After ruminating over and over on what to do next - I have not done much, so any step I take will be a step forward - I decided to take more classes; although I am taking a class at the moment, the nature of it being online does not keep me motivated enough. I need to be there, working the chocolate, networking with other people, in a more conducive atmosphere. The whole online thing is actually a little boring! I am from another era, albeit computer savvy!
Anyway, so today I visited the ICE (Institute of Culinary Education) and signed up for three classes. One is not really a class, but a chocolate tour in Manhattan. The tour will be done in a 5 1/2-hour period and a certain number of stores will be visited. We will be able to check the facilities, talk to the owners and try their chocolate.
That's going to give me a good idea of what goes behind the scenes in a real retail environment. What equipment they use, how much chocolate they produce, how many people they have running the store at any given time? These are important questions for me and I hope this tour will help me answer some of them - hopefully all of them.
The second class is a one called Advanced Chocolate Techniques. This one is a two-day working that takes place on a weekend. The class will cover working with polyethelyne sheets and chocolate color, free-form molding with silicon or cocoa powder, spraying/air brushing, molding chocolate, and gluing/showpiece assembly. At the end of the course, we will bring home a showpiece created by ourselves.
I am very much looking forward to this training, mostly because this one is the key that allowed me to take the next one.
The third and last one I signed up for is called Chocolate Decoration. Now, this is a really exciting training for one reason only - Norman Love will be giving the class!
This class is for people who are working in the area already, but because I am a former student and will have completed the Advanced Techniques, I was able to sign up for this one.
It was really great to receive the email confirming my enrollment in all three classes. I felt like I was finally following the path I decided to take a little while ago. Let my new career begin!
Next: the search for a tempering machine! That's going to be a tough one.