The Institute of Tourism Studies has launched the Chocolate Academy, an initiative that will promote the art of chocolate locally. ITS is an ideal place to have such a centre of learning about chocolate as it has the professional academic staff and the facilities to promote such an art in the country.
“The aims of the Academy are to improve the standards of our patissiers, to generate a passion for chocolate and chocolatiers, and to introduce the skills into the local market, which at the moment is not fully developed,” explained Jesmond Atkins, co-ordinator of the Academy and lecturer at ITS.
The idea for such an Academy came after World Wide Marketing organised a demonstration by Mr Phillipe Vancayseele, technical advisor for Callebaut, a Belgian company part of Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa, chocolate and confectionery products. The demonstration, held at ITS in March 2009, was very-well attended and ITS realised that there was a demand for courses in the art of chocolate.
Indeed a year after the event the ITS Chocolate Academy has already launched its first course, called “Starting with Chocolate”. The aim of this course is to offer in-depth knowledge in the art of chocolate making though both a theoretical and a practical approach. The areas covered include the origins of cocoa, chocolate in all its diversity, preparing chocolate for processing, making hollow figures and pralines, and enrobing and decoration techniques. It is intended for both professionals and students wanting to learn more about the subject.