The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

Hello Everyone!

I am Nancy Sobel from Long Island, NY.  I have been interested in chocolate since I was a child and have been making chocolates etc. for presents for many years now.  I am starting to think of it as a happier career choice.  I have enrolled in the chocolate intensive at ICE in NYC.  Has anyone here taken the course?  I am thinking of following it up with the Ecole Chocolat.  

Any thoughts/suggestions?

Nancy Sobel

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I cannot speak to the quality of the ICES program, but I can tell you about Ecole Chocolat. I just turned in my final assignment for the professional chocolatier class this past Friday. I am sad that it is over already! I was a bit skeptical about learning about chocolate online, but I have definitely gotten my money's worth! It is an intensive course (I printed out the reading material for future reference and filled 2- 3" binders. You don't just learn the technical aspects (tempering, molding) but also chocolate history, researching different business models and learning about equipment and supplies needed. I already do a bit of baking for some caterers and had dreamed about having my own little shop one day. Taking this course forced me to look at the business aspects and plan instead of just dream. I highly recommend the course!

I would also recommend lurking on The Chocolate Life. If you read through forums and blogs, there is a treasure trove of information here. I have learned SO much from all these people who are so generous to share their knowledge. I hope that helps!
Thank you for your in depth and helpful reply!
I'm presently doing a baking certificate at the culinary institute at Hudson County community college but I did some research before opting for hccc and found out that ICE was a very good school according to my chef and the people I asked about, I had also recently asked a couple of my instructors about this specific class and they all agreed that it was a great way to start, specially because of Chef Faith Drobbin, apparently she's very well know as a chocolate designer, too bad there were no open spaces when I tried to register
That's so exciting you are doing your baking certificate! Thank you for for re-confirming that I made a good choice in taking this...I would've liked to have met you at the course. Happy Holidays!
Hey Nancy, how did that ICE course turned out? there's another three day course next week and I'm planning to attend, were you happy with the course you took?


The class was pretty amazing and I think well worth it.  Faith Drobbin was an excellent instructor...she knows her stuff!  There were people of all levels in the class from the novice to some who were a bit more experienced.  I fell into the latter group.  We partnered up (beware of some wacky people...I was lucky enough to have a wonderful parnter) for the week.  Day 1 focused on tempering chocolate (seeding method) and then we made clusters, bark, and dipped fruit.  Day 2 we did truffles in different flavor combinations and enrobed them.  Chef Faith's chai spiced truffles were very good!  Day 3 focused on candymaking and we made chocolate caramels, a buttercrunch, chocolate covered candied almonds, and torrone.  Day 4 we made solid molded chocolates and filled molded chocolates with a variety of fillings. Day 5 we did hand dipped truffles that we framed first and then dipped (my favorite type) and then enrobed.  

The class was really good and top notch ingredients were used.  I'd love to find a chocolatier that I could apprentice with in Long Island (not having any luck) or NYC.  You will love the course if you take it!


yeah, I know what you mean about the partner, you could end up with somebody who is just plain wasting time or somebody who is really into it, it's the luck of the draw. I know about chef Drobbin through my former chef, and she seems to have a good rep in Brooklyn, we'll see, but it'll have to wait since the class was cancelled (damm!) As for experience, I think you should look around in Brooklyn, plenty of things are happening there, check up the green markets throughout the city, just go and chat with them and plain tell them that you wish to help out in exchange for hands-on experience, I was at a tour of the Mast brothers factory last week and a girl just plain asked for a chance at the end of the tour, maybe you can do the same, hope you find something.
Thank you for your suggestions Ruben!
Using chocolate as a framework, students can:

• discover the botanical source of chocolate, Theobroma cacao, a small tree of the tropical rainforest interior;
• explore the ecological connections between people, plants, insects, and other animals within the tree’s habitat;
• investigate cultural interactions and conservation concerns resulting from the cultivation, processing, exchange, and consumption of cacao and other foods; and
• recognize the changing economic and cultural roles of cacao and chocolate in local and global economies over time.

Hi Nancy,


Welcome to the (truly) wonderful world of chocolate.  My family has been manufacturing chocolates in Brooklyn since 1946.  I have been teaching chocolate workshops for the past 10 years. Feel free to call me and chat about your future.  You can check us out first.


Good Luck,



Thank you for your offer to call you!  I have known about JoMart for quite a while (my family were Sheepshead Bay natives for many years).

Thank You,




I am also in New York City.

As for internship people usually like to work with people who do not live in the same geographical region - after all, you will become competition.

I did exactly the same thing you did: I took the 2 chocolate technique from ICE, followed by the Ecole Chocolat online training.


Once you are done with the Ecole Chocolat training you can apply for internship with chocolatiers from the US and one from Canada. I have not done the internship yet, but I am considering it more and more.


You should keep looking for opportunities in NYC, but just consider that you could go someplace else you've never been before, work at a place that is used to interns, and do not have to worry about the ethics of learning from someone who will be your competition in the near future.


Best of luck!


Andre Costa

DaCosta Chocolates


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