Phone: (630) 894-0898
In 1991, Pam Vieau, owner & resident chocolatier of Chocolate Inspirations, Inc, attended a chocolate class from a local chocolatier. After the class she decided to make her homemade English Toffee as Christmas gifts for her friends. The response was incredible. She was so overwhelmed with requests to purchase her English Toffee her daughter and friends helped her fill the orders.
Pam was in school to be a court reporter but she was falling in love with the magic world of chocolate. After some research she found additional classes taught by a French Master Chocolatier on the East Coast. She saved her money, signed up for the classes and in her first class Pam the housewife/hobby cook was standing next to head Pastry Chefs of a 5 star hotels. The instructor was so impressed with Pam’s determination he took her under his wing and offered extra help after class with techniques and the art of fine ingredients.
In 1992 Pam quit court reporting school, traded a batch of cookies for her first chocolate machine and launched Chocolate Inspirations. While Pam’s daughter Marcy does not share her mother’s passion for cooking, like most she loves chocolate and was very happy to taste test and help her mom package candy on her days off of work. To help her mom Marcy tried her hand at sales and marketing and she loved working with the customers. Mother and daughter not only discovered new careers they realized they were a great team and became partners.
In the summer of 1992 they entered Pam’s English Toffee in the National Association of Fancy Foods competition and was a finalist (the top three) out of hundreds of entries. Pam went on to develop new confections such as Cinnamon Toast Toffee, Coffee Toffee, Cashew Brittle, Coconut Brittle and Marcy kept on selling! Marcy and Pam are part of a large family so during busy times sisters, aunts and cousins come in to help.
In 2009 after a suggestion from a Vegan who missed English Toffee, Pam developed a Gourmet Vegan English Toffee. The vegan community pronounced the Vegan English Toffee an immediate success and inspired Pam to create an entire line of Gourmet Vegan confections.
Almost 20 years later and Pam and Marcy still love working together and creating decadent chocolates for their customers. Recently Pam and Marcy received this quote from someone that tasted their candy “Oh my word! Those chocolates changed my life- no kidding”. Pam and Marcy certainly understand because the chocolates changed their life too!
About the Chef
Pam Vieau, owner and resident chocolatier of Chocolate Inspirations, Inc. is a culinary artist with fifteen years of practical experience developing and marketing specialty chocolate products and confections. She is an accomplished chocolatier with a solid knowledge of chocolate and confections having trained under American, Swiss, Belgian and French Master Chocolatiers.
In addition to experience, Pam’s passion and enthusiasm for her craft provide the foundation for all her classes whether they are simple or complex. Her teaching began in 2002 based on the recommendation and support of her friend and mentor, Elaine Gonzalez. She began with Triton College, where she developed and taught the chocolate and confection courses for the culinary curriculum. The same year she began teaching at the Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionary Art.
At both schools she taught a Chocolate I comprehensive class and added a Chocolate II class for more advanced techniques and confections. Pam also added short introductory “themed” classes for the non-professional looking to have fun.
In 2003, she began her association with AACT (American Association of Candy Technologists) and their two year confection program for AACT members. The successful combination of scientific theory provided by industry experts, and Pam’s expertise in practical applications, made this course a remarkable industry program.
Pam consults and conducts research and development for small and large food and confection companies in both the retail and industrial markets. She also teaches food professionals, confectioners, chefs, food scientists and hobby cooks.
Since 2002 Pam has continued to refine and develop courses structured to meet the specific needs of the participants. She emphasizes theory as well as practical application. As she shares her experience and knowledge, her students will expand their culinary expertise during their exploration of chocolate and confections. She provides a memorable learning experience filled with dedication, passion, enthusiasm, and laughter.