Archive for November, 2007

10th Annual Chocolate Show in New York

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

This weekend, my husband and I attended the 10th Annual Chocolate Show in New York City. Over sixty chocolate vendors offered samples of their selections, as well as items for sale. I had every good intention of being very discriminating and consuming only the most appealing chocolates. But those plans went awry quickly the minute we stepped into the highly caffeinated and charged atmosphere and what ensued was a veritable feeding frenzy of chocolate.

Perhaps the most frenzied and visited booth was that of Mary’s, hailing from Tokyo. Their green tea, black sesame and caramel coffee truffle samples flew off their bento box displays the minute they were replenished. To the side, you could observe the artisans carefully hand piping exquisite designs onto individual chocolate squares. Mary’s offers unusual Eastern inspired flavors such as wasabi, sake, and purple sweet potato chocolates.

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John and Kira’s was recently featured on the Martha Stewart show for their adorable “pumpkins” of whisky clove ganache-filled figs coated in orange-colored white chocolate. When I saw the pumpkins on TV, I thought the concept was quite cute and unique in itself, but the taste actually surpassed my expectations. Though I only sampled a slice, the ganache was velvety smooth and the taste was not too figgy, but sophisticated.

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My husband had purchased chocolates for me from Romanico’s in Miami before, so we really looked forward to visiting their booth. Delicious as ever, they offer flavors such as guava and cream cheese, creamy coconut, and white pistachio.

Although I didn’t sample their chocolates (it was towards the end of the show and I really couldn’t take another bite), Cosmic Chocolate had a very hip and visually appealing display with cocktail inspired flavor pairings of limoncello ginger, champagne peach, and cointreau caramel.

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After all the chocolate consumption, we were relieved to be able to watch some culinary demonstrations from some top chocolate/pastry chefs. We observed two demos, Chef Alessandra Altieri from Payard demonstrated a caramelized hazelnut tart with chocolate chantilly cream. The audience received copies of the recipes, as well as mini-samples of the final version! The shell and caramelized nuts were a crunchy contrast to the cream and the combination just sang in my mouth.

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Later on, we watched a demo by renowned Mr. Chocolate, Chef Jacques Torres. He charmed the crowds with an inaccessible but entertaining demo of a seasonal life-size chocolate turkey in a white chocolate crate with white chocolate hay and marshmallow eggs. Pictured below is Jacques piping the marshmallow into egg molds, as well as the final product.

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The highlight of the show for me was having my photo taken with Jacques Torres himself!

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The infamous chocolate fashion show was held on Thursday, November 8, but the fashion collection was still on display. Pictured below are some of this year’s creations.

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more chocolate fashion…

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By the end of the show, I could barely even look at photos of chocolate in my brochure, a sure sign it was time to go. Good thing the show comes to New York once a year.