The Professional Manufacturing Confectioners Association (PMCA) hosted a chocolate short course at the University of California-Davis last month to increase its presence on the West Coast.

Seven experienced instructors and two assistants led the training, which covered topics including sustainability, bean processing, tempering, enrobing, sensory and food safety. 

During a facility tour of Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco, attendees were treated to chocolate bar samples, house-made hot chocolate and great discussion around chocolate manufacturing. The group also experienced an exclusive wine and chocolate pairing session led by Andrew Waterhouse, director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at UC Davis. 

Instructors included Lead Instructor Marlene Stauffer, Blommer Chocolate Co.; Linda Harris, UC Davis; Peter Jamieson, SPI Pharma; Don Livingstone, Mars Wrigley; Rose Potts, Blommer Chocolate Co.; Nico Tomaselli, Lindt & Sprüngli; and Selina Wang, UC Davis. They were assisted by Ed Wilson, retired, AAK USA, and Rebecca Kuehn, Guittard Chocolate Co. 

Thalia Hohenthal of Guittard Chocolate Co. was also instrumental in planning this course.

The following students earned a course certificate of completion: 

  • Cynthia Angelo, Givaudan Flavors 
  • Mike Boaen, Fuji Vegetable Oil 
  • John Cahill, MANE 
  • Anjuli Dharna, Uncommon Cacao 
  • Mike Griffin, Fuji Vegetable Oil 
  • Tony Kendig, Jerome & Horner 
  • Arsema Kidane, Ghirardelli Chocolate Co.
  • Yvette Kopoushian, Blommer Chocolate Co.
  • Aaron Leong, Ghirardelli Chocolate Co.
  • Ed Luck, Jerome & Horner 
  • Marjan Morravej, FDA 
  • Brittany Ray, Sconza Candy Co.
  • Laura Santo, Blommer Chocolate Co.
  • Brandon Sermaine, PTL 
  • Nicole Silva, Sconza Candy Co. 
  • Joe Stevick, Madécasse 
  • Janet Straub, Creo Chocolate 
  • Tim Straub, Creo Chocolate 
  • Ron Sweetser, Dandelion Chocolate 
  • Allison Voll, Victus Ars 
  • Andrea Weis, AAK 

PMCA offered special thanks to the companies providing instructors, equipment and ingredients for the course: Blommer Chocolate Co., Dandelion Chocolate, Guittard Chocolate Co., Lindt & Sprüngli, Mars Wrigley, SPI Pharma, Tricor Systems Inc. and UC Davis.

PMCA aims to enhance the careers of confectionery and snack professionals through learning and building long-term personal connections, empowering its members to create products that bring people joy. 

PMCA recently formed a new regional committee, led by Rebecca Kuehn, Guittard Chocolate Co., to provide perspective on how to better serve the confectionery industry west of the Rockies.