The Salon du Chocolat in Paris welcomed 120,000 visitors at its 20th fair. It started with a grandiose opening night with the popular chocolate fashion show showing more than 100 dresses and in addition for this special anniversary a show from the Crazy Horse’s dancers.
On Saturday many came with their families and mingled on the first and second floor spreading over 40,000 sqm. In the front the stands of Camille Bloch, Kambly, Jeff de Bruges, Leonidas and Nestlé Dessert were very busy. Freddy the chocolatier of Camille Bloch was making Ragusa Blond live under the eyes of a very interested crowd.
Once again many Japanese chocolate makers came to Paris to show their newest creations. They were Tokyo Chocolate, Le Chocolat de H and Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki. The Japanese caramels of Mukaiyama Seisakusho were also very much appreciated.
At the chocolate fair you can find more than chocolates but delicious nougats, honeys, ice-creams and macaroons. The Grand Marnier’s stand even had some Pineau des Charentes with Marnier.
Bruno Le Derf, Chapon, Dupont, Maison Boissier, Le comptoir du Cacao, Chocolat Bonnat,Hors des Sentiers Battus, Hélianthème and Bernard Loiseau had beautiful stands. Maison Charaix from Ardèche was offering the macaroons of Joyeuse. It is said they are the first macarrons in France, sent to France in 1581 by Catherine of Médicis. The stands also had many kinds of honey and the beans to bars chocolate bars from Willies’ Cacao.
A new brand of chocolate called “Le chocolat des Francais” was at the salon this year. The two young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs, Paul-Henri Masson and Matthieu Escande had been invited by the organizers of the Salon du Chocolat and were very happy to be present. Paul Henri used to be a graphic artist and illustrator after studying at La Cambre & Les Arts Décoratifs and Matthieu worked in a design and communication agency after Les Arts Décoratifs and Sciences-Po. The two hard working men spent hours in the evenings and weekends working on their project until they decided to invest 100% of their time 5 months ago.
Paul-Henri said it took them about one year to make their chocolate bars, one milk and one dark. They achieved their goal with the help of a chocolatier, Jacques, a man he described as a rare pearl!
On Saturday night the milk chocolate was completely sold out and the dark had a very nice after taste. The packaging is really well done, colorful and attractive. Fifty famous artists, painters, comic book authors and illustrators collaborated to make 200 unique chocolate wrappers. The two owners hope to make some limited editions tablets out of them!
The first floor was full of interesting exhibitions, information about the producing countries of cacoa and traditional dances and songs. Many sculptors, perfume makers, food designers and other artists brought their unique creations to the fair. Some of them were the Eiffel Towers of Hugo & Victor and Hélianthème, the beautiful creation of Dalloyau or the King Kong from Jean-Paul Hévin. Maitre chocolatier Hévin said to the reporter of France 2 that it took him and and his team of 70 people two months to make Kong!
Fradique and Antonio from the group Calema were there singing, signing autographs and giving private accapellas at their stand. With their beautiful tunes the singers from Sao Tomé and Principe always bring joy to the people lucky enough to listen to them. What a great way to end the day at the Salon du Chocolat!