Chocolate Unwrapped

The May Fair Hotel, London, October 10-11 2009

This show was held to promote and coincide with National Chocolate Week.

The format was a large single room with simple tasting tables plus an additional room for lectures.

Companies exhibited included:

  • Hotel Chocolat – Angus Thirlwewll was one of the speakers (www.hotelchocolat.co.uk)
  • Galler (www.galler.com) – interesting range based on the four elements (wind, air,earth, water)
  • Des Angelis – Italian unconched chocolate (www.deangelis.uk.com)
  • Chocolate By Trish – high quality chocolate for home cooking (www.chocolatebytrish.com)
  • Choc Chick  – raw chocolate (www.chocchick.com)
  • Pacari – high quality organic chocolate from Ecuador (www.pacarichocolate.com)
  • Ooh La La – homemade seasonal chocolates (www.oohlalachocolaterie.com)
  • Lauden – artisan chocolates (www.laudenchocolate.com)
  • Chococo – fresh chocolates from Dorset (www.chococo.co.uk)
  • Artisan Du Chocolat – now two London shops (www.artisanduchocolat.com)
  • Melt – ditto (www.meltchocolate.com)
  • Paul  Wayne Gregory (www.paulwaynegregory.com) – new Indulgence range
  • Complete Cooking – caterers
  • SeventyPercent.com (www.seventypercent.com) – website for high quality chocolate
  • Academy Of Chocolate (www.academyofchocolate.org.uk) – co-ordinating body for high quality chocolatiers

I was there first thing on Sunday and attendance was steady – a friend went later in the day and said it was busy. Most of the standholders I talked to were happy with the attendance. You will see by the list above that most are relatively small producers, buying couverture from the likes of Cacao Barry and distributing their products locally and over the internet.

Throughout the day there were a number of lectures by high profile chocolatiers. The one I went to was by Paul Wayne Gregory which was OK – he is a nice chap and very keen (understandably) to promote his own products but he was not a compelling speaker. It would be good to have some more basic talks on  how chocolate is made, what tempering is, etc. One criticism I heard from standholders was that when the lectures started the rest of the show emptied, which left them with not much to do.

According to organisers Kate Johns and Emma Jane Clark they had over 100 journalists attending  as well as buyers from Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Harrods, making the show a useful trade showcase for products and product launches. The plan is to repeat Chocolate Unwrapped next year so look out for it – well worth a visit!.