October 4, 2018
On Thursday, September 13th, our new post-grad certificate program, Advanced Chocolate and Confectionery Artistry, had a guest speaker come all the way from Colombia’s Casa Luker (a family owned chocolate manufacturer) to share his extensive knowledge on cacao with our students. Francisco Javier Gomez has over 40 years of experience working with cacao, which is the foundation necessary in chocolate making. He shared the process of how to make chocolate from a bean, how the cocoa beans from the cocoa pod are used to make cocoa butter, how to make cocoa cakes and the different grades of couverture chocolate.
Gomez explored the origin and history of cocoa with our students, how there are three types of cacao: Criollo, Forastero, Trinitario, which are all found on the same tree but all produce different aromas and flavors, and all possess different sensory characteristics. Gomez educated our students on a method used at Granja Luker, a cocoa research center created by Casa Luker, called grafting. This method is used to ensure top quality characteristics in the cocoa fruit. Casa Luker works closely with the farmers and has a team of scientists working with them as well.
The session also included a demo, a taste test, and application of different types of chocolate. Our students tried four different types of chocolate produced at Casa Luker. The white chocolate they tried stood out from the rest, as it tastes nothing like the white chocolate we have here in Canada.
Thank you, Francisco, for coming so far to share your knowledge on chocolate with us – it was a very special treat to start off our new Advanced Chocolate program.