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Which training to become a chocolatier?

Chocolate is appreciated all over the world, but it is in France that this love is best expressed through pastry making. Regarded as a fully-fledged art form, the profession of chocolatier requires specific qualities. At Le Cordon Bleu Paris, different diplomas lead to this profession and train future chocolate virtuosos step by step. Whether you are graduating from high school or changing careers, whether you are a French citizen or come from anywhere in the world, our training programs are open to all.

The job of a chocolatier

The chocolatier is above all a pastry chef. He works the chocolate from its raw base: the cocoa. Depending on his specialisation, the chocolatier is invested with different missions, all of them essential to achieve perfect chocolate pieces for gourmet customers.

Careers and specialisations

The profession of chocolatier requires complete mastery of the product's manufacturing process. The chocolatier has to manage temperatures, imagine and establish finished product models based on patterns that they have created themselves, and control baking times. It is therefore a job that requires versatility and a particular culinary know-how. The job of a chocolatier can be performed in a pastry shop or in a chocolate shop.

The chocolatier can also specialise in confectionery. It is thanks to his expertise in the art of sugar that we find this touch of sweetness in the taste. Whether it's pulled sugar or candy-based decorations, the confectionery expert chooses the best option using his or her creative mind and discerning eye.

The chocolatier's missions

The chocolatier is a craftsman. For this reason, he is endowed with a manufacturing technique which he uses to meet his customers' orders. He must be able to make French pastry classics as well as personal creations. His aim is to stimulate all the senses of the customer. The final piece must be as delicious to look at as it is to taste. The chocolatier can also work with textures during the preparation to give a unique personality to his creations.

Qualities required to be chocolatier

As for all restaurant owners, rigour is a required quality. The chocolatier must be skilful and meticulous as he is expected to make original decorations. Being organised is obviously a sought-after quality. The chocolatier must know his working environment by heart. He must know where the ingredients are and at what temperature they should be kept. They must also be able to identify their customers, their bestsellers and their less popular products in order to offer the best choices every day.

Our Training programmes

Le Cordon Bleu Paris offers two programmes leading to the profession of chocolatier. The courses are taught by renowned chefs in their field. Chef Eric Briffard, winner of the 1994 Meilleur Ouvrier de France award, has selected the best teachers to train future chocolate experts. Among them, Chef Fabrice Danniel, Deputy Director of Culinary Arts and head of the Pastry and Bakery Department, takes his mission very seriously. He and all the teachers aim to train the best pastry chefs while passing on a passion so dear to their hearts. The students must leave the institute with lasting memories and, above all, a remarkable know-how that is sought after by the best restaurant owners.

Pâtisserie Diploma

Admitted candidates can enter the Pâtisserie Diploma from the age of 18, experience or practical knowledge is not required.

  • For three months, students enrolled in the basic module are introduced to the basic techniques and vocabulary of French pastry-making. A visit to the roof of the institute is planned to get acquainted with the school's vegetable garden as part of an introduction to environmental sustainability.

  • Intermediate level students consolidate the knowledge they have acquired in the course of their professional lives. In this group, the focus is on working with chocolate. Among other things, the students learn the techniques of crystallisation and moulding. In this module, the students are also made aware of the world of beekeeping and the way in which sugar can be used in chocolate creations.

  • Finally, the superior level leads the students to express their personality through the creation of a chocolate piece. At this level, students are equipped with a wide range of skills and can already be introduced to the concept of cost control. A visit to the Rungis market is planned to learn more about the range of possible ingredients.
Overall, the training programme aims to provide both theoretical and practical knowledge. The chefs teach their professional techniques as well as their working methods.

The duration of this degree can be shortened to 6 months with the intensive formula. In this format, the courses take place 6 days a week with 6 to 12 hours of learning per day.

The tuition fee is 28,000 euros. This includes the application fee, the course content and the compulsory equipment.

Pâtisserie Diploma with Internship Pathway

The Pâtisserie Diploma with Internship Pathway is based on the same theoretical courses as the Diplôme de Pâtisserie. At the end of the diploma, students take written and practical exams as well as a 4 to 6-month internship which allows the theoretical knowledge to be put to good use. The internship takes place at one of Le Cordon Bleu Paris's prestigious partner establishments.

Due to the internship, the course lasts between 14 and 16 months and costs 30,000 euros. The price includes the application fee, the pedagogical content and the mandatory equipment. 

For both diplomas, the courses are given in French and then translated into English for international students. At the end of the course, Le Cordon Bleu International Foundation delivers the Pâtisserie Diploma or the Pâtisserie Diploma with Internship Pathway depending on which module is chosen.

Furthermore, the exam success rate has reached 100% over the past two years and our former students quickly find a job after their training. Here are a few testimonials that illustrate this.

Former student testimonials

Former student of the Diplôme de Pâtisserie, Georgios Papavgoulis gives us his feedback on the programme he followed: "In addition to having the opportunity to study in a multicultural environment, Le Cordon Bleu Paris gave me the tools and the motivation to be able to achieve my goal: to open my own boutique."

Originally from Turkey, Ozge Gultekin explains the versatility of the diploma through his testimony: "My internship at Pierre Hermé was an excellent experience for me. It allowed me to deepen the techniques I learned at school. I had the opportunity to work in all positions, from making the bases to dressing the desserts, and I also had the chance to work alongside very competent chefs."

Finally, in an interview, former American student Scarlett Tyrrell comes away with some vivid memories: "My best memory is my work with chocolate: during the superior certificate we had to make a chocolate piece for the exam. We all managed to make a piece we were proud of and I loved the atmosphere in the kitchen at the end of the exam when we looked at what we had created."

There are 4 intakes per year (January, April, July, October). If you would like to train or if you would like to improve your skills in this field, register for one of these sessions by contacting our recruitment department at the following e-mail address: paris@cordonbleu.edu. Students who wish to work as a chocolatier in France can then follow a CAP diploma at a training center.

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