many of us.


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