Updated: Jul 6
It seems obvious to some and others will only understand after reading, what the difference between a chocolate maker and a chocolatier. We will clear it up for everyone and validate the definitions of each to those in the professions.
There are however crossovers and mixes of the professions. Some folks do both. Other professionals in chocolate only do chocolate making or chocolatier-ing.
What separates them is the ingredients they work with. Chocolate makers work with farmers, terroir, cultivars and strains of cacao as well as their aromas and fermentations. Chocolate makers work with the trees and beans and distinct ingredients.
Chocolatiers work with chocolate moulds in sterile kitchens with and culinary degrees. Chocolate making from bean to bar is taught to chocolatiers but that is simply the center of the Venn Diagram between the two AND not all chocolatiers or chocolate makers make chocolate from bean to bar. Typically chocolatiers will make bon-bons and other pralines and gianduja and mendiants, and...with additives likes preservatives and dairy.
A plant-based chocolate maker won't work with dairy. Dairy is an inclusion in chocolate and added by industrial manufacturers and dairy addicts. Don't get confused. A chocolate maker can make bon bons and the rest and even add chemicals. But, they would be doing the job of a chocolatier.
A chocolate maker grinds nibs, roast beans, sources cacao and much more on the supply side of chocolate. Once its produced by chocolate makers who yes, also often make bars, chocolate is sold to chocolatiers to make fine chocolate candies. The chocolate has to be finished first by the chocolate makers or the chocolatiers cannot use it for fine chocolate candies. Chocolatiers need the best possibly made chocolate.
When it comes to chocolate making, the job requires sourcing the best beans. You also have to know how and what makes beans worthy of being called the best. The best way to do that is to know which beans make the best chocolate. Not all beans are created equal. And, not all chocolate making processes are created equal either. Chocolate makers and their farmers' soil is responsible for giving the best product to the chocolatiers. The other to factors in sourcing the best beans are knowing the strain of cacao and having input or not on fermentation. Not all the chocolatiers know about sourcing and farming techniques for cacao and cocoa but they know how to use the tempering machines and conveyor belts and cooling tunnels and, well, they learned all that in school.
Bean to bar chocolate making is taught in culinary schools, but it really requires makers who know how to mould bon bons and make fancy fine chocolates. The best of both worlds would be a maker who makes farm to bon bon chocolate and a chocolatier who farms her own cocoa. These are very rare. Chocolatiers work on the demand side. Finding individuals who can make bon bons from farm fresh cacao is very rare but a very good thing. Those are some similarities AND differences between the 2 jobs. I hope this article helps anyone who is confused about what separates a chocolate maker and a chocolatier. If you have any questions let us know!