Salon du Chocolat: The Mecca for Chocoholics
If you belong to the club of Chocoholics, you will certainly mark on your calendar the dates of the yearly trade fair for the international chocolate industry! The Salon du Chocolat begun in 1994 in Paris, supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was subsequently held in London, New York, Beirut, Tokyo, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and in Milan — since 2016.
The third edition of the Italian Salon du Chocolat took place from February 15th through the 18th at the Pavillion MiCoLab, during the Milanese Ambrosian Carnival — which extends the Carnival celebrations on the Fat Saturday, following Ash Wednesday.
The Chocolate Fair gathered the excellencies in the field, to tribute the artisanal skills of pastry chefs, allowing the public to have a taste of the exquisite delicacies. Over 80 chocolate producers from all over the world showcased their delightful gourmandises creations in a space of 8000m2 that offers tastings, shopping, a Sensory Bar, Chocoland for children and cooking shows with award winning patissiers.
This sweet and powerful business platform, has proven to anticipate international trends. Innovative proposals have been presented at this delicious fair, and the narration of chocolate has been homaged in multiple forms — as food, as an object of design and as a tool for social progress. The Salon engages in the storytelling of the Bean to Bar, the story of the chocolate chain from the bean to the consumer, to reveal to the general public all the steps that bring an exotic plant to become one of the most loved confectionery product ever.
The Opening Night featured a fantastic Fashion Show, hosted by Irene Colombo, where a variety of theatrical garments were adorned with chocolate jewels, buttons and accessories. The main theme of every creation, that waltzed upon the catwalk, was the style of the Belle Époque. This historical moment, between the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s, epitomized the European joie the vivre expressed by the artistic movements of Art Nouveau and Liberty, along with the advent of fashion and cinema, as well as the scientific evolution and social progress. From Paris to Milan people inhaled the air of change, a palpable happiness. These are the same emotions that can be found in chocolate, the feelings of warmth and confidence that only this sweet treat can provide. The Choco Fashion Show of the Salon presented itself as a truly unique event that brought together the Teatro della Moda — the Milanese fashion school specialized in Italian fine tailoring — and the great master confectioners in the art of chocolate sculpture.
This collaboration gave rise to truly unique creations in their field with a clear reference to the Belle Époque: refined dresses, hats, trainings, flowers, medallions, bracelets and tiaras. The main material used was black and white chocolate, but there were also variations on the theme, such as coffee, cream, cinnamon, caramel, hazelnut, Himalayan pink salt, currant, licorice, fruit, pepper and even the packaging that normally wraps sweets.
The Choco Fashion marked a grand opening of the Salon du Chocolat, satisfying those who are addicted Chocoholics, fashionistas and those who feel nostalgia for distant eras, such as the Belle Époque.