I am a retired confectioner (40+ years), now consulting, and a member of the PMCA Education Committee. PMCA currently offers several courses during the year on a variety of topics, some of them I have led or taught. However they are targeted more for the larger companies. So they get very technical, including the chemistry behind the confections, covering the basic confectioney forms a large company would use, and also cover equipment for mass production. We have had several artisan confectioners attend in the past but their major complaint is that the course is too technical, too much time spent on industrial sized equipment, and a lack of time spent on how to generate their own new ideas and artisinal techniques.
We are now looking to offer courses geared more to the artisan confectioners by limiting the chemistry, eliminating production equipment discussion, and offer more into what an artisinal shop owner would be more interested in such as how to make more varieties of a particular confection, understanding what makes it work and how to alter your way. Also to reduce the course length (to reduce cost) from 4-5 days to maybe 3. As an example a caramel course would be more on unique ingredient use, forms, and techniques they could use to achieve color, function, and texture. It would have about 3/4 or more of the time hands on making these products. However they would have instructors who could explain the "why" of how things do or do not work as they have the fundamental chemistry knowledge as well as artisinal techniques.
I am looking for your ideas on what would make your ideal course:
- confectionery types / topics / depth / length
In other words, looking for your help to design courses that would be of the most value to the artisan.
This is your chance to help design what you want rather than try to find something close to it.