On April 6th ended the third Salon du Chocolat in Zurich, where 16,000 people came to the Oerlikon Messe. During the weekend the fair was packed with families. Just before Easter many had come to buy chocolates and meet the talented maîtres-patissiers and pastry chefs.
At the choco demos, known chefs came to make live a chocolate dessert. The demonstrations lasted between 30 minutes to 1 hour and at the end all the guests could try the creation. These, mainly hosted in the German language, were well attended and it was a treat for everyone to be able to taste such unique, interesting, beautiful and tasty desserts. Thomas Sporrer from the Gstaad Palace, Lars Hellenbrand and Kätrin Holzer from the Dolder Grand, Rolf Caviezel from Carma, Marcel Schmitutz from Clouds, Felix Oeder and Antonino Alampi from Il Casale, Patrick Reiterer and Antonio Colaianni from Mesa, Iva Jud from Confiserie Honold and Sebastien Eckler from Choco Emotions were some of the chefs who participated at the Salon du Chocolat this year.
While the chefs were cooking and answering the questions of the moderator, Sirio Flückiger, on the podium, the students of the BHMS school in Lucerne were assembling the desserts backstage, ready to be served before the end of the demo. The food was made in the chefs’ restaurants and transported before the show to the fair. Other students accompanied by their teacher, Jürg Wernli, prepared cooking area on the podium with the appropriate ingredients and tools.
At the chocosphere one learned about wine pairing, Easter culture, the magical world of chocolate, how chocolate dresses are made and much more.
Eighty exhibitors had come to the fair to show their newest or most selling products. While most came from Switzerland others had come from further away like the Ukrainian company, Roshen. It had brought its products to Zurich to experiment and see how the Swiss like their chocolates.
Many people marvelled at the Easter bunnies and creations like the Cleo from Läderach, the colourful rabbit from Sprüngli or the rabbits wearing glasses and sitting in a bathtub from Praliné Scherrer.
Some had come for the chocolate tastings. You could try chocolate everywhere like at Favarger, Say Chocolate, Konditorei Voland, Karl Hug Confiserie or Idilio Origins. Niklaus Blumer from Idilio Origins was eager to explain how he goes on choco yards hunts in South America.
Others enjoyed watching the maîtres chocolatiers make truffles at Suteria and Sprüngli, eat chocolate strawberries or watch Laurent Robatel make personalized chocolate tablets. The maître chocolatier from Fribourg had much more work he had imagined and was making one tablet after another until the afternoon fashion show. Laurent had to stay concentrated to do his meticulous work especially when writing words in German he explained. Most people were ordering milk tablets and choosing hearts to decorate their tablet. “Love is in the air, ” said smiling the friendly maître chocolatier from Villars.
The love and interest of people for the fashion shows was evident. Already half an hour before the show, all seats were taken and when it was time to start one could not even see the podium. All wanted to have a glimpse of the beautiful models and dresses. Rayel Anyass won a one year contract with the model agency Biba.
The Salon du Chocolat brought to Zurich more than chocolate exhibitors but also ice cream, nougat, cake and macaron. It was the first year that Véronique, a former secretary, came to the salon with her husband, to present her macarons. The intense colors brought people to her stand, Les macarons Précieux de Véronique, where she had 12 flavors like mandarine, chocolat and of course caramel fleur de sel! You can find her boutique online at the moment.
The Salon du Chocolat will be back next year in Zurich. If you can’t wait until then, the next chocolate fair will be in Lima from July 4th to the 6th. Otherwise the biggest event is the 20th anniversary of the fair in Paris from October 29th to November 2nd. The founders, Sylvie Douce and Francois Jeantet, are looking forward to welcome you there.