New Zealand Chocolate Festival

New Zealand Chocolate Festival
I was lucky enough to get invited to the opening of the New Zealand Chocolate Festival. I have to be honest and say I still a little puzzled as to how but strongly suspect twitter was involved. I am very happy with that, who wouldn’t be? When I got my invite I was in the UK,whooped loudly and had already purchased a ticket for the Saturday morning event, which is tomorrow. I am looking forward to going back!
So, this morning I met with several food bloggers, I will link their blogs with their names and then you can read their reports which will probably be more in-depth than mine. I have spoken to all three on twitter and met with two of them before. We are all heading out for dinner next Friday to Fratelli with some others, anyone got idea for the name for a group of food bloggers? No, coven will not do!
So my blogging friends,in no particular order were, Rosa, Shirleen and Millie (who is also part of Gusty Gourmet). On arrival we were given a name badge, please forgive me for the childish act of being amused and pleased by this but mine did categorise me as -media.

As we were media we got to go to the media presentation where we received a rather nice goody bag, heard all about how the festival started and them got a tasting lecturing about how to taste 5 different types of chocolate. This was the session.

chocBuds are our hosted tasting sessions where we will serve various types of chocolate for you to indulge in.
Learn how to taste the difference and find out everything you always wanted to know about chocolate.
Rene Fellmann,
Swiss Chocolatier
… will lead you on a course of discovery about Chocolate!
Rene’s passion for chocolate will awaken your senses to love chocolate like never before.
“Chocolate consumed in moderation, as a treat, will never interfere in body shape, but just give you a happy lifestyle” – Rene Fellmann, Chocolatier

I was most impressed with being able to let the chocolate melt slowly on my tongue, to then breath out through my mouth and in from my nose. This increased the taste considerably and I particularly enjoyed the dark with this process and least liked the sweetness of the milk. 

Before and after this we did some wandering around and a fair bit of trying. There were several businesses that I wasn’t familiar with and I was surprised by this. They were all good discoveries and it was good to see the places I was familiar with. My favourites were-
She chocolate, they have some really unique flavours and I may have to buy 5 tomorrow. One of those will be the beetroot flavour. 
Scilla chocolates, I love the idea of buying chocolates in a tin. I do have a little thing for tins and would happily order these as a present.
Bull rush, had good flavours and were a different product. They are fairly similar to a chocolate shop in Brighton called Montezuma’s   and now I can start to dream of a create your own bar being available in NZ. I was rather taken with the Rhubarb and Kumara flavour. Kumara is like a sweet potato for you aliens out there.
The Damson Collection, I made my only purchase for today and rather strangely, it was a damson vinaigrette. It comes in a spray bottle which I think is bloody marvellous and I can’t wait to spray my next salad. I have fond memories of scrumping damsons as a kid. I didn’t get to try a chocolate and will make that a mission for tomorrow.

RQute – My favourite stand and most enjoyable conversation was with Rochelle from RQute. She is a woman after my own heart and was full of passion. She was the only supplier there who imports (not exports) cocoa beans and grinds them for 15, yes 15, hours. She currently works out of the back of Ernesto in Cuba Street and her creations are just beautiful and so different. The logo for the business is so different, her products are so different and at the moment they are only available through limited places in Wellington. Her art work need to be sold everywhere. Have a look on the shop part of the website and you will see what I mean.

After our browsing and trying the lovely chocolate fountain the others vanished off to work and shopping. I stayed to hear the talk on tempering chocolate by Arno Sturny. I enjoyed watching it happen in front of me and learning from watching, rather than reading.
So, all in all I really enjoyed the morning and the enthusiasm for the event that was felt all around. This was the first ever New Zealand Chocolate Festival and was very impressive, I look forward to watching it grow and visiting again next year. I also enjoyed the company and being amoungst other food nutters.
Oh and one last mention goes to-
Schoc, the world famous in New Zealand chocolatier for the strangest 2 flavoured chocolates. I have to say I rather enjoyed them both.

One last picture, the goody bag.

I went back this morning with a ticket and a lovely friend, Viv. I really enjoyed myself and I think Viv did too? As I had the inside knowledge we headed straight for the chocolate fountain and had a go and then into the main room via the left door. We ate plenty of chocolate and made some purchases. I have 2 lovely chocolate from RQute and a few from She. Tonight, I will be resting and not partaking.
I could easily write about each stand but I like my first impressions from above. One thing I forgot to mention was the amazing fimo food jewellery from Yummy Charms . I could have spent a small fortune and I am gutted I didn’t go back and get a phone charm. The detail was amazing. Think I might buy a few bits anyway for future birthday parties.
I really hope that this event happens next year and when it does, I will be waiting to buy my ticket.

6 thoughts on “New Zealand Chocolate Festival

  1. How exciting to be at the opening of the festival! It looks like you discovered some real gems (I enjoyed that, too, and made a long list of chocolates to buy). I also look forward to seeing how it grows and develops in the future.

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