Having produced 17 Food Fête events since 2005, this one ranks in my top three personal favorites in terms of overall excitement, energy and engagement between the food press and chocolate brands. Not only was it a fun event to produce, it was rewarding to see unfold, prompting media to comment about the chocolatiers’ passion for their craft (making it very educational), with some media telling me it was one of their best chocolate event experiences. I also observed a lot of note-taking at this event.
Fourteen exhibitors and about 85 food journalists and bloggers came together to share their knowledge and learn about all things chocolate (modern and even historical), some of the challenges facing cacao growers and, of course, sample lots of amazing chocolate bars, truffles and bonbons from around the world.
There was also no shortage of unique flavor combinations, with Madison Chocolatiers West’s black garlic truffle generating a lot of buzz. Lindt’s Excellence Intense Cranberry bar also created a nice chocolate and fruit combination for the holidays, though it’s available year-round. For the professional chocolatier as well as home confections enthusiast, Truffly Made showed their latest silicone truffle molds, which make truffle production a lot easier. David Lurie Sun Cups, which makes a line of organic, gluten-free and nut-free chocolate candies, had virtually nothing left on their table by the close of the event. Not a bad way to end the evening.
There was far too much to comment on individually, but it’s safe to say that nothing failed to deliver.
Our 2011 Food Fête Chocolat exhibitors included:
Amano Artisan Chocolate
American Heritage Chocolate, Distributed by the Historic Division of Mars, Inc.
David Lurie Sun Cups
Fine Chocolate Industry Association
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier
The Madison Chocolatiers West
Truffly Made, Inc.
An impressive roster of high-level food writers from top food and lifestyle media outlets were on hand, including All You, Bloomberg Businessweek, Brides, Dessert Professional, Epicurious.com, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Food Network, FoodNetwork.com, Food Network Magazine, Food & Wine Online, Grocery Headquarters, Health Magazine, Huffington Post, Martha Stewart Living, Men’s Health, O The Oprah Magazine, Prevention, TheNibble.com, Woman’s Day and Woman’s World, among others, plus an assortment of bloggers and freelance writers anxious to discover what’s new in chocolate.
As bloggers often do, some began sharing their experiences right away, which you can read below. I’ll update this list as new posts and/or articles are published.
- HeyDoYou.com (lots of great exhibitor photos in this post!)
Finally, here are some pics from the event (photos: Michael Harger, Jeff Davis)