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Need Ideas for an Advanced Chocolate Course - what would people want to learn?

Brian Donaghy - pastry chef at Tomric - and I have been discussing running an advanced chocolate course aimed at artisan chocolate makers who need to improve their talents and their product.

I would assume that most people would love to look at some equipment with an eye to increasing production - but beyond that what would you think that people would want to learn if they knew the basics but wanted to improve?

I guess it begs the question - what are basic chocolate techniques and what are advanced techniques? What do most people who are producing feel they are weak at and want to improve?

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I realize that it's a little off topic here - but I have produced a series of educational DVD's that the Ecole Chocolate recommends - not very costly - and allow you to actually see the techniques for tempering and molding etc. I produced them after trying in vain to learn from books - then having gone and spent a week of evenings with a chocolatier and seeing how it was done - realized most people need to see it.
Where can I get the DVD's?
my website is www.thechocolatedoctor.ca - just send me an e-mail at kerry-at-thechocolatedoctor-dot-ca
Dirke, I, too, was apprehensive about taking an online course without being able to 'see' what the process looked like. I really think you do need a video reference to help you along - or do as Andre and take an intro course first.

I'm sure Kerry's DVD's are great - she's a fabulous resouce! I got the CIA DVD's (hadn't heard of Kerry at that point) and found them extremely helpful. The tempering one was with Ewald (sp?) Notter and I sat in front of it with my spatula and scraper and tempered 'in the air' until I got the flow.

You will get as much out of the Ecole course as you put into it. I was quite the keener and did more than what was required so I could ask Heidi questions. What I found the most helpful was that it is put together as a course with assignments, etc. so you're not waiting 3 months before you decide to try tempering again. And when you're first beginning, you have no idea what to research - the course lays that out for you - different ways of tempering - different kinds of bonbons etc. Also, when you graduate you will be part of the 'graduate forum' which has wonderful discussions about chocolate making. I also got a ton out of the business section of the course. I took that opportunity to email chocolatiers and get facts on pricing, marketing, sales potential, etc.

The course is hard work if you're serious about it so be sure to be ready with supplies as it goes quick once you start.

Good luck!
Of course you could always get a bunch of people together and invite Brian and I out to run a course in your neck of the woods.
An interesting idea... but where would we get the enrobers? We would have to hold it in Hawaii and use Melanie's Selmi. That sounds like a plan doesn't it?!
Sounds like a perfect plan!
Hey sounds great to me!! You'd have to schedule the class Hawaiian style...enough time for the beach. The Selmi lives 20-25 min from a beach with Manta rays and turtles.
If someone wants a class we can get equipmemt where ever or no equipment. I believe the goal of classes isn't about equipment, it's just a tool like a dipping fork or a mould. Class goals should always be independent of the tools being used.

b
I can easily get a bunch together, and 5 mins from the beach so can you run to my neck of the woods?
We so gotta do this!
And it is amazing you don't have a well established training facility in your area, considering how wonderful the foodie scene is - just check SFran!

What about that culinary school in Napa Valley? I don't recall the name, but it seems like a nice, big school.

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