A chocolatier refers to a person involved in the making of chocolates for a confectionary. Chocolatiers are different from chocolate makers; the latter is involved in the making of chocolates from cacao beans and other ingredients. Chocolatiers undertake a number of studies such as the history behind chocolate, modern techniques involved in cultivation and processing, the chemistry of flavors and textures of chocolates, techniques such as dipping, molding, tempering and what not.
Becoming a Chocolatier requires perfecting the art of not only making confectionery from chocolates but also crafting and embellishing confectionaries. Thus, it takes years to become a Chocolatier, but once you become one, you become part of a rich community.
Freelance chocolatiers are becoming prominent players in the freelance community—a community which is among the biggest professional communities in the world. The rise in the number of freelance chocolatiers is attributable to the rising competition and the benefits offered by the freelance community.
What contributes more to the rise in the digitalisation of the freelancing community in the form of a range of websites that allow freelancers to have better access to jobs. Thus, becoming a freelance chocolatier may be tough in the beginning, but once you know essential pointers, you can do away with much of the hassles.
Here are four pointers you should know before actually starting out as a freelance chocolatier:
1. Job requirements to become a freelance chocolatier
- The first major step towards becoming a freelance chocolatier is obtaining post-secondary training. For this purpose, an Associate’s degree program in the field of bakery and pastry arts will help a great deal in learning the art of preparing confections, desserts, pastries, bread, and other items from chocolates. The curriculum usually covers coursework in culinary mathematics, baking techniques, ingredients, baking equipment, nutrition, and food safety. The curriculum is designed in a way to provide comprehensive knowledge on various techniques used such as screaming, cutting and blending ingredients. Apart from these, the students are taught basic mathematics in the form of units of measurements, scaling, determination of costs and conversions.
- In order to enhance career prospects, seek specialized training at chocolate schools. There are a number of chocolate schools in India and abroad where you can hone your skills even more. Some of the chocolate schools in India are Magnificence Academy of Packaging Professionals, New Delhi; Swiss Wrap Chocolate Academy, Mumbai; Academy of Chocolate Arts; Craft and Social Development Organization (CSDO), New Delhi; and Barry Callebaut India Pvt. Limited, Mumbai. If you wish to learn at a foreign chocolate school, there are a number of great options available such as Kako Chocolate School, New Zealand; The Chocolate Academy, Belgium; Chocolate Academy Center, etc.
- Apart from the above, you can seek training at confectionery shops, bakeries and under pastry chefs, chocolate makers, etc. Your engagement will reflect upon the list of experience which you will have to add to your resume or portfolio of skills.
2. Skills needed to become a freelance chocolatier
- An eye for detail: As mentioned above, your job is not just about making confectionaries out of chocolates; you must create them in a stylish, elegant and meaningful manner. Your creations should have a meaning, and they should be able to give to people a sense of fulfillment. Such feeling is accentuated by elegant, decorative designs.
- Knowledge of flavors: A random mix of all kinds of ingredients to reach an undecided flavor will only waste time and financial resources. It is absolutely essential that you possess exemplary knowledge of different chocolate flavors.
- Innovation: Once you are out of chocolate school, you have to brace yourself to face the reality of business. To run a successful business as a chocolatier, you will have to come up with something different—something which will bewitch the onlooker and make him wonder what the taste of the item would be like. If you come up with commonly known items, you may fail to become an accomplished chocolatier.
- Communication skills: Usually chocolatiers work in a team, and when in a team, you will have to coordinate and communicate with each member. Each member is tasked with a particular function, and you must be able to coherently communicate your suggestions, requirements, and reservations about the manner in which the function is being performed.
- Hygiene: Food is loved by all, and many times, people just start digging and don’t bother checking into the hygiene aspects of the same. Well, even if they do not bother, you must avoid compromising with hygiene throughout your work. Make sure utensils are washed every day; workers wear gloves and hair masks; there are no rodents lurking in the kitchen and shop and whatnot. You should take a really serious note of the consequences of health issues which may arise out of inadequate attention to hygiene.
3. Work opportunities for freelance chocolatier
There are a number of work opportunities available to chocolatiers. You can work at pastry shops, confectionaries, hotels, bakeries, cafes, etc. If you want to teach other people the secrets of a chocolatier, you can take the academic route and teach at any of the many chocolate schools in India or abroad.
The most fundamental aspect of all this discussion is keeping tabs on job vacancies. There is a simple and convenient way to keep a tab on job availability—freelance websites. These websites require the creation of profile account, upload of a portfolio of skills and submission of applications. A major advantage of these websites is that they regularly send notifications regarding job vacancies as per your customized skills and preferences. Examples of these websites are linkedin.com, worknhire.com, freelance.com, and guru.com.
4. Pay scale of a freelance chocolatier
The pay scale depends on a number of factors such as the educational qualification and experience of the chocolatier, the status of the workplace, the quantity of new and innovative creations credited to the chocolatier and what not. If you are an experienced freelance chocolatier, you will not have much trouble naming your pay rate; however, where you are starting new in the field, you might have to negotiate a great deal to get your pay rate approved.
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