It's National Chocolate Week! So I thought I would share and reflect on my experience at Callebaut :)
In June, I was given the opportunity to attend a Chocolate Business Start-up Course/work experience at the Barry Callebaut UK Chocolate Academy in Banbury for 5 days (with accommodation provided and a great breakfast!!).
On the first day, I was introduced to Julie Sharp, Beverly Dunkley and Clare
England – awesome people to work with, who took me on a tour of the factory and introduced me to the rest of the team. They made some yummy chocolate chip cookies, gelato and my all-time favourite – hot chocolate!! Later that day, I had the opportunity to attend a Professional chocolate tasting session where I tasted a variety of different percentages of chocolates.
The next day I sat through a very interesting Negotiation workshop and the speaker was advising us on how to promote our products to companies the right way. After a fabulous lunch, I was able to assist Clare England in the NPD room and hand tempered a variety of chocolates such as Caramel, Orange, Gold and Cappuccino. It was fun to help and develop snacks for a company using rice cakes, popcorn and inclusions. Incorporating the different percentages of chocolates including the 4th generation chocolate, Ruby and the new sugar reduced chocolate, Eclipse was a new and exciting experience.
As I had not much experience making vegan products, it was amazing to work with Julie Sharp trialing vegan recipes such as the Italian meringue, glazes, mousses, cookies and sables. It was an eye opener for me.
On the 4th day, I got to practice my hand dipping and tempering skills with the rest of the class. We worked as a team using the selmi chocolate enrober and made a variety of delicious chocolates.
The final day came so quickly and I had already eaten half my weight in chocolate!!! It was lovely to learn about upcoming trends in the chocolate industry and a useful aspect of the course was to know how to grow a chocolate business from scratch.
It was such an enjoyable experience to learn and work alongside some of the greatest chocolatiers. Working in this industry has been my personal interest and passion, and to have been given this opportunity has been absolutely incredible.
Thanks for reading!
Bakery students from around the UK and Ireland sharing their experiences