It’s a Tough Job as Ecole Chocolat Graduates Arrive in Paris to Study Fine French Bonbons

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French Chocolate Culture Also on the Menu as Participants Work with Top Experts and Taste the Best That the City's Chocolatiers Have to Offer

Paris has been for 20 years – and is still – the capital of chocolate. . . It is here that new chocolatiers come to train.

Fourteen professional chocolatiers, most of them graduates of Ecole Chocolat's Professional Chocolatier Program, arrived in Paris this week to extend and deepen their knowledge and skills with various masters of the chocolate arts through the school's Masters Program in France.

Among the Parisian chocolate experts they worked with is Chloe Doutre-Roussel, who specializes in chocolate quality, trends and styles and whose passion for chocolate and drive to learn everything she can about the dark sweet has made her a top spokesman for all things chocolate. Doutre-Roussel conducted a workshop on Paris chocolatiers and French chocolate culture.

“Paris has been for 20 years – and is still – the capital of chocolate,” says Doutre-Roussel, adding that Paris chocolatiers inspire what happens in the rest of the world. "It is here that new chocolatiers come to train.”

Although Doutre-Roussel says there are no major new trends in French chocolate right now, several new chocolatiers are using their confections “to bring more joy and lightness” to the legendary French joi de vivre, currently still dampened by Europe's continuing economic woes. “There are new successful shops like Christophe Roussel (no relation) that have fun with chocolate, use bright flashy colors to create products with quality ingredients in elegant and modern packaging designs.”

Meanwhile, top Paris chocolatier Patrick Roger says he is a chocolate artist whose “primary client is me. I am the one who must guarantee the quality of the work. I dictate the taste of the chocolate, not the clients. However, it is the clients who inspire me. It is a love story." His goal in creating new flavors, Roger says, is “to rediscover the excellence of taste again, on a cultural level."

The Ecole Chocolat Masters Programs take chocolate professionals for hands-on training in the laboratories of world-class chocolate companies in Europe and to the heart of cacao growing centres such Ecuador and Costa Rica

“We made a decision early on that our hands-on advanced programs would not be taught in an artificial classroom setting but in professional laboratories with actual chocolatiers and chocolate makers as teachers,” says Pam Williams, Ecole Chocolat Founder and Lead Instructor. “This limits our opportunities to offer programs somewhat, but the results are much more intense and beneficial for the participants.”

Founded in 2003, Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts offers a portfolio of programs for chocolate making – mastering techniques while gaining the expertise and business knowledge needed to become a professional chocolatier or chocolate maker. Ecole Chocolat’s founder Pam Williams is the recipient of the Award of Excellence in Service to the Industry from the Fine Chocolate Industry Association. See our website:

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