Does spending your day making (and tasting) delicious chocolates sound like a dream job?
Well, there’s actually a lot more to being a chocolatier than just chocolate. As well as whipping up tasty treats in the kitchen, chocolatiers also have to run a business selling their creations.
It’s an exciting and fast-paced job that requires a lot of hard work and commitment. In this guide we'll answer what is a chocolatier, and explore how to become a chocolatier.
What is a chocolatier?
A chocolatier is a chef who specialises in chocolate. They craft chocolate into truffles and bars, creating all sorts of shapes, colours, decorations and textures.
Being a chocolatier is a creative job where you can let your imagination run wild.
Chocolatiers use all kinds of flavours to make their tasty works of art. Master chocolatier Paul A. Young says there are loads of different ways to explore new recipe ideas – he’s even made chocolates out of black pudding and blue cheese!
But as well as having an artistic flair in the kitchen, chocolatiers use lots of science and maths in their jobs. They have to learn about the chemistry of chocolate. They have to calculate the way the chocolate breaks and whether it melts in your mouth.
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Making chocolate is a long and complicated process. Chocolatiers also have to master some very precise techniques, including dipping, decorating and molding. They also “temper” the chocolate, which means letting it cool very slowly.
Chocolatiers are business-people as well as chefs
They need to build up a brand, which means working on the company logo, packaging, and advertising. They usually work long hours, spending time on the marketing and book-keeping for their company.
Is a career as a chocolatier right for me?
A job as a chocolatier is an interesting, fun and creative job.
But it also involves a lot of hard work, enthusiasm and dedication. You’ll need to have a real passion and interest in chocolate.
Chocolatiers need excellent attention to detail and knowledge of flavours. Chocolate is a difficult food to work with – even a small change in the temperature of the room can ruin a whole batch – so you’ll also need to super patient!
Great people skills are also a must – these will help you build up a good relationship with your customers. It’s also important that you’re able to work independently and can handle working under pressure.
Sounds good - so how can I become a chocolatier?
There aren’t currently any academic qualifications to become a chocolatier, but it may help if you have hospitality or catering qualifications. This could include a Level 1 Diploma in Introduction to Professional Cookery, and/or a Level 2 Certificate in Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles.
A great way to become a chocolatier is by kick-starting your career through an apprenticeship.
This means you can learn while doing the job at the same time. You’ll study at a college or training centre, while also spending time gaining valuable experience in the kitchen.
Pro chocolatier Paul A Young says: “Apprenticeships are a brilliant way
to learn - we often have apprentice chocolatiers working with us in our kitchens. They gain exposure in all different aspects of the business - you can learn everything, from tempering chocolate to the running of day-to-day business.”
Do you have the entrepreneurial skills and creativity to be a chocolatier? Find out more in our Hospitality Career Zone.