Any amateur chef who has ever tried to make or work with chocolate at home can tell you that doing anything more than making a s’more can be pretty tricky. But for those who haven’t attempted cooking with the confection, the title of world-renowned chocolatier Amaury Guichon’s new Netflix competition, “School of Chocolate,” might seem a tad too studious for its sweet subject matter.
After all, how complex could chocolate really be to warrant its own educational institution on unscripted TV?
“It’s actually highly complicated,” Guichon, who hosts the series, told TheWrap. “There is the fun and technical, yet more decoration purpose, aspect of the chocolate. It’s usually what people are the most attracted to. But there is a whole different dimension, as far as structural, or if we talk even, like, the use of chocolate into edible products like chocolate bars, chocolate mousse, et cetera. We’re not going over that during the show, but there is so much science behind it.”
OK, so it seems there is clearly more to chocolate than you can pick up in one lesson, which makes it a very good thing that “School of Chocolate,” which launches Friday on Netflix, is an eight-episode show. Over those installments, you’ll find out the trickiest aspect of conquering chocolate in the kitchen.
“I think the main work with chocolate, and the biggest difficulty for any chocolatier, is working the shelf life,” Guichon said. “The major difference between pastry and chocolate is shelf life. Chocolate itself is extremely dry. It’s about 99.9% dry. That’s why you can keep it for a long time and it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, compared to an actual pastry. So usually when you refer to a ‘school of chocolate,’ it’s teaching the science of emulsion, long shelf life, controlling water activity. Can I freeze a chocolate? Can I keep it in the fridge? What action will it have to the final taste and look of the product? The title of the show is more like — of course it’s 100% chocolate and pastry dedicated, almost about half and half, a little bit more heavy on the chocolate side — but we use the chocolate mostly as an art form in the show and the pastry is more scientific-based.”
“School of Chocolate” will see eight top pastry and chocolate professionals come to the “School of Chocolate to take their skills and careers to the next level,” per Netflix, with Guichon, who is known globally for creating mind-blowing chocolate showpieces and unbelievable pastries, acting as their professor. The season will end with one lucky student being named “Best in Class” and winning a prize package that includes “a career-changing opportunity.”
Guichon is hoping the show changes the lives of viewers at home, too.
“I’m not expecting people after watching the show to build six little chocolate showpieces in their living room or in their kitchen,” he said. “But one of my goals in having people watching the show, that is really different from what I can usually show in my social media — on social media, if you’re familiar, I just show the design, a little bit of the making process, just a mesmerizing moment. And the beauty with the opportunity to work with Netflix on the show, I can actually talk and explain everything that goes in it. So it’s very educational, and I believe people will find it interesting learning more about the matter itself.”
Now, if none of that happens for you, Guichon can already guarantee one part of your viewing experience: “I’m sure you will have a craving watching the show. No doubt.”
“School of Chocolate” launches Friday on Netflix.