Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The definition of the word chocolatier is a shop or person who makes AND sells confections. The next definition comes from the Chocolate of the Month Club (http://www.chocolateofthemonthclub.com/ ) -"Chocolatier: This word may be used to describe several different functions. A person who makes chocolates by hand in small batches is called a Chocolatier. A Chocolatier may be employed to evaluate beans and/or supervise the blending and roasting. In large companies, there may be as many as twenty. Chocolatiers will generally adjust blends, roasting times and other factors to create a final product that is consistent with prior product. " Chocolatiers are artisans of the trade. There aren't a lot of them around anymore so their skills should not be taken lightly. They are the craftsman and women of the chocolate industy. Don't be fooled by the new and very loose definition of the word chocolatier of today. A chocolatier does not come to your home and throw a party and show you how to use a chocolate temperer while trying to sell you it during the party.. A chocolatier does learn all about the beans from every origin of the world, they focus on chocolate and the entire process from start to finish of the product, their skills are often handed down from one generation to the next or they have studied with the masters and gained their knowledge from them. Today I found there is a big name company who has a program set up for independant consultants to sell their products during home parties much like Mary Kay, Avon and even Tupperware parties. These consultants are called chocolatiers. This saddens me greatly as these people have no training in the art, no knowledge of the making of chocolate down to which bean type is used and where it comes from by country and region. Chocolate making is not fool proof. Each and every chocolatier must know all of the factors in making it-anywhere from storing it to how the weather may affect the tempering of it and the final outcome of the product. It is a highly skilled trade to say the least. These consultants do not make the chocolate nor do they have a store or the training to do it. I find this one of the greates insults to the true artisans, the great ones such as Jacques Torres(http://www.jacquestorres.com/) Swiss chocolate maker Holl's (http://www.holls.com/) and others. It is a shame that this trade,craft and artisanship has had it's standards lowered so much that anyone can call themselves a chocolatier. I admire the greats. The past generations of chocolatiers from Switzerland, France, Belguim, Germany and many other countries. I have had the honor to meet one of the greatest chocolatiers there ever will be- the world renowed Jacques Torres. These are the true chocolatiers. You wonder why this is so upsetting to me? I am a Certified Chocolatier. One of the true artisans of the trade. I have been formally trained in the making of chocolate confections and I am proud of the not only my training, but my craft and the true artisans-the true chocolatiers.
Posted by Peg