If you're a chocoholic, make sure you keep the weekend of the 24th to the 26th of August free. That’s when the New Zealand Chocolate Festival, a delectable celebration of all things cacao is taking place at Wellington's Hotel InterContinental.
The festival promises to excite your senses. You will get the chance to indulge your taste buds and feast your eyes on some of the finest examples of the art of chocolate making.
Chefs, chocolate makers and chocolate enthusiasts alike will share their passion and knowledge of chocolate and the humble cocoa bean.
In the Culinary Theatre top chefs will weave their magic to create fantastic chocolate based desserts and savouries. You’ll pick up loads of tips and inspiration on how to use chocolate in your own cooking.
Naturally, you’ll get to try the dishes. After all it wouldn’t be a proper demonstration without a tasting! A new demonstration will be held every 90 minutes and seating is available on a first in first served basis.
A new feature on the programme is the Choclatier’s Studio. It’s a rare opportunity to see the masters at work, to witness their creations take shape and to ask them questions about chocolate making.
This year the festival boasts even more exhibitors than previously. You can sample and purchase products you know and love. You’ll notice chocolate and cacao used in both familiar and unexpected items, from sweets and baked goods to beauty products and even jewellery.
Suffice to say there’s plenty here to please even the most discerning chocolate lover!
The New Zealand Chocolate Festival sold out last year. Tickets are strictly limited, so if you want to experience chocolate nirvana you need to get in quick.
Don’t think the festival’s your only opportunity to indulge your love of chocolate. There are a number of restaurants around New Zealand where you can tuck into great hot chocolate and mouth watering desserts at any time.
A couple of popular options are:
Chocolate Boutique, Auckland
She Choclat, Christchurch
From the 10th to the 26th of August you can enjoy a delectable five course degustation dinner menu.
Themed “A Taste of Chocolate”, the menu makes creative use of top quality French Valrhona chocolate.
It uses several different kinds of Valrhona chocolate, made from cocoa beans from plantations around the world: Guanaja (Honduras), Caraibe (Carribean), Araguani (Venezuela), Manjari (Madagascar) and Ivory, white chocolate.
These varieties bring a range of flavour accents to the savoury elements of the dishes, from bitter, smoky and chestnutty through to milk and vanilla.
Tickets for A Taste of Chocolate five course degustation dinner cost $85 per person and are not included in the festival ticket price. Contact Chameleon Restaurant on (04) 495 7841 or email@example.com to purchase yours.
Editorial by Nicholas Chidley
28 June 2012