Phone: 02 6000 6681 Featured: January 17 - 20, 2013
Ambiance: Technically, this was a trade show and as a result had that show and tell feeling. Booths brimmed with master chocolatiers displaying their fabulous wares, exemplary chocolate art, how-to and hands-on fun.
Event: I kept waffling about whether to attend the chocolate exhibition. On the one hand there was chocolate, but on the other there would undoubtedly be a crowd. It did sound fun, and my friend and I were super excited, so we went and had a blast!
Immediately inside the entrance people were crowded around taking pictures. But, of what? Push in a bit and the most intricate chocolate statues are revealed. Gorgeous flowers of varying colors, intricate owls, cats, and the like. Just on the other side was white and milk chocolate fondue displays, oh yummy. Now we were still feeling a bit out of place, but were gently being drawn in as the area opened and the people density lessened.
Looking around, we easily located the likely stage area and made our way, hopefully in time for the chocolate fashion show. Unfortunately, the schedule was basically Korea, but we guessed the Strong Africa was the fashion show. With a time in hand, we rushed off to explore the exhibition where we found amazing artwork and delicious chocolate.
My favorite booths ended up being small French based chocolatiers. Instead of using single origin chocolate, Bernachon utilizes the unique flavors of the origins to combine them into a new, aromatic blend that your tastebuds have never encountered. This guy was very personable, made sure he had a translator and talked and or took pictures with almost all visitors to his booth. Sadly, he has only one store in France and doesn't sell his chocolate online. Benoit Chocolates was not very personable, but I think it is because he had no translator and perhaps was a bit shy. After visiting Bernachon's booth, I was a little disappointed and almost didn't try his chocolate, which would have been a huge miss for me as it was these amazing dark chocolate, almond, caramel confections. Additionally, I tried some Korean chocolates that almost tasted healthy! They tasted like the Korean nut and fruit rice cakes mixed inside chocolate. While some lines were long, they moved fast, and many places had no lines.
Finally, it was time for the fashion show. It was cool, almost Victoria Secret like with some women wearing bras and wings. Definitely should check it out. However, I had a bad location and didn't bring a proper lens for my seat, so I ducked out to stand in some of the now even shorter lines. You could hear the music throughout the exhibition and they later put the dresses on display, so I made a great choice for me.
It was a trade show, so there were all sorts of non-chocolate booths. You could by chocolate machinery. There were awareness booths for underprivileged children, eating healthy, and making art with food. They had innovative techniques, with a Korean University that created a new chocolate decorating technique. Next year I will print the schedule and map in English and plan better before hand to make the most of my time at the chocolate event.
Won: 15,000 for Adults