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Netflix’s ‘School of Chocolate’ Is Your New Feel Good Reality Series

Chef Amaury Guichon is the Ted Lasso of chocolate.

If reality television has taught us anything, it’s that our desire for delicious, gorgeously crafted desserts is rivaled only by our desire to watch said desserts get made and judged. From The Great British Bake Off to Baking It to Nailed It! and dozens more, audiences can’t get enough of baking competition shows.

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And it’s easy to see why: these series are calming, feel-good programming that folks of all ages can enjoy. And after the last (insert your own number here) years, who among us isn’t worn out and frazzled by the news cycle/the pandemic/late stage capitalism? No wonder we long to escape into a pleasant world where the biggest threat is a soggy biscuit bottom, and where we can follow along with the plot while simultaneously scrolling on our phones.

Into this already crowded field of reality baking shows comes Netflix’s School of Chocolate, which follows world-renowned chocolatier Amaury Guichon as he coaches eight top pastry and chocolate professionals through the process of making spectacular chocolate showpieces. At the end of the series, one competitor will be crowned Best in Class, winning $50,000 and the opportunity to teach a masterclass at The Pastry Academy in Las Vegas, where Guichon teaches.

Guichon is famous for his dazzling creations made entirely out of chocolate, and has quickly amassed a fan base on social media:

A celebrity chef, seasoned competitors, a grand prize: it’s a familiar set-up, but with some twists that makes it all the more engaging. For starters, while the series is a competition, none of the contestants are eliminated. Those who wind up on the bottom receive extra coaching from Chef Guichon, full of encouragement and helpful tips.

The series emphasizes the “school” aspect of its title, with Guichon eager to share his trade secrets and skills with his students. His passion for the craft is irresistible, but what really shines is his passion for teaching. Even when the chefs make a creation that misses the mark, Guichon never criticizes or cuts them down. He commiserates, and encourages them to do better next time. He also celebrates the contestants for taking big risks, even when the risks fail completely.

Needless to say, its worlds away from Gordon Ramsey placing two slices of bread on either side of a contestant’s head and calling them an idiot sandwich.

Guichon also begin each challenge by focusing on a particular skill, walking his class through his technique before letting them create on their own. He truly just wants them to be the best chocolatiers they can be, which has led to many online referring to him as the Ted Lasso of chocolate.

And Twitter has fallen in love with Chef Guichon’s vibe:

If you’re looking for your next feel-good reality series, School of Chocolate is IT.

School of Chocolate is currently streaming on Netflix.

(image: Netflix)

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Author

Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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