It's that time again when leading chocolatiers gather around a very worthy cause. It's time for the Chocs for Chance 2019 Charity Auction and Raffle!
It's a time when chocolatiers and top restaurant chefs show off their creations to an audience of salivating chocoholics. At the same time, it helps a very worthy cause. And this one's extra special as it marks the 10 year anniversary of Galvin's Chance.
What is Chocs For Chance?
Galvin's Chance began in 2009 when Chris Galvin, Chef Patron, and celebrity Fred Sirieix, General Manager at Galvin at Windows restaurant, devised a way to make a real, meaningful difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people aged between 18 and 24.
Their programme covers pre-employment hospitality training, work placements, and sustainable employment within the hospitality industry. It open doors to a front of house career in many of London's prestigious hotels and restaurants.
To see Galvin's Chance in action, have a gander at this:
In the video, Fred Sirieix states it costs £1,700 to recruit, train, place, and support somebody through the Galvin's Chance scheme. The initiative requires an enormous amount of fundraising to continue helping to change lives. In the last 10 years, 170 young people have taken part in the course.
This is where Chocs For Chance comes in. A whole host of famous faces donate chocolate treats in various forms in aid of fundraising for this good cause.
There are two ways you can help - through a raffle and in an auction.
What is the Chocs For Chance Raffle?
"You have to be in it to win it" as the saying goes, and chocolate fans and addicts alike will want to be part of this.
In exchange for £4 a ticket, you can be in with the chance of winning some seriously good prizes.
|Prize||What's is it?|
|1||A box of chocolates designed by TV personality Fred Sirieix, General Manager at Galvin at Windows. Also, receive a voucher for Saturday Brunch for two at Galvin at Windows Restaurant at the London Hilton on Park Lane hotel (subject to availability and for use before 31st August 2019).|
|2||Two night hotel stay for two people with breakfast at Hilton Paris Opera (travel not included)|
|3||A box by Lucy Savage from Handmade in Ealing|
|4||A box by Mariusz Luczakowski from ChoColours|
|5||A strawberry fudge dark chocolate heart hand gesture sculpted by chocolate sculptor Aggy Dadan|
|6||A selection of foodie treats from The Modern Pantry, donated by chef and owner Anna Hansen|
All profits from the raffle go towards Galvin's Chance.
What is the Chocs For Chance Auction?
In a nutshell, some of Britain's most famous chefs and chocolatiers create a unique box of chocolates which is then put on auction. Funds raised from the auction support Galvin's Chance.
This year's sponsor, Valrhona, provides premium chocolate to the chefs and chocolatiers so they can then work their magic.
The auction lasts just 10 days with the starting bid set at £40.
Winners will receive their chocolates by courier by Valentine's Day, which begs the question, why search high and low for a unique gift when you can find something that fits the bill perfectly here?
There are 32 auction items available, as you can see below:
|Lot||Created By||What's in the box?|
|1||Adam Byatt, Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur of Trinity Restaurant||Hazelnut praline, Jivara 40% milk chocolate, and Guanaja 70% chocolate.|
|2||Will Holland, Executive Chef at Ocean Restaurant at The Atlantic Hotel, Jersey||Jersey black butter ganache, apple brandy chocolate bonbon, and sea salted caramel filled chocolates.|
|3||Adam Smith, Executive Chef of Coworth Park||Milk ganache, zesty yuzu compote, and shortbread sealed in Caraïbe dark chocolate.|
|4||Barry Johnson, UK Chocolate Master 2017 and pastry chef||Passion fruit ganache in dark chocolate, salted caramel and hazelnut crunchy praline dark chocolate, and tangy yuzu lime caramel in milk chocolate.|
|5||Jeremy Lee, Chef at Quo Vadis restaurant||Marzipan inside a soft prune and sealed in dark chocolate.|
|6||Carla Henriques, Head Pastry Chef at Hawksmoor and Foxlow restaurants||Cru Virunga 70% dark chocolate filled with salted caramel, passion fruit, or pecan bourbon. * Also includes a voucher for a meal for two to the value of £150 at Hawksmoor plus a signed copy of two Hawksmoor recipe books *|
|7||Chris Galvin, Chef Patron of Galvin Restaurants and Co-founder of Galvin's Chance||Truffle scented white chocolate rolled in coconut. * Also includes a bottle of Galvin's Champagne and a signed Galvin's cookbook *|
|8||Christophe Gasper, Executive Pastry Chef at Sketch||White chocolate ganache flavoured with raspberry brandy Eau de Vie de Framboise, cherry bourbon with 70% dark chocolate, and a pistachio ganache.|
|9||Cyrus Todiawala OBE of Café Spice Namasté||Smooth, crunchy, nutty and spicy chocolates.|
|10||Damien Wager of Edible Art Patisserie||Sweet pear pâte de fruit and Valrhona Orelys blond ganache filled bonbons, and hazelnut crunch and Valrhona Azelia milk ganache filled bonbons.|
|11||Dominique Ansel of Dominique Ansel Bakery London||Caramel Fleur de Sel Jivara (Pink), Passion Fruit Guanaja (Red), and Raspberry, Rose & Opalys (White).|
|12||Ed Wilson, chef-owner of East London's Brawn restaurant||72% Virunga chocolate, Senia olive oil from Sicily, and fleur de sel from Noirmoutier, France.|
|13||Gary Foulkes, Executive Chef of Michelin-starred Angler restaurant||Roasted pecan nuts in a rich caramel, smoked salt, and chocolate ganache in a milk chocolate shell.|
|14||Gary Usher of Elite Bistros||Orleys 35% blond chocolate, brown butter and toasted hazelnut pastille; rosewater and preserved lemon Turkish delight sealed in Azelia 35% milk chocolate; Caraïbe 65% dark chocolate, rosemary, Arbequina olive oil and sea salt truffle.|
|15||Hayden Groves, Executive Chef at BaxterStorey||Chocolate truffles filled with Kirsch cherry gel and peanut butter ganache inside Valrhona Caraïbe 66% dark chocolate.|
|16||Jean-Philippe Blondet, Executive Chef at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester||1kg block of dark chocolate from Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, in a wooden tray complete with mallet.|
|17||Veronica Garrido Martinez, Head Pastry Chef at the Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows||Plantation rum and Caramélia 36% milk chocolate ganache in a thin feuilletine wafer; Apricot pâte de fruit jelly with a rich crème fraiche and Tahiti vanilla ganache in Opalys white chocolate; Mandarin ganache in a citrusy yuzu chocolate shell; A collection of fruit and nut chocolate mendiants with caramel popcorn and brownie toppings.|
|18||Aggy Dadan, award-winning chocolate sculptor||Handmade mini sculptures of Fred Sirieix's head in three flavours - cookie dough, millionaire's shortbread, and chocolate plum.|
|19||Anna Hansen, chef-owner of The Modern Pantry||White chocolate and cardamom; Dark chocolate, matcha & pistachio; Milk chocolate, peanut butter & miso caramel.|
|20||Jeff Galvin, Chef Patron of Galvin Restaurants||Dark chocolate and blood orange marmalade truffles.|
|21||José Pizarro, chef and owner of Jose and Pizarro||Sherry vinegar bonbon in 70% dark chocolate; Milk chocolate bonbon with rare Morsica olive oil; Shiraz red wine in white chocolate.|
|22||Karen Waller, chocolatier, & Julie Devonald , The Chocolate Libertine||Hand-painted chocolate hearts filled with cocoa nib praline and either Canterbury honey and sea salted caramel, Macadamia gianduja, Silent Pool Gin ganache, or Kentish Cobnut clusters.|
|23||Morsingh Jakhi, Group Pastry Chef of The Cinnamon Collection||Spiced white chocolate with rose and banana encased in a dark chocolate flavoured with black cardamom and rolled in sweet fennel sprinkles.|
|24||Nuno Mendes, Michelin-starred chef at Chiltern Firehouse||Crunchy praline topped with a smooth hazelnut praline ganache in a Caramelia 36% milk chocolate shell; Salted caramel in a dark chocolate shell.|
|25||Phil Howard & Gayle D’Souza of Michelin-starred Elystan Street||Salted caramel chocolate truffles.|
|26||Paul A Young, chocolatier||Sea salted caramel, rye cookie dough with dark chocolate brownie pieces, all coated in Guittard 62% Eureka Works dark chocolate. * Also includes signed copies of his three award-winning cookbooks *|
|27||Sarah Barber, Executive Pastry Chef at The Dorchester||Strawberry chocolates filled with a champagne and strawberry ganache and finished with popping raspberry crispies.|
|28||Uvee Joye, Head Pastry Chef of Chapter One, Kent||Mango gel topped up with passion fruit and milk chocolate ganache and sesame nougat inside a milk chocolate shell; Strawberry cheesecake flavoured bonbon with strawberry and pink peppercorn gel and cream cheese ganache in a white chocolate shell.|
|29||Will Torrent, chocolatier||Ganache made with cream, strawberry puree, Aceto Balsamico Di Modena, and Ivoire 35% white chocolate in a Valrhona Strawberry Inspiration fruit couverture with freeze-dried strawberry pieces.|
|30||William Curley, chocolatier||Genoise sponge topped with orange ganache and marmalade, enrobed in Amedei Toscano 70% dark chocolate.|
|31||Xanthe Clay, chef, & Lisa Clarkey, chocolatier||Almond and lemon curd in a Dulcey blond chocolate shell; Dark chocolate and rose kefir ganache with pistachio; Himalayan sea salted lemon caramels; and Chipotle ganache with a hint of chilli.|
|32||Zara Snell, chocolatier||Crunchy hazelnut praline in Jivara 40% milk chocolate; Chai latte spices in Dulcey 32% blond chocolate; Soft salted caramel in Caraïbe 66% dark chocolate; Passion fruit ganache in Caraïbe 66% dark chocolate.|
Picked your favourite yet? It's hard, I know! Morsingh Jakhi's box is one of my favourites thanks to its creative use of spices, but there are so many inspired creations that tempt my taste buds.
How can I take part?
If you really want to take part but also need to keep one eye on your wallet, the raffle is my top pick. At £4 a go, it's less than a good quality bar of chocolate.
If you want the ultimate Valentine's Day gift and can afford to spend a bit more, definitely consider bidding in the auction. The creations are all amazing, and of a very high calibre.
Whatever method of donating you choose, you can be safe in the knowledge that you are helping a worthy cause.
Bear in mind that as chocolates are perishable, I believe there is a term that states that they can only be shipped within the UK. But you'll spot that as you read through the terms and conditions on their website.