A Lindt Maître Chocolatier is a highly trained expert in all things chocolate. They embody the great skill, dedication and passion that make the creation of premium chocolate an art form. For U.S.-based Ann Czaja, becoming a Maître Chocolatier was a great experience. “It was the best thing I could’ve done,” she says. Here, she explains what it’s like to be a Lindt Maître Chocolatier.

There is no typical day at work

There’s never a dull moment for this professionally trained pastry-and-chocolate expert, who’s been with Lindt for 13 years. As a member of the research and development team, Czaja can be developing products in the lab one day and then teaching retail partners and clients about new flavours and products the next.

Career highlight: touring a cacao farm in Peru and tasting beans straight from the pod.

Being passionate is a job requirement

The best way to learn about a job is to observe it up close and from all angles. Czaja recommends going to work in the trade, and talking to people and showing your passion. Working in stores and on the front lines helped Czaja get a sense of what people want.

You have to respect the chocolate

“It’s my job to eat chocolate every day and I still love it,” she says. Having a good attitude is key: “Chocolate is temperamental and if you’re in a bad mood, the result will not be good.” Investing in good tools, like an infrared thermometer, is a must for perfecting techniques like tempering. “Life is too short for ordinary chocolate,” she says.