16-18 October 2015 Olympia National Hall became a ‘Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory’ with both kids and adults tasting, learning, dining chocolate till the sugar coma condition. If you have missed this sweet event, make sure you attend it next year, and in the meantime here is an overview for you.
During three days visitors could enjoy the Chocolate Theatre with Dessert/Chocolate cooks sharing their amazing recipes. I have joined Edd Kimber’s (Great British Bake Off Winner) class on Homemade Oreos with Matcha Ganache – and OMG that was delicious. The recipe can be found in his latest book and here (coming soon).
You could also join one of the tasting rooms for a huge variety of lectures and master-classes such as: Wine and Chocolate pairings, how to grow divine cocoa, Tastings of best chocolate from around the world etc.
My personal highlight was the lecture delivered by Adam Deileskey from Hotel Chocolate (and not because we have got to taste delicious chocolates). Mr. Deileskey was talking about their cocoa farms in St. Lucian and Ghana and it appeared to me that even though I am one of those ‘free range’, ‘fair trade’ and ‘organic’ people, so I do think about what I eat and buy, I have never thought about the chocolate, and why mass-market chocolate is so different to some more exclusive bars. And more importantly – why should we really think of what we buy. Learning about chocolate farmer’s day-to-day realities and conditions of work they are put into by world’s famous choco brands did have a big influence on me and I can say I will never look at the chocolate in the same way again. It is important to analyse where your money goes and if the producer cares about ‘giving back’ as much as making profits for itself.
Ok, back to fun now. Obviously as in any foodie event there was a market where you could taste and buy amazing products on better prices than on the high-street. This was not too big but after going one circle round and trying everything I already though I will never eat chocolate again, I had too much just on tasting. You could also try the chocolate wine and new french alcohol drink Cosy which tastes like our favourite desserts.
And Everyday at 5pm people could enjoy a chocolate Fashion Show! Dresses and accessories made with elements of chocolate! Cannot add much here, just see the pictures…
Not to give too many spoilers, last but not least tips I can give you : see the brochure in advance and chose the day with most interesting events for you, there is not much point in attending more than one day I can say. Also, I personally did not think of that and that was mistake – this is not usual foodies event, this is JUST chocolate..amazing, delicious and very sweet..do not forget water! Also take some decent snack with you, as you might feel sugar coma but hungry at the same time in few hours. Finally, unless you planned to attend lots of lectures/Theatre master-class, you do not spend a day there, few hours is more than enough.
See you in Chocolate Show 2016!