Thursday, February 20, 2014

Philippine Chocolate Festival 2014

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Fascinated by the eccentric organizer's name for the Philippine Chocolate Festival 2014 made me curiouser and curiouser, so I went last February 15, 2014,  for the first time to find what's the wonder at SM Masinag. Indeed Chocco Locco GOC folks are for real crazy about chocolates, and so are the speakers and demonstrators.

Although devoid of those grand and fancy eye candy decors its sheer simplicity makes you more focused on the essence of what chocolate is.  A centerpiece of chocolate display but it was a cornucopia of  the festival's uniquenes with their emphasis on organic cacao products and highlighting local artisan chocolatiers.

There were fewer booths but am so glad to find my all time favorite ChocoATBP with their famed batirol, tablea drinks and their fantastic fudge that melts in your mouth. What is also unique about this festival is that hardly could you find those well known commercial chocolate brands, although some of their sponsors have booth like - DLA naturals, Puratos-Belcolade,  Beryls, Selbourne, Sweetlink, Bensdorp, etc.


At the event center several speakers were lined up to give their talk from, chocolate chefs,  cacao farming, to making pralines, mixing chocolate drinks, making hot chocolate drink using batirol and pastry (eclair) using chocolate dips. I had a chance to listen to the presentation of my good friend - MJ Mercado of Tsokolate, Abe! (Chocolate, My Friend) demonstrating his famed mocha shot - coffee bean covered with chocolate. MJ is a classmate at Shangri-la's Chocolate Class under Chef Anthony Collar. And these days MJ is one of the artisan chocolatier to watch out. I got from him a mocha shot - coffee bean covered in chocolate and packaged in a real shot glass and his popular, best-selling and most ordered truffle bouquet.

Impressive was the effort that couple Alex and Jessica of Choco Locco Gourmet of Chocolate have put together to organize the Philippine Chocolate Festival. I am happy that there are individuals crazy enough to showcase the talents of budding artisan chocolatiers and cacao growers.  And make the public understand the effort of farmers to produce cacao and the talent and love of artisan chocolatiers and chefs to produce nice chocolates and dishes and drinks with chocolate. Participants like students from Rizal and the public in general benefited a lot from those talks and presentations and the many chocolate trivia and facts that were shared.

Congratulations Alex and Jessica for a job well done and hope to be part again of the next Philippine Chocolate Festivals in the future!

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