Chocolate festival hits sweet spot
SUGARY SWEET words captured the essence of the 2016 Chocolate and Pastry Festival, according to exhibitors and patrons.
The second annual event was hosted at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, but the real party was on the tongues of patrons who sampled exotic chocolate items, pastry and wine last Saturday.
All corners of the Two Mile Hill, St Michael venue brimmed with locals and tourists who sunk their teeth into the bite-sized desserts displayed at some of the 29 booths.
Chocolate fountains cascaded with the rich, brown savoury sweet and seemed to be a hit with wide-eyed children who dropped their jaws in amazement.
At one booth a parent smiled as her son bit into a chocolate-covered strawberry and whispered: “Good, he is eating a fruit.”
One of the exhibitors was international master chef, Michael Poole, from the United States whose booth was a major attraction.
When EASY spoke to the French-trained chocolatier about Hot Chocolat, his business which is based in Seatle, Washingston, the products on display were almost sold out.
“I’m debuting a new flavour. I wanted to have a rum chocolate so I made a mojito. I made the rum, the lime and the mint and then I infused that into a smooth dark chocolate ganache and created the mojito chocolate,” he said, noting that this chocolate was a crowd favourite.
Others exhibitors such as Summer Shepherd had a mouthful of praise for the event, which she participated in for the first time.
The 18-year-old founder of Splurge stood beside her products, which included flower-designed treats made completely from sugar, as she expressed her satisfaction with the turnout.
She noted that as a relatively new business, she was glad to have the ability to network with other exhibitors and garner potential clients.
Similarly, the owner of Teri’s Pastries, Teri Bushell, said that the benefits of the event were “symbiotic”.
She explained that while the small business got a financial boost, the public was sensitised to the other products on the market.
Amidst the chit-chat of patrons was a group of people sitting quietly in front the stage.
Their eyes peered at Giuse Ferri, the owner of Mama Mia, taking in every stir as she did a live demonstration of chocolate risotto.
The festival was organised by I’m Impressed Events, which was founded by Barbadian chocolatier Margaret King who said: “I’m satisfied with the turnout. I think we had a better turnout than last year.
“[The festival offers] the public something different. I mean, who has ever tasted chocolate risotto?”
King, who is also the owner of Magnolia Chocolatier, said that organising the event was not a piece of cake: “It took tears, my feet hurt . . . . It was a lot of work but just putting it all together was well worth it.”
She estimates that the turnout was well over 600 and stated that the executive pastry chef at the Turtle Beach Hotel, Ezra Beckles, helped to make everything possible. (LT)