The Chocolate Life

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Lourdes Paez's Comments

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At 9:01pm on April 5, 2011, Dawn-Marie Lambert said…

Thanks for accepting my request for friendship!  It is nice to have an online group of people who really do share the passion for chocolate.

  I too have not taken an online course before. The one thing I have heard most about Ecole is that there is alot of reading involved.  That takes me back alittle and I ask myself  if I will be able to handle the workload , work full time as a nurse and juggle a family all at the same time. 

  I am thinking that we will be eating, breathing, and eating chocolate all the while in school....How sweet! lol! Thankfully it only lasts 3 months as compared to 9 months of my nursing school.

   I am impressed with your background. It is strange how an uneventful event can be the beginning of a huge change in our lives.

  I look foward to walking alongside you on your chocolate journey and thank you for walking with me mine!


At 11:27pm on April 2, 2011, Susan Van Horn said…
Not from bean to bar. I do make hand rolled truffles as well as toffees and caramels. I'm trying to get it together to take it to the next level which means...take it seriously, start a website and sell them on a larger scale. Right now, I sell them by word of mouth and it's been alright but, it still feels like I'm in the "hobby" state. It's a bit hard to get it all going with everything else happening in my life. But, this is my R&D year so, I can take my time and really get a sense of how I want to proceed. So glad to have you in the forum!
At 6:43pm on March 31, 2011, Susan Van Horn said…
Lourdes, I did take the Ecole Chocolat class and I loved it. It was terrific to be able to work it around my schedule. HOWEVER, the number one thing you should know is to notget too far behind because then it's really intense trying to catch up. Dale's description of the class is very good. However, the instructors are always available via email. granted, it might not be an instant answer but, you usually hear back same day or next day. Regarding the hands on work - the course has many videos that you can watch and there are many websites you can visit that have them as well. Most are great for those of us who need to "see" how it's done. Good luck! It's worth doing!
At 10:32pm on March 27, 2011, Dale Anderson said…


I took the Ecole class several years ago, before I had much hands-on experience with chocolate. This is what I remember...

The strong point of the initial on-line class is that you are forced to do lots of web research. This includes exploring some of the history and basic information about chocolate, varieties, what other chocolatiers are doing, who your competition might be, and what you think will distinguish your product. You will research availability and costs of supplies, equipment, and packaging. You will research business models, and write a business plan. You will seek out recipes on-line, and will be provided with recipes in the course. The course itself has a wealth of downloadable information, much of which is useful. The material is mostly well organized, and there is some sharing and cross-learning from other students.

The downside of the course (for someone without much hands-on experience), is that your practical experiments (making ganache, tempering chocolates) are done pretty much blind.  You will be given instruction for making ganache, and tempering chocolate (by seeding and tabliering), but alone in the privacy of your own kitchen, it is hard to know what you're doing wrong (or right). A one-time seeding exercise is not terribly useful if you don't have knowledge or a way to assess which of the variables (chocolate temperature, agitation, quality of the seed, ambient temperature and humidity, type of chocolate, etc.) are affecting the outcome. You don't have someone to ask during the course of your experiments. This part of the class can get you started, but in-person instruction and mentoring by a chocolate professional was for me the key to skill development and competency. This initial class was useful for intellectual knowledge of the chocolate arts, but I found it a difficult format in which to learn the practical hands-on skills.

I hope that these dim memories are useful,



At 12:26pm on September 28, 2010, Pierrick marie Chouard said…
Good Morning Lourdes;

Sorry for the belated answer.I suggest you email me directly at to discuss our history in manufacuring in Ecuador and now abroad. I rarely go to the chocophile site, for lack of time really.
Alan Suarez and i would be hapy to correspnds with you and answer your questions. What will the book be called?.


At 9:00am on September 20, 2010, María Soledad Troya said…
Cuando regreses a Ecuador por favor contáctate conmigo Te invito a un chocolate o café aquií en nuestra cafetería en Quito.
At 10:30pm on September 19, 2010, María Soledad Troya said…
cuando llegas por Ecuador, o ya estas aqui?
At 6:53pm on July 9, 2010, deedee devi said…
lourdes dear ~

re: After years working with economic development projects in the area of cacao in Ecuador, I would love to build a business distributing, marketing and developing creative chocolate products.

> what do you have in mind? ~ aloha ~
At 6:00pm on July 7, 2010, María Soledad Troya said…
Lourdes, te felicito.... Entonces, cuando llegues te espero...
At 11:05pm on July 5, 2010, María Soledad Troya said…
Lourdes: qué n interesante lo que me cuentas.
Yo estoy trabajando en una cafetería groumet llamada Nocion Cafe. Además del café estamos muy interesados en el cacao nacional, particularmente en el sabor arriba y estamos elaborando chocolates artesanales.

Hemos investigado el tema por algún tiempo y tnemos mucah curiosidad por aprender más.
Cuáles son los chocolates de cacao nacional que mas te han gustado?

Ojalá puedas venir a visitarnos y así probar nuestrso chocolates artesanales.
Estas por aquí en Quito?
MI dirección es
Nocion Cafe
Foch e857 y 6 de deciembre
tel: 2545139

Cuéntame si puedes venir unos de estos días de esta semana...

att. Sole
At 10:40pm on July 3, 2010, María Soledad Troya said…
Hola, cómo estas?
suena muy interesante lo de tu libro, cómo surgió la idea?

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