Monday, February 8, 2016 — With nearly 25,000 visitors, the Salon du Chocolat was once again the gathering place for the greatest Belgian gourmands in the country. The Salon kicked off on Thursday evening with a resolutely modern and highly colourful Chocolate Fashion Show, attended by HRH Princess Léa, Cécile Jodogne, Marion Lemesre and Philippe Close. The Salon lasted three days and involved nearly 110 participants across an area of 6,000 sqm, honouring Belgian chocolate craftsmanship in all its forms. In addition to the exhibitors, there were also conferences, demonstrations and workshops of all kinds providing opportunities for the general public to learn more about chocolate.
Iconic Belgian brands such as Neuhaus, Godiva (celebrating its 90th birthday this year), Galler and Leonidas once again showed their quality at their stands, but so did others, such as Laurent Gerbaud, Joost Arijs, Jean-Philippe Darcis, Benoît Nihant, Didier Smeets and Herman Van Dender, who also shared their expertise and showed off their new creations.
This year, the Salon also put the spotlight on young talents in the area sponsored by the City of Brussels, with Generous and Jérôme Grimonpon, among others, who used this fantastic opportunity to make a name for themselves. Also present were Euphrasie Mbamba from Sigoji and Lexane Madessis from L’arbre à Bilous, newcomers to keep an eye out for.
The Salon aims to create a link between those who grow cocoa, and those who make and consume chocolate. For this reason, Togo held place of honour this year. As such, the CCFCC (Togo’s Coordination Committee for the Coffee and Cocoa sectors) informed the Belgian public about the specifics of cocoa from Togo.
In addition, this year, the Salon heavily featured the Bean-To-Bar trend, a return to the source, authenticity and expertise, including a production line made by Callebaut explaining to visitors the process of transforming beans into chocolate.
On Friday 5 February, the results of the Belgian Chocolate Awards were unveiled. Many awards were won by Belgian chocolate confectioners, with special mention to François Deremiens, Dominique Persoone and Jérôme Grimonpon, who enjoyed great success.
In the Pastry Show area, among other big names in pastry and gastronomy, starred chefs Arabelle Meirlaen, Christophe Hardiquest, Eric Fernez and Sang-Hoon Degeimbre prepared recipes live, much to the delight of the food lovers watching on.
This year, the children attending were particularly numerous and excited. The budding chocolate confectioners had the opportunity to create mendiants and other delicacies. Guided tours of the Salon were also organised specially for them by Choco Story.
Finally, to mark the end of the Salon so that it was just as enjoyable as the beginning, the City of Brussels arranged that unsold chocolates would be offered to Social Security Service of the City of Brussels.
The Chocolate Fashion Show duos :
- The Callebaut Chocolate Academy Chefs Alexandre Bourdeaux and Mathieu Dierinck & Julie de Bleser
- Contes de Fèves - Céline Bouzegza & Nathalie Stockman
- Didier Smeets
- Jean-Charles Rochoux & Masami d’Imaginers
- Joël Patouillard & Manon Bresson-Cancel, Paladines Events
- Jean-Philippe Darcis & Lauranne De Jaegher (2 outfits)
- Laurent Gerbaud & Patou Saint Germain
- Nadia Flecha Guazo – aka ChokoLate & Débora Velasquez
- Neuhaus & fashion designer Edouard Vermeulen from Maison Natan
- Pâtisserie Ducobu & Melissa Martin Ciudad (l’Atelier Lannaux)
- Valentino Chocolatier & Sixtine Anne de Molina
- Van Dender & iiiiCollectif
The Salon du Chocolat, an event created, organised and publicised by:
59 rue de la Tour – 75116 Paris, France
Tel.: +33 (0)1 45 03 21 26 – Fax: +33 (0)1 45 03 60 90
http://brussels.salon-du-chocolat.com / www.salon-du-chocolat.com
Founders and Producers Sylvie Douce and François Jeantet