Pam Williams: Ecole Chocolat

Chocolate and helping people to realize their dreams are Pam Williams’ passions. She has been involved in the chocolate industry since 1981 when she created her first chocolate endeavor, au Chocolat. Since then she has made the study and teaching of the chocolate arts her life’s work. “Not everyone is so lucky to have chocolate as a career and business. I’m always the most popular person in the room once people hear what I do.” says Pam. Pam founded Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts in 2003. The school continues to deliver high quality educational programs to students all over the world, literally, with EC graduates coming from over 90 countries at last count. Based on Pam’s experience, the Ecole Chocolat portfolio of programs offer what she considers to be the foundation for any successful chocolatier or chocolate maker or expert chocolate connoisseur —a complete understanding of the chocolate making process and mastery of the skills required, matched with a “plan of action” that fulfills both career or personal goals. Students develop knowledge and skills in such topics as

Virginia Philip: Master Sommelier

A Sensory Delight  Pour a glass of wine, white or red, and assess its color. If white, is the hue closer to that of pure water, or is it more golden honey? If red, does its shade lean more brown or ruby? Swirl your glass and hold it up to the light of your iPhone and look again. Can you see through the wine? Write down your opinions on the card under ‘Visual.’ Now, put your nose through the rim of your stemware. Come on, get down in there. What scents are prominent? Are they cinnamon, oak, coconut, pineapple, vanilla, spice, tobacco, mushroom, mocha, coffee, or some combination therein? Swirl your glass and try again. Whatever comes to mind, write it down on your card under ‘Nose.’ Now, take your first sip of the wine (pretend you’ve held out this long). What flavors do you taste? Are they tart and sour, or rich with fruit? Do you taste the earth? If so, is it mineral, rock, gravel, tar, or maybe forest? If you taste fruit, is it citrus, apple, apricot,

Lauren Haas: 5-Star Pastry Chef

The scent of vanilla bean permeates throughout the kitchen prep area. Split and scraped, its tiny black seeds are combined with tarragon, sugar, and water to create a simple syrup. Tangerine segments are submerged into the syrup and a vacuum machine cycles through five times to force the tarragon syrup into the cells of the tangerine segments. These are just a few of the steps to complete Tangerine Kiss, an aromatic creation of 5-star pastry chef and instructor, Lauren V. Haas. Pastry students hold their breath as their creations are scrupulously examined — their execution and presentation. Then Haas gives a nod of approval. There’s a collective sigh of relief as students break into smiles. It’s another day of delectable masterpieces well done. Before teaching, Haas was named a top 10 pastry chef in 2016 by Dessert Professional. She worked in the White House, the Hotel du Pont, and at other prestigious and boutique establishments. She is currently a full-time faculty member of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a USA ambassador representing various brands, including 100%