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October 11, 2010

Chocolate Week 2010

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Written by: Martin Christy
Chocolate Week 2010 logo

Chocolate Week

The UK’s biggest chocolate celebration is with us again, now in it’s eighth year and going from strength to strength, with more and more events around the UK, as well as in London.

As the week becomes more popular the list of participants grows each year. It can be hard to sift through all the tastings and events on the official site (chocolate-week.co.uk/events) to work out which ones feature fine chocolate or chocolatiers, so we’ve done the work for you and here is our A-Z fine chocolate picks for the week.

Seventypercent.com

Before we get going, just a quick plug for our ‘Chocolate Knowledge‘ event on Weds 13th October at myhotel bloomsbury, London. We’ll be exploring five great fine chocolate brands – established, ethical and new. Full details here.

Artisan du Chocolat

Artisan have been finishing their own chocolate from cocoa liquor (rough ground roasted cacao beans) for some years. Bit by bit they are edging towards becoming a bean to bar chocolate maker, at least in part.

They move a step closer to producing their own bars directly from cacao just in time for Chocolate Week – with the help of their customers and fans. They have 300kg of prized Jamaica beans, which are being converted into fine chocolate in an open event on the 9th October.

We’d already tasted Artisan’s first Jamaica bar. This was made from beans that Artisan purchased and had made into cocoa liquor by a third party, which they then finished into chocolate. The bar impressed our reviewers and is undoubtedly their best chocolate to date.

Now Artisan are taking another giant leap with their first roasting experiment, working to a deadline to product fully self-produced bean to bar Jamaica chocolate in time for chocolate week. The results should be very interesting and well worth trying during the week. Look out for Seventypercent reviews soon.

Bean to bar production day – 9 October

Open doors production day – 16 October

In store sampling of Jamaica bean to bar chocolate – 13 – 17 October

Artisan website

Auberge du Chocolat

Gerrards Cross chocolatier Auberge are an upcoming fine chocolatier and use high quality fine couvertures, rather than the bulk ‘Belgian’ ones popular with some companies.

They have a range of children’s parties and workshops going on for Chocolate Week in their Chesham showroom, and an afternoon course making truffles.

The Auberge Academy truffle making class

Full listings of Auberge events

Bettys

Bettys of Harrogate are a very traditional English style tea room with a 91 year old history. Sadly many of these kinds of establishment have descended into supplying rather low quality or bought in chocolate products, but Bettys are bucking the trend with their new range of chocolate, made using couverture from Swiss bean to bar maker Felchlin.

The new range is launching in Chocolate Week and you can meet the chocolatier Claire Gallagher in store on 12th October.

Meet the Chocolatier

Bettys

Chococo

Swanage chocolatier Chococo are sampling a range of growing country bean to bar chocolate bars in store during the week, and you can also check out some of their latest creations, including their new ‘wild hedgerow’ collection.

Grenada Chocolate Company, El Ceibo and Madecasse tasting

New wild hedgerow collection sampling

Chocolate Ecstasy Tours

The week wouldn’t be complete without tramping around the streets of London in search of the ultimate chocolate experience with the Australian choc-obsessive Jennifer Earle. Tours are running all week, the Mayfair event being just one of the routes.

Mayfair Chocolate Ecstasy Tours

Chocolate Ecstasy Tours website

The Chocolate Tree

Edinburgh chocolate store ‘The Chocolate Tree’ have a free tasting of  ‘single origin dark chocolate bars’ – their own, made from couverture. We’re not sure of the sources, but the two listed on their website suggest Belcolade and Valrhona. If you’re in town, drop and check them out and let us know.

Free tasting of single origin chocolate

The Chocolate Tree website

Damian Allsop

Water ganache wizard Damian Allsop is launching his ‘Pure’ collection in Selfridges, London for Christmas on Monday 11th October. The collection features a selection of origin chocolate water based ganaches, creating perhaps the purest expression of origin flavour possible in a filled chocolate.

Later in the week Damian will be on hand for sampling of his finest at Union Market in Fulham, 3-6pm Friday 15th.

Damian Allsop

Union Market

Demarquette Fine Chocolates

Fulham’s finest Marc Demarquette will be at Fortnum & Mason on Thursday 14th, 1.30pm-5pm for sampling of his ‘bespoke’ Fortnum’s collection made using ingredients from the famous store.

Marc Demarquette at Fortnum & Mason

Demarquette website

Duffy Sheardown

Britain’s newest and brightest bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Duffy Sheardown, will be launching his chocolate range Harvey Nicholls store in Manchester on 16th Octover. He’ll also be exlusively launching his new Honduras bar, made with cacao from the Xoco Fine Cocoa project, at Paul A Young‘s stores in London.

Launch of Duffy Sheardown’s bean to bar chocolate in Harvey Nicholls, Manchester

Duffy’s website

Gorvett and Stone

Henley-on-Thames finds us at Gorvett and Stone, another of the UKs rising star fine chocolatiers. On Monday 11th you can taste their Xocoatl drinking chocolate range in store.

Xocoatl drinking chocolate tasting

Gorvett and Stone

Melt

Notting Hill chocolatier Melt will be showing you how to make truffles, temper chocolate and make lollipops at their Oxford Street Selfridges concession on 14th and 15th October. You can also sample some of their new bars in the Notting Hill store.

Tempering, truffle and lollipop making, Selfridges

Melt’s website

Paul A Young

The ever popular and slightly elusive Paul A Young has a chocolate menu created in partnership with the head chef at the Almeida restaurant all week. He’ll also be launching the new Duffy ‘Honduras’ bar in shop as well as running around the place judging various competitions during the week and exhibiting at Chocolate Unwrapped.

Chocolate menu at Almeida, London

Paul A Young

Rococo Chocolates

Rococo have a busy week a full range of tastings and events and dinners, both in-store and at other locations. For a full listing, check out there blog, but here are just a few highlights:

Cheese, chocolate and fig tasting, 11 Oct, Motcombe Street store

Cheese, chocolate and walnut tasting, 13 Oct, Motcombe Street store

Living chocolate exhibit – mini bean to bar chocolate making demo with Grenada cacao, 16 Oct, Motcombe Street store

Rococo Blog

William Curley

As well as some new dessert launches in the Belgravia dessert bar, William is focussing his efforts for this Chocolate Week serving afternoon tea at Claridges, quite a challenge the Curley staff serving fine chocolate desserts to the potentially hundreds of customers that pass through the famous Mayfair hotel for tea.

William will also be hosting master-classes at the famous venue on 16-17 October.

Masterclass at Caridges – truffles, 16 October

Masterclass at Caridges – sea salted caramels, 17 October

Zotter Chocolate

Austrian chocolate maker Zotter – now working from beans as far as we can tell – seem to be making quite a push in the UK. There exotic collection of paired origin bars is now being launched in the John Lewis Foodhall in Oxford Street, where you can taste them on 15th October.

Zotter Chocolate tasting at John Lewis Foodhall



About the Author

Martin Christy
Martin Christy is Seventy%’s editor and founder and is a leading voice in the chocolate industry, promoting the cause of fine chocolate and fine cacao and those who produce them. With twenty years’ experience of fine chocolate, he has travelled extensively visiting cocoa plantations and meeting the world’s top producers and is a consultant to the fine chocolate and cacao growing industries worldwide. Martin is Judging Director of the International Chocolate Awards, which he founded in the UK with Kate Johns of Chocolate Week. He is also Acting Chairman of the new fine cacao and chocolate industry association, Direct Cacao and is a member of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative Tasting Panel. He is also a freelance writer about fine chocolate, contributing to UK magazines and several books about fine chocolate.




 
 

 
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2 Comments


  1. This is the first time we’ve acknowledged chocolate week an I tell you, this is definitely something we’re going to check in on in the coming years. Great breakdown of the events, valuable info!


  2. meiska mamajeski

    Can you tell me where I can buy some roasted cocoa beans good quality just for snacking on.



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