My haul from last night's opening soirée at the SALON DU CHOCOLAT. Pretty limited compared to past years. I was focused on small chocolate souvenir cards to stuff the Paris Sketch Letters with more than edibles. Impulse did finally get the better of me but my neighbors will be happy when they open their doors this morning. Some people are not safe around caramel chocolate wafers. Guess who?
The chocolate salon is celebrating it's 20th birthday. It's reach is now world wide with chocolate celebrations across the globe. This global chocolate dress says it all. I'm going back today to sketch the chocolate creations.
Cémoi of the wonderful marshmallow chocolate bears had this old but quite elegant poster on display.
Once the chocolate fashion show gets going everyone crowds round hoping for a look. The perfect time for me to go off shooting the stands.
There is a big homage of photos to M. Chocolat, ROBERT LINXE who made Paris the chocolate center of the world with his MAISON DU CHOCOLAT years ago. I remember when he came to the James Beard House and gave us a tasting and demo eons ago. Linxe remains the mentor and role model to France's chocolatiers without doubt. La creme du la creme.
His Maison has always had wonderfully elegant design. The show this year seemed filled with elegant design. Perfect so close to Paris Fashion Week.
Of course I'm a big fan of the design and chocolates of Frederick Cassel Fontainebleau.
His limited edition feve honoring Bonaparte are ready if you plan ahead for your January galette du roi.
On to the chocolate, stacks and stacks of it in every imaginable flavor.
There will always be chocolate fountains and the temptation to pass a finger under...don't you dare.
Football fields of exquisite chocolates. These are from Dalloyau and I can attest they are excellent after 4 samples. The passion fruit in milk chocolate especially.
Of course it's purely an interest in abstract shapes that attracts me. Cube, sphere, Cezanne would have been happy.
Praliné spheres encircling a dark chocolate tree from Michel Cluizel with LED lights. Eat your tree. No waste. No mess.
On to the buche du Noel. Here the chocolate log is taken to ultimate simplicity with wit and elegance by master chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin.
I felt like this guy when I left at 10:30 pm. The clocks moved back last weekend and I still haven't adjusted.
Should you go to the Salon du Chocolat if you're in Paris?
I say YES!
There are many more things besides chocolate if you don't love the bean. The elegant, inspiring presentation alone is a good reason to go. Chocolate chefs are artists so expect eye candy of the highest order. If you need more proof check out my other pictures on Flickr.