The show’s organisers and founders, Sylvie Douce and François Jeantet, presented this year’s event which will be primarily dedicated to a celebration of Belgian chocolate and will take place from Friday 5 February to Sunday 7 February in Hall 1 of Brussels Expo.
For the City of Brussels, the event is a clear boost to the economic development of the entire Region:
“With more than 30 chocolate specialists, Brussels’ expertise deserves a spotlight! I am very happy that this international event has come to our capital,” said Marion Lemesre, alderwoman for economic affairs for the City of Brussels.
Philippe Close, alderman for tourism for the City of Brussels, added that
“Belgian chocolate is much more than just something good to eat. It is a symbol of Brussels and Belgium. So it is an honour to host this international show at the very heart of chocolate craftsmanship!”
Jos Linkens, managing director of Neuhaus, and Olivier Ghenne, sales director for the Benelux and France for Leonidas, were there to call attention to the fact that, although they are still Belgium’s leaders in terms of sales, young talent is ramping up the competition in the chocolate industry.
The conference ended with a tasting of macaroons and pralines by Didier Smeets and Joost Arijs, two rising stars in the world of Belgian chocolate who were there to represent their peers (and offer a taste of their creations).
For Didier Smeets, who represented Belgium at Milan’s Universal Exposition in August 2015, nothing could have prevented him from missing this year’s show as, for the past year, he has been much in the limelight. He was certainly the youngest last year, which is why he was quickly picked out by the spotlights, but his talent and creativity have been the keys to his quick success – demonstrated yet again by the praline he will be offering up for Valentine’s Day, the ironically called ‘Le Solitaire’.
Joost Arijs has just opened his second shop in Antwerp (joining the one in Ghent) and it is with great enthusiasm that he will be presenting, at the Salon du Chocolat, a unique and wholly original creation: a matcha tea macaroon!
“For the Salon du Chocolat, I wanted to create an amazing macaroon that was totally out of the ordinary.”
This year, the Salon du Chocolat in Brussels will place special focus on the ‘bean to bar’ trend, including a production line presented by Callebaut.
For the carnival-themed fashion show, the line-up will feature 100% Belgian dresses created by Edouard Vermeulen from Natan, Namur designer Nathalie Stockman, the Ateliers Lannaux, as well as Lauranne de Jaegher among others.
The demonstrations line-up will include a number of top chefs such as Arabelle Meirlaen, Sang-Hoon Degeimbre, Eric Fernez, Christophe Hardiquest, offering a not-to-be-missed programme full of surprises.
The Gala Evening will take place at 7 p.m. on 4 February for journalists and other special guests with, as the highlight, the now traditional Chocolate Fashion Show.
Friday 5 to Sunday 7 February 2016 – Brussels Expo
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday / 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday
- Adults: €8.50 Friday / €10 Saturday and Sunday
- Children (from 3 to 12 years old): €5
- Free under 3
- Senior (over 60 years old): €8.50
- Students (proof required): €8.50
- Family pack (2 adults + 2 children from 3 to 12 years old): €25
Online ticket sales at http://ticketing.visitbrussels.be/en/expo/init/1293