We went up to Paris to see the opening day of the Salon Du Chocolat at the Porte De Versailles expo center. After a long subway ride, we arrived and excitedly went in!
We left the kids back in Fontainebleau with Grandma and Grandpa. Don’t worry! They will come back to the Salon over the weekend (when it is open to the public.) First, here is a short video that shows some of our impressions of the Salon and the World Chocolate Masters competition.
The French member of the jury was one of our chocolate heroes, Patrick Roger. As you may remember, Kerstin went to his store in Paris this March, as reported in this blog posting. It was great to see him evaluate all the the sculptures with an expert’s eye.
One of our early favorites was the Japanese entrant, Umezaki. Like everyone else, he only had 3 hours to assemble his sculpture. He had a very complex delicate design, and he executed it with ease.
We saw that the Canadian entrant was a woman, Veronique Rousseau, from Quebec. She was the first woman to ever represent Canada, and she came out blazing. She was the only one of the 19 finalists to use a carving technique instead of molds. This meant that her scuplture weighed over 60kg, but it looked uniquely artistic. Watch the video above for some action shots of Veronique working!
The Dutch contestant won the WCM title, and his sculpture was large and scary! I think the shock value was what pushed him ahead of the pack. I hope Veronique comes back next year to try again!
At the end of our day we had a great chat with our Japanese chocolate hero, Koji Tsuchiya of Theobroma Cacao, a pioneer of fine cacao in Japan.
Stay tuned for our report from the “Grand Public” Salon, coming in a few days!