Chocolate Extravaganza: 10th Annual Chocolate Show
Chocolatiers and chocolate lovers of all ages packed the streets and avenues created within the Metropolitan Pavillion on November 9th through 11th for the 10th annual Chocolate Show — a frenzy fueled and inspired by, you guessed it, chocolate. Beelzy and I threw ourselves into the turmoil and later, D42 worked her charms on doormen and made an appearance as well.
Join us! Walk down Chefs Avenue, or Coco-Bean Street to find what your caffeine-addled body desires. 65% coca? 85%? –This is no Hershey bar. You can’t just love sugar, you must appreciate the fine concoctions of cocoa. Some of the greats are here to provide you with a taste explosion, to challenge your palate and your sense of sophistication: Dagoba, Knipschildt, Amano Artisan.
Many of the greatest chocolatiers of the world, as well as some notable pastry chefs, were handing out their goods in quantities of unlimited free samples. Unwrapped chunks of chocolate flowed through the streets with jolly men and women charging all to, “Sample! Sample away!”
And it doesn’t stop there. Behold the chocolate statues!
And chocolate dresses! The Chocolate Show is customarily kicked off with a fashion show where the models wear specially designed clothing made only of chocolate. The parade of chocolate dresses and chocolate shoes is later played on a large TV screen somewhere on the floor. And later all the chocolate garb is placed upon mannequins that fill one wall of the downstairs space.
Back upstairs, the booths looked like the boxes of chocolate, like little homes packed with chocolate, like forests of chocolate. New Tree had chocolate to satisfy your nature-loving, flower-gathering side. “Never eat lemon flavored chocolate” admonishes Beelzy. Ditto on ginger. Cherry, lavender and orange are a go but we have that sweet tooth to satisfy and apparently lack the experimental palate of d42 who found most of these flavors delectable.
At the Lindt stand we heard a slightly embarrassed confession, ”I know it’s a horrible thing to say, but the mass-produced Lindt is the best I’ve had so far.” The familiar flavor hit the spot for me too.
At the Michel Cluizel booth we found little Easter chocolate statues, “They’re cute and delicious” promised the vendor.
The Japanese chefs at Mary’s Chocolate offered a delightfully different sweet: ganache—both in taste and texture a shock of creamy, although light, sweetness after the luscious bitterness of high quality dark chocolate all around.
From ganache to hot chocolate and coffee, to T-shirts and jars of peanut butter, much could be found for sale. We sampled some goods at Peanut Butter & Co who offered plain as well as chocolate peanut butter varieties, all the way to “pretty spicy” according to d42. “It’s lodged in my throat now,” she continued her commentary. “It burns. Oddly tasty though.”
Meanwhile Beelzy, already woozy-looking, managed, “I’ll eat chocolate ‘till I die” and continued shoving dainty strips of chocolate covered potato chips by Neuchatel into his mouth.
Barnes and Noble didn’t miss the parade and were on-hand to satisfy information craves. Chocolatier writers were available for signings through the weekend.
Surely, eating is fun, but after a while we were afraid to make eye contact. Anywhere we looked people with plates of chocolate offered us sweets with manic smiles. Thankfully, the Chocolate Show offered other forms of entertainment and looked to hold the attendees’ interest by presenting them with a Chocolate Art Gallery, as well as the Chocolate Lounge. We had trouble finding the Art Gallery, and at first only found a small corner, roping off 6 exhibits.
Yet, as if by magic, every time we thought we saw everything, new areas opened up—like the continuation of the Art Show downstairs, next door to the Chocolate Lounge where we rested our chocolate weary feet and introduced our palates to various liquors.
~All photos by Beelzy
The chocolate show is an annual affair and it is recommended that passes be bought in advance as when we arrived there was quite a crowd meaning to buy their tickets at the door. More information can be found at www.chocolateshow.com when they fix it up again, probably just in time for 2008.