Tag Archives: chocolatiers

Two weeks of chocolate indulgence!

For the Love of the ChocolateWhat’s a love without chocolate! Countdown to valentine day has already started and chocolate always brings some sweet memories. From 1 – 15 February chocolate aficionados can once again indulge in European capital Brussels. For the third time visit.brussels focuses on chocolate during the Chocolate weeks. Armed with a Chocolate pass, the visitor will be able to sample more than 20 chocolatiers’ delicacies while also enjoying discounts to the chocolate museums and purchases at various chocolate stores.

Belgian ChocolatesWith Valentine’s Day fast approaching and the Salon du Chocolat in Brussels set to run from 10 – 12 February chocolate is again top of mind. This is the third time since 2012 that Chocolate weeks has been organised. Genuine chocolate aficionados will use the Chocolate pass this year. This grants access to more than 20 chocolatiers, offering the chance to sample their delicious creations. In addition, this pass also offers discounts at the Belgian Chocolate Village et Choco-Story museum, where the visitor can delve further into the history of chocolate and make purchases at numerous chocolatiers.

Salon Du ChocolateEarly birds can now buy their Brussels trip voucher for only €5.55 by purchasing the voucher for the pass online at chocolatepass.brussels. The voucher can be exchanged from 1 February at one of the visit.brussels tourism offices and also gives access to the experience.brussels expo free of charge. From 1 February – 15 February the pass can be purchased directly from € 5 at participating chocolatiers and museums, 36 locations spread over 8 Brussels districts, and at the visit.brussels collection offices.

Salon Du ChocolateParticipating chocolatiers are: Art de Praslin, BenoîtNihant, Bruyerre, Café-Tasse, Concept Chocolate, Corné Dynastie, Corné Port-Royal, Delacre, Galler, Godiva, JérômeGrimonpon, L’Alchimie du Chocolat, Laurent Gerbaud,  Leonidas, Mary, Neuhaus, Passion Chocolat, Planète Chocolat, Vandenhende, Wittamer and Zaabär.


Chocolate Lovers to be in Brussels coming February

Salon Du ChocolateWell, this for you if you have got anything to do with chocolates. If the word chocolate does not makes you lick your lips, than you can perhaps skip this.

For the third year running, following the success of previous editions, Brussels is hosting the Salon du Chocolat from 5th to 7th February 2016, for another celebration of Belgian chocolate. It will be held at Palais 1 of Brussels Expo for an especially flavoursome 2016 edition which will bring over 80 participants together – chocolatiers, patissiers, confectioners, chefs, pastry chefs, designers and cocoa experts. The Salon du Chocolat is the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate and cocoa. Created 21 years ago in Paris, by Sylvie Douce and François Jeantet, it is held in the world’s major cities, across all four corners of the Earth. The Mondial du Chocolat et du Cacao® is continuing its international tour, with about twenty events scheduled worldwide, and new destinations such as Milan.

Cocoa Expressions, Chocolate Innovations 

Salon Du ChocolateThe theme for the new edition, “Cocoa Expressions, Chocolate Impressions”, will focus on current trends in the world of chocolate and pastry and will celebrate the creativity, avant-gardism and capacity to innovate of a whole profession. Of really noticeable trends, that of “bean to bar” will be given pride of place at this 3rd edition. Starting out in the United States in the nineties, the “bean to bar” trend has seen increasing success in Europe: a growing interest that fits in the general tendency to observe expertise, authenticity and traceability.

Some passionate chocolatiers are no longer content to use merely couverture chocolate, but have decided to get right to the roots and select their own cocoa beans from plantations, on the quest for unique soils and flavours. Just as with wine, every region which produces cocoa in fact has unique characteristics when it comes to taste; more specifically, every plantation has something which is unique to it, rather like a “château” in the middle of a vineyard. These taste artists then inspect the way the beans are processed, especially the tricky torrefaction stage, for complete mastery of all flavours, to pass them on to chocolate lovers in unique creations.

Salon Du ChocolateThis year, the Salon du Chocolat will inaugurate a new space: Les Espoirs du Chocolat” (“The Promising Young Talents”). The Show’s philosophy is indeed to promote the profession and highligth the new generation of talented chocolatiers and patissiers. The Hopefuls selected include the young chocolatière Euphrasie Mbamba de Sigoji, whose creations are inspired both by Belgian culture and by the raw materials from her native Cameroon.

A permanent show accessible to all

For 3 days, the Show will be putting on a comprehensive programme of fun and educational events for children and grown-ups alike.

Chocolate Fashion ShowThe Chocolate Fashion Show: this is on the theme of carnival, on which chocolatiers and designers are working in duo, to present a festive and tempting 2016 collection. The creations will be unveiled as a preview at an exclusive invitation-only Gala evening on Thursday 4th February, and presented to the public at a unique show scheduled at 5:00 p.m. daily from 5thto 7th February. The Belgian talents on show this year include: Laurent Gerbaud & Patou Saint Germain, Nadia Flecha Guazo (Chokolate) & Débora Velasquez, Conte de Fèves – Céline Bouzegza & Nathalie Stockman, Valentino & Sixtine Anne de Molina, Ducobu & l’Atelier Lannaux, Didier Smeets, Leonidas, Jean-Philippe Darcis, Chocolaterie Bruyerre, Van Dender and Callebaut.

Recipe demonstrations: on the podium of the “Pastry Show”, the greatest chefs, pastry chefs and master chocolatiers will relay every hour to present, live, their best chocolate recipes and share their professional tips with the public. Names already mentioned: Christophe Hardiquest (Bonbon), Laury Zioui (L’Éveil des Sens), Eric Fernez (D’Eugénie à Émilie), Eric Martin (Maison Lemonnier), Sang-Hoon Degeimbre (L’Air du Temps & San), Maxime Collin (La Villa Lorraine), Benoît De Witte (Benoît et Bernard De Witte), Alexandre Dionisio (La Villa in the sky), Hendrik Dierendonck (Carcasse) in duo with Dominique Persoone, Steven Vandeparre, Van Dender, Julien Lapraille, Fabrice Collignon, Arnaud Champagne, Joost Arijs, Maison Pierre Marcolini, Paul Wittamer, … This year, the three days of recipe demonstrations are sponsored by Couplet Sugars.

Conferences and tastings: visitors will perfect their knowledge and explore all of the subtleties of cocoa, at conferences hosted by chocolate experts and aficionados, at the “Chocosphère”.

Chocolate tastingThe themes covered this year include:

  • Combining Chocolate & Health with the concept of “Hippocratonomie” in the presence of the starred chef Arabelle Meirlaen and Professor Vincent Castronovo, Oncologist and Senologist at the University of Liège.
  • Pairing Wine & Chocolate: let’s explore new paths! with Patrick Bottcher, Chronicler and author of Tronche de vins.
  • Beer & Chocolate with Laurent Gerbaud, Jean Hummler (Moeder Lambic) and the Brasserie Cantillon.
  • The bean to bar trend through several conferences by Alice Voisin, El Sauco and Benoît Nihant.
  • Belgian Chocolate: tradition and innovation with contributions from Paul Wittamer and Jist Heyninck.
  • History & Chocolate with Nikita Harwich, Member of the French Chocolate and Confectionery Academy.
  • The Lands of cocoa with a conference on the Cunas Indians hosted by Eddy van Belle (Choco-Story Brussels).

Workshops: visitors will have the opportunity to participate actively through a variety of pastry workshops, hosted by Les secrets du Chef and Conte de Fèves. On his stand, the chocolatier Jean-Philippe Darcis will offer not-to-be-missed Master Classes to pastry lovers, including sampling. And those aged 6-12 will enjoy workshops specially designed for them in “Chocoland”, hosted by La Route Belge du Chocolat.

Book signings: in partnership with the famous Brussels bookshop Filigranes, the Show will offer visitors the chance to see the latest cookery literature and have recently published books on gastronomy, chocolate and pâtisserie signed. The authors present at the signing sessions will include: Arabelle Meirlaen (Ma Cuisine intuitive, Éditions Gabriel), Hendrik Dierendonck (Mange Bruxelles, Sh-op Éditions), Julien Lapraille (Ne m’appelez pas Chef !, Génération W Éditions), …

Exhibitions and happenings: Leonidas will be celebrating fashion through a giant 4.20-metre-high sculpture, designed by the artist-chocolatier Jean-Luc Decluzeau. The work will represent a mannekin of a woman entirely knife-sculpted in a 500 kg block of chocolate. The sculpture will be sublimated with a lustre of chocolate 2 metres high and 1.20 metres wide, adorned with several tens of pieces of Swarovski crystal.

Salon Du ChocolateThe Choco-Story Brussels museum will host an exhibition at the heart of the Show, plus many animations in partnership with La Route Belge du Chocolat: introduction to tasting of hot chocolate, magic tricks and chocolate massages. New this year: guides will take small groups of visitors around for a mini-guided tour of the exhibition, with sampling breaks at the stands of several chocolatiers. Also worth seeing in the area: the official launch onto the Belgian market of the Encyclopaedia of Chocolate and Confectionery, a reference work, the fruit of ten years’ works and research by the French Chocolate and Confectionery Academy.

And many other surprises to be explored on the exhibitors’ stands, such as Godiva, which will be celebrating its 90th anniversary at the Salon du Chocolat.

Upcoming events!

Tokyo: 26-31 January 2016, NS Building
Kyoto: 27 January – 14 February 2016, JR Kyoto Isetan
Osaka: 27 January – 14 February 2016, JR Osaka Mitsukoshi Isetan
Fukuoka: 28 January – 14 February 2016, Iwataya
Sapporo: 31 January – 14 February 2016, Marui Imai
Nagoya: 31 January – 7 February 2016, Mitsukoshi
Sendai: 2-14 February 2016, Mitsukoshi
Brussels: 5-7 February 2016, Brussels Expo
Milan: 13-15 February 2016, The Mall
Moscow: 5-8 March 2016, Expocentre
London: 14-16 October 2016, Olympia National Hall
Paris: 28 October – 1 November 2016, Porte de Versailles
Lyon: 11-13 November 2016, Centre de Congrès – Cité Internationale
Seoul: 19-22 January 2017

Second Brussels chocolate show will be much bigger

ChocolateThe second Brussels chocolate show will be much bigger. For the second year in a row, Brussels will be welcoming the Chocolate Show from 6th to 8th February 2015. This time, with over 6000 m² devoted to chocolate in every form. Enough space to provide greater comfort for both exhibitors and visitors, particularly thanks to the site’s access and parking facilities. Even more artisans, conferences, workshops, and demonstrations to delight all ages! For 3 days, Palais 1 of the Brussels Expo in Brussels will be site for exceptional tastings and demonstrations.

Chocolate iconsThe Chocolate Show is the largest event in the world devoted to chocolate. Created 20 years ago in Paris by Sylvie Douce and François Jeantet, it occurs in the greatest cities in the world: Paris, New York, Tokyo, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Lima, Salvador de Bahia, London, Zurich, etc. Brussels now represents a key date among the European events.

Last year, the 3 days of the Show saw nearly 30,000 visitors. Belgian visitors from all regions came most often as a family, but also with their friends, and showed themselves to be very enthusiastic and excited about this first event. This was, without a doubt, a long-awaited event. To some, this fact will be surprising that the average Belgian consumes 8 kg of chocolate per year, per person! Shops entirely dedicated to chocolate mark the streets of cities like Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, or even Liège.

Chocolate FashionBelgian expertise dates from the early 20th century. At that time, cocoa beans entered Belgium through Anvers. So it was here that they were roasted and then ground to form a paste, which was then exported. Belgians set themselves apart by perfecting a technique for refining cocoa beans to make the chocolate smoother while creating a more flavourful product. Chocolate stores multiplied, and some of our countrymen specialised in the roasting and preparation of ready-to-use products. This expertise was then passed down through high-quality instruction and a highly-qualified workforce. This is what has made us into chocolate “specialists”! On both the French-speaking and Dutch-speaking sides of our flat country, the big names in Belgian chocolate are now internationally renowned: Pierre Marcolini, Leonidas, Neuhaus, Galler, Godiva, Laurent Gerbaud, Joost Arijs and many more…

The Chocolate Show allows you to benefit from the many facets of chocolate all in one place, displayed in all its forms and states. You and your children can learn the tricks of the trade during fun and informative workshops.

Chocolate GyanEverything you can do at the Chocolate Show:

  • Discover the expertise of the best Belgian chocolatiers
  • Attend demonstrations by professionals and great chefs at the PASTRY SHOW
  • Taste the best chocolates and brand new recipes
  • Meet the biggest names in chocolate and watch them work
  • Participate in all sorts of workshops
  • Take part in conferences and debates led by leading Belgian and international figures in the CHOCOSPHERE area
  • Bring your children to the CHOCOLAND area, where they can participate in original and fun educational workshops
  • Admire the parade of chocolate dresses at the CACAO SHOW
  • Learn more about cocoa producing countries
  • Contemplate chocolate sculptures
  • Find out the secrets of chocolate manufacturing
  • Buy recipe books about chocolate and get them autographed
  • Discover the great chocolate museums
  • Attend cooking competitions featuring professionals and chocolate lovers

It will be melting chocolates at Brussels in February

For the Love of the ChocolateBelgium, has always been the very essence of one of the great homelands of chocolate on the world stage. Brussels is therefore very proud to be hosting the first “Salon du Chocolat” to be held on Belgian soil, from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th February 2014, at Tour & Taxis (Shed 1-1 b). Praised by all chocolate lovers and market experts, the Salon du Chocolat represents an international label. With more than 20 worldwide editions behind it, (from Paris to New York, not forgetting Salvador da Bahia, Tokyo, Seoul, London …) only one destination was missing from its roll of honour: the capital of Europe. For this first Brussels edition, more than 60 exhibitors, mostly Belgian but also from the international scene, will display their talents. Through its landmark events (demonstrations, fashion show, children’s area…) and also via the numerous innovations, the Salon du Chocolat in Brussels will honour the entire magic of chocolate and pay tribute to Belgian chocolate! More than simply an event, the Salon du Chocolat represents a link between those who grow cocoa and those who eat chocolate.

Belgian ChocolatesBelgium is currently the second largest consumer of chocolate in the world behind Switzerland, with an average approaching 10 kilos per person per year. While worldwide consumption has always been substantial, it is currently increasing further thanks to a growing interest in chocolate from countries like China and India. Numerous chocolate companies’ headquarters are located in the Brussels Region: the city is located at the very heart of brand innovation.


  • THE FASHION SHOW OF CHOCOLATE DRESSES: The magic of Salon du Chocolat is also to be seen in the enchantment of the Chocolate dresses. A genuine alchemy of talent and of ancestral know-how…
  • CHOCOLATE- MAKING COURSES IN THE ‘CHOCO DEMO’ AREA: Every hour in the ‘Choco Demo’ area, well-known Belgian chefs, pastry chefs and chocolate-makers will create exceptional recipes in front of a group of people, revealing some of the tricks of the trade. Technical skills, mastery of the art, the gourmet world, all of this in front of your very eyes.
  • GASTRONOMIC LITERATURE: Because the magical power of chocolate within the heart of gastronomy is also expressed through the rich variety of cookery works including and about chocolate, for its first edition the Fair will welcome the Filigranes, bookshop, an institution in Brussels.
  • ‘CHOCOLAND’ A KIDS’ CHOCOLATE PARADISE: ‘Chocoland’ area will welcome children from 4 to 10 years old. Amusing and recreational workshops will be on offer with a variety of themes: from preparing biscuits to making lollipops and not forgetting macaroons and chocolate masks. The little chefs will find plenty of tasty things to occupy them! In this area, every child will be immersed in a world of chocolate and will be transformed into an artist of taste.
  • EXHIBITION : CHOCOLATE TELLS ITS TALE…: The Brussels Chocolate Museum and the Bruges Chocolate Museum have come together to offer visitors to the Salon du Chocolat in Brussels a chance to be genuinely immersed in the history of cocoa and of Belgian chocolate, through a unique exhibition.
  • LEONIDAS CELEBRATES 100 YEARS: The famous Belgian chocolate-maker will use this occasion to enable its history to be discovered via an iconic sculpture and an amusing photo-call. In order to celebrate its 100th birthday in a fitting manner, the famous brand has chosen to represent 100 years of passion for chocolate via a sculpture which is as great as its own expertise.
  • CULINARY DESIGN: THE YOUNG GENERATION TAKES CENTRE STAGE : With its powerful emotional symbolism, chocolate proves to be a tremendous product when it comes to culinary design. The Brussels Chocolate Fair will put the spotlight on the creations and thinking of the students of the Executive Master Food Design.



Tram Experience offers a festive menu at Brussels

Diner des Vignerons belges - Diner van de Belgische Wijnbouwers (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier
Diner des Vignerons belges – Diner van de Belgische Wijnbouwers (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier

I had always enjoyed Belgian desserts specially the pastries. Chance for you now to have a plenty. This holiday season, from 10 December to 19 January, the Tram Experience will be serving an extra festive 3 course menu concocted by Brussels brightest culinary ambassadors, two starred chefs Lionel Rigolet from the Comme Chez Soi and Pascal Devalkeneer from the Chalet de la Forêt. The menu will be followed by a dessert by haute chocolatier Pierre Marcolini.

The Tram Experience had been a showcase for the finest food that Brussels has to offer Since May 2013, passengers can discover in just one meal dishes by two or three different chefs, sometimes in surprising combinations. This four handed cooking experience makes the Tram Experience, already a unique concept, even more unique! New feature compared to last year is that the Tram Experience is no longer just for chefs, as some menus will now include desserts by some of our best chocolatiers and pastry chefs.

Chefs for all seasons

Diner des Vignerons belges - Diner van de Belgische Wijnbouwers (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier
Diner des Vignerons belges – Diner van de Belgische Wijnbouwers (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier

Brussels has no shortage of culinary stars, with a wide range of styles and influences. Each season, a new team of Michelin-starred chefs will come on board to create a menu. The first chef will create the amuse-bouches and the starter, while the second will be responsible for the main course.  And half-way through, so every six weeks, they will swap to keep things interesting, so the chef
behind the main course will tackle the starters, while his or her colleague will move on to the main course.  Since May, the Tram Experience has already had the honour of presenting dishes by the famous chefs such as Giovanni Bruno (Senzanome), Gaëtan Colin of (Jaloa), Stefan Jacobs (Vadouxvent) and Kamo Tomoyasu (Kamo), and desserts by the chocolatiers Laurent Gerbaud and Pierre Marcolini.

Diner des Vignerons belges - Diner van de Belgische Wijnbouwers (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier
Diner des Vignerons belges – Diner van de Belgische Wijnbouwers (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier

For the next round all dishes are created on board by chef Denis Roberty from the catering company Les Garrigues, following the very specific instructions provided by the chefs who created the dishes. His culinary talents and technical prowess guarantee the highest quality. The meals will be served by experienced, attentive staff who have been given very specific training for working in this very unusual environment.

As always, there are eight trips per week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 8pm, Friday and  Saturday evenings at 6.30pm and 9.30pm, and Sundays at midday. Departures and arrivals are occurring from Place Poelaert except on Fridays where the departure of the Tram Experience is at the Tram Museum, Avenue de Tervueren 364, 1150 Brussels. And for those who want to prepare their pockets well, the price for three courses, amuse-bouches, champagne, wines and water is €99 per person.

Finest food that Brussels has to offer

Diners at Tram Museum. Photo: (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier
Diners at Tram Museum. Photo: (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier

Since 14 May the Tram Experience has been back for even more gourmet adventures in Brussels! Building on the success of 2012, when it was the undeniable hit of Brusselicious, the Tram Experience is back and this time it’s even more tempting, delicious than before.
This year we will be turning the spotlight on Michelin-starred chefs from Brussels. In just one meal, the guests will be invited to discover dishes by two different chefs and one of our best chocolatiers or pastry chefs, in a sixhanded cooking experience.

Lionel Rigolet, proud supporter of the Tram Experience 2013
Famous chef from the mythical Comme Chez Soi, Lionel Rigolet supports the Tram Experience this year and lets us benefit from his expertise and bright advice. He will also participate to the menus proposed at the end of the year.

Diners at Tram Museum Photo: (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier
Diners at Tram Museum Photo: (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier

Chefs for all seasons
Brussels has no shortage of culinary stars, with a wide range of styles and influences, so it would be a shame to limit ourselves to a mere handful of chefs. Each season, a new team of Michelin-starred chefs will come onboard to create a menu.
The first chef will create the amuse-bouches and the starter, while the second will be responsible for the main course. And half-way through, so every six weeks, they will swap. Last but not least, the dessert is signed nu one of our best chocolatiers or pastry chefs.

Chefs featured from 3 September to 8 December 2013
The gastronomy of Brussels is exceptionally good and diverse. Kamo, the only Japanese restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star in Belgium, is one of its more unusual marvels. Chef Kamo Tomoyasu used to work at the mythical Tagawa in the 1990s. After a return to Japan, he came back to Brussels in 2006 to open his own restaurant. ‘Kamo’ has since then worked in his small establishment in Ixelles, making good use of his incomparable skills and attention to detail. At Kamo, everything happens on the plate! The chef’s authentic dishes combine modern touches with tradition, enabling customers to discover an exotic form of Japanese cuisine. You can be sure that eating here will be a very rewarding ‘experience’!
Giovanni Bruno has run Senzanome, a family restaurant, with his sister Nadia for around 30 years. The chef brings his unique touch to traditional Italian gastronomy and continues to win awards. Among these are a Michelin star since 2004, best Italian restaurant (in Europe) outside of Italy (2011 and 2012), and best Italian restaurant in 2012 (gourmet guides). Dining at Senzanome is always an unforgettable experience. A meal there is akin to enjoying an unusual voyage through a form of cuisine that we think we know so well, topped off by the innovative and respectful master touches of Giovanni Bruno.
Laurent Gerbaud, a very friendly chap, is not your typical chocolatier. After graduating in medieval history, he opted instead to follow in the footsteps of his baker-pastry chef grandfather, by doing a training course at CERIA. His career began in Shanghai, where he picked
up many Asian influences. Back in Brussels, he began adding unique fruit and spices to his chocolate, selecting them according to their aromatic qualities. When combined with Trinitario and Nacional cocoa beans carefully selected by Domori in Italy, these raw materials offer a subtle blend of aromas and textures, both sweet and savoury, plus flavours that are sweet, tangy, bitter and spicy. In just a few short years, Laurent Gerbaud has become one of the very best artisanal chocolate-makers in Brussels, where he plies his craft with talent, good humour and creativeness aplenty.

Diners at Tram Museum. Photo: (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier
Diners at Tram Museum. Photo: (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier

All of these dishes are prepared onboard by chef Denis Roberty from the catering company Les Garrigues. They are served with the matching wines and waters.

Practical details
Throughout the year, there will be eight trips on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 8pm, Friday and Saturday evenings at 6.30pm and 9.30pm, and Sundays at midday. Unlike last year, on Fridays, departures will now be from the Tram Museum.
One  can book a table online via www.tramexperience.be or in the VISITBRUSSELS tourist information offices. The price for three courses, amuse-bouches, champagne, wines and water is €89 per person.
A new season that starts with a fantastic offer! For any table of four booked in September, a discount of 10 € per person will be given with every online reservation mentioning the promotional code « backtoschool ».