Natalie Glock, 32 Apprentice chocolatier at Paul A Young, Soho
Photography ©Rob Greig
How did you become a chocolatier? Did you have to get an MA in cocoa?
‘I’d always wanted to be in food and I should’ve done it earlier than I did. Turning 30, I realised it was my last chance to make a change and succeed in a new career. So I bit the bullet, left my job as an online journalist and signed up for the Cordon Bleu pastry course. Then I got a job with Paul A Young and I’ve been an apprentice since last June.’
What do you do day-to-day?
‘We do everything by hand, so I spend a lot of time tempering chocolate, preparing it to be shaped. You take warm chocolate, pour it on cold marble, make a big lovely mess and then get it back into your tub and bring it back to body temperature so you can work with it. Then we’re either rolling truffles or making ganaches or filling shells.’
Is the best thing about your job that chocolatier sounds like musketeer?
‘It is pretty good! And when you’re tempering, with all the noise of the palette knives, you actually feel like a bit of a musketeer, too.’
Do you ever think ‘I can’t eat any more of this chocolate crap, I just want a steak’?
‘I’m okay in the mornings, making comparisons between chocolates, but after lunchtime I do sort of hit the wall a little bit!’
Are there any downsides to the job? Diabetes maybe?
‘Going from sitting at a desk to standing up all day is hard work physically, but you get used it.’
So you’re happy that you changed careers?
‘It was tough. But I wanted to make things by hand so I could feel satisfied with what I was doing. That’s the most important thing.’
Interview by Eddy Frankel
Hours 50 p/w
Starting salary £16,000 p/a
Qualifications Pastry course or similar work experience