Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show

Toronto Chocolate: Part 3

Earlier this week I was in Toronto where I attended the Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show, which took place at the Roy Thompson Hall on Sunday, November 4th.

This guy was being congratulated by everyone on the
show floor for his winning chocolate-eating abilities.
Hmm, I wonder how they knew that he had won the contest?
Was it the trophy that tipped them off?
Or maybe it was his beard...oh wait, that's not a beard!
So what is the Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show? It is a trade fair where guests can walk from table to table and learn about chocolate products made by the various exhibitors, sample them and make purchases at reduced prices (well, some of the products appeared to be priced higher than in retail stores, but there were some great deals too). Other activities included chocolate and wine tasting seminars, a kids' chocolate activity centre, chocolate-making demonstrations and a chocolate eating contest. And as you can see from the picture, the chocolate contest is a happy (if not messy) event!

The exhibitor list was varied and showcased everything from shortbread to chocolate bars. It included ChocoSol Traders, an artisan and fair trade-oriented Toronto chocolate maker who allowed guests to grind their own cacao beans and blend their hot drinking chocolate with some bicycle action (see the photo on the right).  I decided then and there that I need one of those bicycles! The lady in front of me felt the same way - she was very happy to grind her own hot chocolate.  And so was the person behind me. I was disappointed that I was not chosen to work the bike, but I think it was my four-inch heeled boots that caused me to be overlooked (mental note: next year, wear flats).

Also in attendance was Laura Slack Chocolate Artist, Giddy Yoyo who makes 'organic heirloom raw chocolate' bars, and samples of BRIX Chocolate for Wine provided by B & M Marketing (Canada) Inc. and more. 

Unfortunately, I missed out on registration for the Wine and Chocolate Pairing seminars. I had really wanted to attend one, despite the extra cost to sign up, but by 1:00 p.m every seminar was booked. I had checked the website to buy advance tickets for the seminars, but could not find out how. So that would be one of my few recommendations for the show to include next year.

My only other recommendation is for the show to increase its exhibitor list next year.  After touring the entire show floor, I was surprised that I had gotten through it so quickly, even with waiting in long line-ups at some of the tables.

The cost was about $20-$25 per ticket (depending if purchased online or at the door); I would have liked access to more chocolate, confection and pastry makers for that fee. In fact, after touring the show floor, I found myself looking for Soma Chocolatemaker. Being Canada's most well-known bean-to-bar chocolate maker with two locations in Toronto, I thought they would have a table at the show or participate in the event in some way. Also, I know of many more luxury chocolate makers in Toronto who were not at this show.
 
Even though the Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show was a little on the small side, I found the afternoon to be enjoyable, particularly when my mother and I took a little rest from the show to enjoy a glass of wine and some dark chocolate that I had purchased. Including a licensed bar in the show was certainly a nice touch by the event organizers.

If you are a chocolate-lover or are shopping for holiday gifts for others who appreciate fine chocolate and desserts, I highly recommend that you attend next year's event.  Check the website for more information. For more information on chocolate in Toronto, read Part 1 and Part 2.

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