Chocolatier: What It Is and What They Do. (Pastry Chef Career)

A chocolatier is a highly skilled artisan or professional who creates chocolate confections and products. Pursuing a career as a chocolatier is one of the many opportunities for pastry chefs.

In this article, we delve into the captivating world of chocolatiers, exploring what they are and what their role is in crafting exquisite chocolate creations using a unique blend of artistry and craftsmanship in their daily pursuits.

A chocolatier is a highly skilled artisan or professional who creates chocolate confections and products. Pursuing a career as a chocolatier is one of the many opportunities for pastry chefs.

In this article, we delve into the captivating world of chocolatiers, exploring what they are and what their role is in crafting exquisite chocolate creations using a unique blend of artistry and craftsmanship in their daily pursuits.

Table of Contents:

What is a Chocolatier?

Chocolatiers play a crucial role in the world of fine chocolates and gourmet sweets, delighting people with creations made from one of the world’s most beloved treats, chocolate.

In essence:

Chocolatiers are experts in working with chocolate, transforming it into a wide range of tasty treats such as truffles, bonbons, pralines, chocolate bars, and other confectionery items. They combine a knowledge of chocolate with creativity to craft visually appealing and delicious chocolate creations.

Chocolatiers typically source high-quality chocolate and may experiment with various flavours, fillings, decorations and techniques to create unique and enticing chocolate products.

Being a master chocolatier involves perfecting the art of working with chocolate to create desserts and skillfully creating pieces of art with chocolate.

Traditionally, chocolatiers, especially in Europe, are trained through apprenticeships with other chocolatiers. It is now common for chocolatiers to start as pastry or confectionery chefs or attend culinary training specifically for working with chocolate. To learn how to become a chocolatier, please read our article.

A chocolatier can be a person or company that makes or sells chocolate candy and confectionery. While some chocolatiers may run their chocolate shops or boutiques, others work in more extensive chocolate manufacturing facilities or as part of pastry and dessert teams in restaurants or bakeries.

Chocolatiers are experts in working with chocolate, transforming it into a wide range of tasty treats.

Common Questions about Chocolatiers: Asked and Answered.

Before proceeding with this article, it may be helpful first to answer commonly asked questions about chocolatiers as listed below:

Is a Chocolatier a Real Job?

Being a chocolatier is a real and specialised profession. They are skilled artisans who create various chocolate confections like truffles or bonbons. They train in chocolate work, including tempering, moulding, shaping, and decorating and work in places like boutique chocolate shops, patisseries, bakeries, restaurants or hotels.

In such set-ups, like restaurants or bakeries, chocolatiers often work in pastry and dessert teams. Chocolatiers can also work in chocolate manufacturing facilities.

Chocolatiers may also establish independent chocolate-making businesses, running their chocolate shops or boutiques. Some chocolatiers also participate in competitions to showcase their chocolate-making skills and creativity.

Do Chocolatiers Make Their Own Chocolate?

Chocolatiers typically don’t produce chocolate from scratch, starting directly with raw cacao beans. Instead, they usually begin with high-quality, pre-made chocolate that they then use to create various chocolate confections like truffles, bonbons, bars, and other treats.

Making chocolate from cacao beans involves several complex steps, including fermenting, drying, roasting, grinding, refining, and conching the beans to produce chocolate in its purest form. Companies specialising in chocolate production or bean-to-bar chocolate makers often carry out this process, focusing on crafting chocolate from the bean level.

Chocolatiers, conversely, concentrate on the artistic and creative aspects of chocolate-making. They work with pre-made high-quality chocolate, often called couverture chocolate, specifically formulated for professional use in making confections. Chocolatiers then melt, temper, mould, shape, fill, and decorate this pre-made chocolate to create their unique and artisanal chocolate treats.

While some chocolatiers might work with chocolate couverture sourced from various chocolate manufacturers, others may collaborate with or purchase chocolate from speciality chocolate producers known for their exceptional quality, unique flavour profiles, and ethical sourcing practices. This allows chocolatiers to focus on their craft of creating delicious and visually appealing chocolate creations without the need to produce chocolate from scratch.

What Is a Chocolate Expert Called?

The term chocolate expert describes individuals who are highly knowledgeable and skilled in the world of chocolate, whether it is its creation, production, history, flavours, varieties, tasting techniques or expertise in specific areas related to chocolate production and appreciation.

Such chocolate experts can be referred to in several ways.

Chocolatier: While chocolatiers primarily focus on creating chocolate confections, they often possess extensive knowledge about chocolate, its properties, and various techniques involved in chocolate-making.

Chocolate Sommelier: Similar to a wine sommelier, a chocolate sommelier is an expert in chocolate tasting, pairing, and understanding the nuanced flavours and characteristics of different chocolates. They guide others in experiencing and appreciating various types of chocolates.

Chocolate Expert or Chocolate Connoisseur: These terms generally refer to someone with a deep understanding and expertise in all aspects of chocolate, ranging from its production methods to its history, flavour profiles, and industry trends.

Cacao Specialist: This term might be used for individuals with expertise in cultivating, sourcing, and processing cacao beans—the primary ingredient in chocolate. They understand the intricacies of different cacao varieties and the factors influencing their quality.

A chocolate expert is highly knowledgeable and skilled in the world of chocolate.

What Are Other Names for A Chocolatier?

A chocolatier can be referred to by various names or titles that reflect their expertise in working with chocolate and creating artisanal confections.

These terms are used interchangeably or specifically to describe individuals specialising in working with chocolate, crafting delicious and often visually stunning chocolate creations. They emphasise different aspects of the craft, expertise, and creativity involved in chocolate-making.

Some alternative names or related terms for a chocolatier include:

Chocolate Maker: While this term often refers to someone who produces chocolate from cacao beans (bean-to-bar), it can also encompass individuals who specialise in creating chocolate confections.

Master Chocolatier: This term emphasises a high level of expertise and mastery in working with chocolate, suggesting advanced skills and knowledge.

Chocolate Artisan: This term highlights the artistic and handcrafted nature of the chocolates made by skilled individuals.

Chocolate Craftsman/Craftswoman: This term emphasises the craftsmanship and skill of creating artisanal chocolate confections.

Candy Maker: While broader in scope, this term can include chocolatiers among those who specialise in making various candies, including chocolates and confections.

Confectioner: This term encompasses professionals skilled in making various sweet treats, including chocolates, candies, pastries, and desserts.

Chocolate Chef: This title emphasises the culinary aspect of working with chocolate, suggesting expertise and creativity in using chocolate as a primary ingredient in culinary creations.

Chocolatier-Pâtissier: This term combines the skills of a chocolatier and a pastry chef (pâtissier), implying chocolate confections and pastry-making expertise.

Is A Chocolate Sculptor Also a Chocolatier?

A chocolate sculptor may not necessarily be referred to as a traditional chocolatier, although there can be some overlap in skills and expertise.

While traditional chocolatiers predominantly specialise in creating confections such as bonbons, chocolate sculptors focus more on the artistic and visual aspects of working with chocolate, often leaning towards designing and sculpting elaborate and decorative chocolate pieces.

Here’s a further breakdown:

Chocolatiers may create chocolate showpieces and centrepieces, but this is not their primary focus. Chocolatiers can, however, move on to specialising in the design and making of chocolate showpieces.

A chocolate sculptor, while not a traditional chocolatier, uses chocolate as a medium for creating intricate sculptures or artworks. They may sculpt life-sized figures, detailed sculptures, or artistic displays entirely from chocolate. Chocolate sculptors may work with chocolatiers or chocolate makers to create these sculptures, which can be used for events, weddings, or other occasions.

Chocolate sculptors may also be skilled in other artistic techniques, such as sugar sculpting or cake decorating. They also require expertise in working with chocolate at different temperatures, understanding its properties for sculpting, and utilising specialised tools for shaping and carving.

While chocolate sculptors might not be solely classified as traditional chocolatiers, expertise can overlap. Individuals might possess skills across areas, combining expertise in creating confections with the ability to sculpt or design elaborate chocolate works. Some professionals may indeed encompass skills from multiple chocolate-related disciplines.

Famous Chocolate Sculptor, Amaury Guichon at work creating an electric chocolate car.

What is a Chocolate Designer?

While “chocolate designer” is not commonly used, it can refer to someone who designs and creates custom chocolate confections for clients. This role may involve working with a chocolatier or a chocolate maker to create unique and personalised chocolate products.

Difference Between a Chocolatier and a Chocolate Maker.

The term “chocolatier” focuses on the artistry and craftsmanship of working with ready-made chocolate to create chocolate confections, distinguishing these professionals from chocolate-makers who primarily make chocolate from scratch using cacao beans or cocoa mass.

Both contribute to the world of chocolate but have distinct specialities and areas of expertise within the chocolate industry:


A chocolatier is a skilled artisan or professional who creates chocolate confections and products.

Chocolatiers work with already processed and tempered chocolate, often in the form of couverture chocolate (high-quality chocolate with a higher cocoa butter content).

They use this chocolate to make delicious treats such as truffles, bonbons, pralines, chocolate bars, chocolate-covered fruits, and more.

Chocolatiers focus on artistic and creative aspects of chocolate, including flavour combinations, fillings, and decorative techniques.

They may also incorporate other ingredients like nuts, fruits, spices, or liqueurs into their creations to enhance flavour and texture.

Chocolatiers require specialised training in pastry arts, including chocolate work, sugar work, and cake decorating courses.

Chocolatiers often run their chocolate shops or boutiques, where they sell their handmade chocolates to customers.

Chocolate Maker:

A chocolate maker is involved in the earlier stages of chocolate production.

Chocolate makers work with raw cacao beans or cocoa mass, processing them into chocolate products.

They are responsible for sourcing, roasting, grinding, and refining cacao beans to produce chocolate liquor or cocoa mass.

From chocolate liquor, chocolate makers create various types of chocolate, such as dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate, by adjusting the proportions of ingredients like cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar.

Chocolate makers focus on the technical aspects of chocolate production, including quality control, bean selection, and production.

Chocolate makers require specialised training in chocolate making, which includes courses in roasting, grinding, and refining cocoa beans.

They may supply their chocolate to chocolatiers, bakeries, confectioneries, or other food businesses that use it to create chocolate confections.

What Does a Chocolatier Do? Roles and Responsibilities.

The daily duties of a chocolatier can vary depending on their specific role, work environment, and the demands of the day. However, here’s a general overview of the typical tasks and responsibilities a chocolatier may perform daily:

Producing Chocolate Products.

One of the primary duties of a chocolatier is to produce high-quality chocolate products. Chocolatiers make individual chocolates, including truffles and those filled with fruit, caramel, coffee, or liqueur, chocolate bars, and chocolate confectionery, and all manner of chocolate-based desserts, including entremets, tarts, cakes, and pastries.

This involves selecting high-quality ingredients, storing chocolate properly and chocolate-making tasks like tempering chocolate and moulding chocolate:

Chocolate Tempering: Chocolatiers often start their day by tempering chocolate. This process involves carefully heating and cooling the chocolate to specific temperatures, ensuring it has the desired texture, shine, and snap.

Chocolate Moulding: Chocolatiers use moulds to create various chocolate shapes, including truffles, bonbons, bars, and decorative pieces. They carefully fill the moulds with tempered chocolate, tapping out air bubbles and allowing the chocolate to set.

Ganache Making: Preparing ganache is a frequent task. Chocolatiers combine chocolate with cream and sometimes other flavourings to create smooth and flavourful fillings for their chocolates.

Enrobing and Hand-Dipping: Chocolatiers may enrobe or hand-dip fillings like nuts or fruit centres in tempered chocolate to create uniform and visually appealing coatings.

Decoration of Chocolate Products.

Chocolatiers often decorate their creations with artistic designs or patterns using piping, airbrushing, hand-painting, or applying edible decorations like sprinkles or gold leaf.

Chocolatiers often decorate their creations with artistic designs or patterns.

Design and Creating of Chocolate Showpieces.

Chocolatiers can design and make chocolate showpieces, which are elaborate and artistic bespoke showpieces for events and festivals. This, however, is not their primary focus.

Inspecting Chocolates for Quality Control.

Maintaining consistent quality is crucial. Chocolatiers carefully inspect each chocolate for imperfections, ensuring they meet their high standards.

Chocolatiers must also check the conformity of raw materials and products throughout the manufacturing process.

Keeping Track of Chocolate Inventory.

They keep track of their chocolate inventory, ensuring they have enough ingredients, moulds, and packaging materials to meet production demands.

Engage with Customers.

Chocolatiers in retail settings, such as chocolate boutiques, engage with customers. They assist customers with selections, offer recommendations, and provide information about their chocolates.

Develop New Recipes for Chocolate Confections.

Chocolatiers often experiment with new flavours and fillings to create unique and innovative chocolate products, particularly for seasonal occasions like Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. Recipe development may involve testing different ingredients and ratios.

Maintain Standards of Cleanliness and Equipment Maintenance.

Maintaining a clean and organised workspace is essential for food safety and efficiency. Chocolatiers routinely clean and disinfect premises, equipment and utensils and perform routine maintenance on machinery.

Packaging and Beautiful Presentation of Chocolate Products.

After creating their chocolates, chocolatiers carefully package them in attractive boxes or containers, ensuring that each piece is presented beautifully.

Business Management (for Independent Chocolatiers).

For those running their chocolate businesses, daily duties may include inventory procurement, marketing, financial management, and customer service.

Staying Informed of Industry Trends.

Keeping up with industry trends, new techniques, and ingredients is essential. Chocolatiers often research and explore new ideas to stay competitive and innovative.

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