The third edition of the Salon du Chocolat will take place in Brussels between the 5th and 7th February 2016. The event will bring together over 80 participants including chocolatiers, patissiers, confectioners, chefs, pastry chefs, designers and cocoa experts. It will be held at the Palais 1 of Brussels Expo.
This year’s theme is ‘Cocoa Expressions, Chocolate Impressions’ and will focus on current trends in the world of chocolate and pastry. It will put to the fore what is avant grade and creative in the field of chocolate.
There will be recipe demonstrations by some of Belgium’s best chefs, pastry chefs and master chocolatiers. These include among others Brussels based Christophe Hardiquest (Bon Bon), Maxime Collin (Villa Lorraine), Alexandre Dionisio (la Villa in the Sky), Sang-Hoon Degeimbre (L’Air du Temps and San) and Benoit Dewitte (Benoit et Bernard de Witte) among others. They will be teaming up with the likes of Van Dender, Fabrice Collignon, Joost Arijs, Paul Wittamer and Pierre Marcolini.
Like the previous years, there will also be a chocolate fashion show where chocolatiers and designers will work in tandem to present a festive 2016 collection. The creations will be unveiled at a preview gala evening on Thursday 4 February and will then be presented daily to the public at 5pm.
One of the noticeable trends is the ‘beans to bar’ which will be put into focus in this event. This concept was launched in the United States in the 1990s and has become increasingly successful in Europe. Some passionate chocolate makers are no longer just happy to use normal chocolate but have decided to go right to the roots by selecting their own cocoa beans from plantations. They look for unique soils and flavours. Just like in wine, the cocoa that is produced in every region has unique characteristics when it comes to taste.
The chocolatiers then inspect the way the beans are processed especially during the torrefaction stage to be able to completely master the flavours and pass them on to their customers in their unique creations. Among those using this method to produce their chocolate and who will be present at the event are the Bean to Bar company, El Suaco and Benoit Nihant.
During the three days there will also be conferences and tastings. Among the themes that will be covered are Combining Chocolate and Health, Pairing wine and chocolate, Beer and Chocolate and the History of Chocolate.
Visitors can also participate in workshops and master classes. Children between 6 and 12 will be able to enjoy specially designed workshops for them in Chocoland.
The Salon du Chocolat is the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate and cocoa. Created 21 years ago in Paris by Sylvie Douce and François Jeanette, it is held in the world’s major cities. The event next year will start towards the end of January in Tokyo and moves to various cities in Japan before moving to Brussels, Milan, Moscow, London, Paris and Lyon.