The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

Hi everyone,

I want to introduce chocolates to my bakery and have taken a few chocolate making classes, mostly for a few hours at a time.

I am trying to find where I can take extended chocolate courses -- hands on -- for up to a week at a time, that will teach me:

1. How to temper using different machines (batch and continuous), and work with different depositors, etc.

2. How to create my own recipes.

3. How to design my kitchen.


Here are my limitations:

1. I will only be using already tempered chocolate. I love to read about -- and have friends in -- the bean/farm to bar business but I can't do that.

2. The courses need to be in the US.

3. I can only go for a week/course.


I have looked at ecolechocolat, but I believe it is mostly online and I want to finally get some hands-on courses. I would like, though, opinions about ecolechocolat.

I have talked to Barry Callebaut in Chicago and they offer classes, but I don't know anyone who has taken them.

I understand that the SFBI also has a chocolate course, but again, no first hand opinions.

If any of you know of chocolate-making courses or offer them, would you please let me know.

Much appreciated,


The Stonehouse Bakery




Views: 445

Replies to This Discussion


The French Pastry School in Chicago ( offers good week-long basic chocolate classes (for "food enthusiasts") as well as in-depth 1-2 week classes for professionals.  I don't see one listed in their current calendar, but I attended one with a lot of questions several years ago, and was very satisfied with the help I received.

All the best!

Hi Dale -

Thank you for the information. I called and they are sending me the information. I was actually going to take some baking classes there so this will be a welcome addition!


A few years ago I saw a series offered at The French Pastry School in Chicago by Jean-Pierre Wybauw after the fact and it sold out REALLY quickly.  Another benefit to Chicago is the Fine Chocolate Show at the Navy Pier.. which now that I went searching for it I see has been moved to Miami in November 2014 and will return to Chicago Nov 2015. You might find that the equipment is more appropriate for artisans than the big national candy show.  Check out the Fine Chocolate Industry Association website.


Hi Shalini -

Yes, Barry Callebaut is looking the best so far for intensive classes. I will probably take the ones in Chicago.

Thank you for your help.


I also am a graduate of Ecole Chocolat. Please don't discount them because they are online. They teach much more than tempering chocolate. You also learn about the history of chocolate, flavors, developing your recipes, laying out your production area, costing out your product, and much more. While it is a 3 month course, it is not as though you are working on it 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, unless that is what you want to do. I work a 40 hour a week job and did this during the evening about 3 times a week for several hours at a time (you start working on an assignment and you kinda forget about the time). You can also ask the instructors questions and you learn a lot from the fellow students that are also taking the course. After the course you have access to the graduate center (which has many resources), master courses and internships. They just have a lot to offer and it's very flexible to work around what you are currently doing. Besides taking the Chocolatier program, I have also taken the Quality Assurance program and hope to do an internship next Spring. Hope this helps.

Hi Aldona -

Thank you for your insights into Ecole Chocolat. I spoke with Pam Williams a few days ago and I am excited about the program. I will probably take the courses next year, and then maybe an internship. I would love to hear about your Internship if you are able to do it.



Dorothy why use gloves , you already have perfectly good hands with fingers attached, just dig into the chocolate and start coating and dipping using your fingers, it works extremely well and as a benefit your hands become very soft and smooth from the cacoa butter, you will find some people have cool hands and others warm hands, cool hands work best, obviously you must clean your hands and once you begin it is very difficult to stop as your fingers are coated but it works very well ...


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