Visitors to the Speciality Chocolate Fair at Olympia, London, can get a taste of the world of premium chocolate and meet its most imaginative chocolatiers. Lisa Jenkins finds out more
Speciality Chocolate Live is the demonstration theatre set to inspire attendees at the Speciality Chocolate Fair with a stellar line up of pastry chefs and chocolatiers from companies such as Pump Street Bakery, Boutique Aromatique and the Academy of Chocolate.
Samantha Rain, star of BBC1's Bake Off: Crème de la Crème, will kick off the demonstrations with her ‘Chocolatey journey to success' alongside her fellow winner and mentor Mark Tilling, pastry chef and resident tutor at Squires Kitchen.
Cherish Finden, executive pastry chef from the Langham London, will be whipping up her signature dish: popcorn meringue with salted caramel, sous-vide apple and sticky toffee sponge, while Sam Smallman of Rococo Chocolates will explain the importance of emotion and nostalgia when developing his products.
Demarquette is the host of Speciality Chocolate Live. He trained at the prestigious Lenôtre cookery school in Paris, where he was taught by world masters and acquired the skills to make fine artisan chocolates. His vision is to create exquisite, handmade chocolates, inspired by his cultural background, that marry his French and Chinese heritage.
He creates handmade chocolates for sale through his online boutique, Demarquette, and he is the only permanent chocolatier at Fortnum & Mason in London.
Award-winning chocolatier Barry Johnson is pÁ¢tissier and chocolate lecturer at the National Bakery School at London's South Bank University, and is renowned for his attention to detail and innovative flavours. They have won him honours including gold and silver medals at the 2013 Academy of Chocolate Awards and the 2013 International Chocolate Awards.
Johnson also captained the UK team in the European Pastry Cup in Geneva in 2014, gaining the highest marks in all categories, and recently led the UK team to sixth place at the Coupe du Monde de la PÁ¢tisserie 2015 in Lyon, the highest ever placing for a team from the UK.
Rain has a number of impressive accolades to her name, including the title of UK Junior Chocolate Master in 2014. She was also part of Mark Tilling's winning team on the BBC1 professional cooking show, Crème de la Crème. She currently works as a Sosa development chef for HB Ingredients.
Finden, executive pastry chef from the Langham London, likes to redefine the art of pÁ¢tisserie and has a CV that includes being invited to cook for Glamour magazine's Women of the Year awards as well as working in some of the world's most impressive hotels.
Alaya founded Melange Chocolate in Peckham, south London, in 2008 and has a reputation for making speciality, award-winning handmade chocolate bars and truffles characterised by an eclectic combination of spices, herbs and fruits. In 2013 Alaya founded the Chocolate Museum in Brixton, which was borne from her desire to teach others about quality chocolate and its history.
Preston is part of the multi award-winning team of chocolatiers, pÁ¢tissiers and confectioners known as Boutique Aromatique. The company produces fresh artisan chocolates, pÁ¢tisserie and confectionery from an open-air, micro kitchen within Welbeck Farm Shop in Nottinghamshire. Preston also tutors artisan chocolate and confectionery at the School of Artisan Food in Welbeck.
Ramsey is a chocolate expert, writer, consultant and award-winning chocolate maker based in London. His book, Chocolate, covers all aspects of the chocolate world with an emphasis on bean to bar, and will be published later this year. He is also the founder of Damson Chocolate, co-founder of Cocoa Runners and the World Chocolate Guide and a board member of the Guild of Fine Chocolate.
When he isn't making or writing about chocolate, he is a judge at the World Chocolate Masters, the Academy of Chocolate Awards and the International Chocolate Awards.
There are over 70 premium producers exhibiting at the show, including Rococo Chocolates, Enjoy! Raw Chocolate, Beech's Fine Chocolates, Coco Chocolate, Chocolala, Bonieri, Choc'Fleurs and Paxton Chocolate.
Petit Après create chocolate and superfood fusions. Each chocolate combines a layer of organic dark or 50% cocoa milk chocolate with a layer of creamy white chocolate, infused with flavours such as baobab and chia seeds.
Earth Loaf makes raw and artisan chocolate using organic Indian cacao. It offers raw chocolate bars, bon bons, tea infusions and preserves.
Colombia's Casa Luker will be showcasing its powdered panela (raw sugar made from dehydrated cane juice) and four varieties of chocolate couvertures sweetened with panela. The range also includes dark chocolate Trapiche, milk chocolate Melao and white chocolate Dorado.
Doisy & Dam is launching a new flavour - Maple, Toasted Rice and Himalayan Pink Salt dark chocolate - to its range of vegan chocolate.
Bonieri is returning with its Italian chocolates, showcasing its Bella Box Gemme - a range of Gemme pralines made with creamy gianduja made from Piedmont hazelnuts.
Fair trade and farmer-owned chocolate company Divine Chocolate is launching the Divine Tasting Kit, a set of 12 individually wrapped small bars in six of the brand's best-selling flavours - perfect for sharing or as a gift.
Where and when
4-6 September 2016
Registration is open and free to trade visitors:
Twitter: @Speciality_Food or @SpecialityChoc