The Chocolate Show at Olympia
Yes, it’s that time of year again, when chocolate is celebrated across the UK in enjoyable style with Chocolate Week (13-19 October).
On the menu are demonstrations of chocolate making and using by talented chocolatiers and pastry chefs, talks and, of course, numerous tastings!
Among the highlights of the week is the Academy of Chocolate’s Conference, a ticketed all-day event which takes place on Thursday 15 October and which features an impressive array of international chocolate experts, from cacao growers to chocolate makers, both talking and attending. Since the Academy of Chocolate was founded in 2005, Sara Jayne Stanes, one of its co-founders, feels there has been a real “intensification in curiosity about chocolate” and that the conference offers a valuable forum in which to share knowledge and ideas.
Co-founder Sarah Jane Evans agrees. “You could say it offers the questions that no one else asks. Chocolate Week celebrates chocolate and new producers. At the conference, we’re asking questions about who produces the chocolate, what conditions do the growers work in? The headline is ‘What Price Chocolate?’ How much are you prepared to pay for chocolate when you understand what goes into it. We are posing people a very fundamental question. People need to begin to think what is a fair price for a bar of chocolate. I don’t know of another conference like this in the world of chocolate.”
Chocolate Week climaxes with Salon du Chocolat’s Chocolate Show at Olympia, London, 17-19 Oct, the world’s greatest chocolate show. The event kicks off in style with a fashion show at the exclusive Gala Evening, featuring extraordinary couture outfits designed by chocolatiers and fashion designers and made from – yes, you guessed it– chocolate! The event itself not only offers a chance to sample and buy chocolates from a globe-trotting array of chocolatiers and chocolate makers but some great insights into both making chocolate and using it in the kitchen. Look out for talented Great British Bake Off champions Edd Kimber and John Whaite demonstrating how to bake with chocolate, acclaimed French patissier Guillaume Sanchez doing his first ever UK demo on Saturday 18th chef Atul Kochhar showing how to use chocolate in Indian dishes and patissier Hideko Kawa, formerly of The Fat Duck. Talented UK chocolatiers including Paul A Young, Marc Demarquette, Will Torrent and Rococo’s Barry Johnson will be offering demos too, so a wonderful chance to see the skills required to make artisan chocolate. Definitely a show not to be missed if you love chocolate!