Who can take tomorrow,
Dip it in a dream?
Separate the sorrow
And collect up all the cream?
The candyman can. The (nice kind of ) candyman can.
If Willy Wonka is still in retirement and Charlie is busy fighting off Veruca, Vancouver is a good place to look for an imaginative chocolatier. From Rachel Sawatzky and Thomas Haas to Thierry Busset, Greg Hook and Glenn Knowles, our city has more than our fair share of chocolate masters.
For this 2018 holiday season, our local chocolatier creations include: Festive peppermint ganache, Caramel cream snowflakes, Kirschwasser, cherries and marzipan kirsch and Grand Marnier with raspberry from Gem Chocolates. You can order Rum raisin marzipan, Whiskey truffle, Pallet maple syrup or Chocolate dipped pistachio marshmallows from Thierry.
At Thomas Haas, try the chocolate-covered ornaments and Santa belly filled with chocolate treats, Truffle tree, White chocolate angel or Matcha tannenbaum. The sculptors at Chocolate Arts have created Chris-Mouse, Gingerbread People, Mint mallow penguins and Eggnog truffle, and a Hazelnut lump of coal.
If you’d like to mastermind your own chocolates, you could go to Belgium, Switzerland or France to study at the grand chocolate and pastry schools. Check out the giant chocolate Christmas tree and other gorgeous creations from the Paris-based Patrick Roger, a Meilleur Ouvrier de France.
In Vancouver, Ecole Chocolat runs an intensive Professional Chocolatier program that is conducted online and runs over the course of three months.
In this program, you’ll take courses like Understanding Chocolate, the Physiology of Taste, Technique and Production and Entrepreneurship. Glenn Knowles, founder and chocolatier at Gem Chocolates, started his chocolate path at the Ecole.
If you’re seriously considering a life in chocolate, Knowles offers the following advice:
1. “You work for the love of chocolate, not the money.
2. Chocolate is a blend of art and science.
3. It is a good for for those who like to think with their hands and work with their minds
4. Work should be like Play.
5. Put some heart into every chocolate.
6. At any social gathering, a chocolatier is always a star attraction!”
Written by Elizabeth Newton
* Illustrations by Maurits Valk