What a hectic day it was this time at Salon du Chocolat. Was it the crowd, the number of exhibitors, or the fact that I wanted to do so many things in so little time? For all the things I could not do, however I got many very inspiring talks in return. And eventually that is the main reason for me to return to Paris every year.
What didn’t happen were the many video interviews I planned. Many chocolate people were subject to loaded schedules and the talks I did have left little window for an extra video. So I ended up with only three. And I didn’t shot a single photo. Gosh. Didn’t talk with Stéphane Bonnat, talked but didn’t interview Diego Badaro, and well some other things.
The good news though, I was really glad to run into Clay Gordon again, my inspiring chocophile from the US. Also Bertil Akesson was running a booth for the first time and I finally met a charming Santiago from Pacari. Also nice shaking hands with London’s most talked chocolatier Paul A. Young and Kate Johns, the director of The UK Chocolate Week, and an inevitable warm talk with Valérie from Pralus. It was a great surprise as well to see the Rizek family, the Dominican Republic cacao producer.
My two most inspiring moments were meeting Duane Dove and Chloé Doutre-Rousell. Duane devoted 7 years of his life to revive a true cacao plantation in Tobago, beautiful story. And now he releases his chocolate with the help of François Pralus. And yes I do have a short video with him.
The second encounter with Chloé was the longest talk of the day, but we needed 100 times more time. Her experience, attitude and now the El Ceibo project fired up talks and thoughts on our shared passion. Must be continued. Video, check.
On the chocolate side, it was crowded and the discoveries came from rather unexpected moments. It was not by queuing booths but through sharing passion that those discoveries happened. Tasting the Rizek family chocolate was exciting, trying the ‘El Ceibo Heritage’ was unique, and getting a non commercial sample from a rare Brazil Forastero variety was truly … rediscovering chocolate!
After all an unexpectedly very interesting Salon du Chocolate 2010. And for next year, I do need business cards. Taking a time now to reflect on many things, and do the video edits. More in detail of all of the above soon, for there is of course much more to tell!