Even though I'm not a professional, after some trips to Brussels I got more into chocolate, (almost at an addiction level) its history and its science and researched the subject deeper. My country is not really known for its chocolate so I had the idea of setting up a chocolate festival for a beginning to see how it goes and help people get more into the real chocolate.
I gathered some professionals and serious hobbyists in the field and we eventually got a lot more visitors than anyone ever expected. Since then potential sponsors also contacted us, so this time I'd like to prepare something bigger, more organized and with more workshops.
We had exhibitions on how filled chocolates are made, real hot chocolate and tempering techniques for this time.
I'd really appreciate any ideas for further workshops or anything you believe would be interesting for someone to see in the next chocolate festival.
Thanks a lot ! Loved your advice ! :)
What an excellent idea to organise a chocolate festival! I would love to know more about it. How many professionals did you get together? How did you spread the word? How long did it take you to put it together?
Did you talk about single origin chocolate? You could pick 4 to 6 single origin chocolates and have people conduct chocolate tastings. That seems to be pretty popular.
Also, did you have workshops on just simple hand-rolled chocolate truffles? There are lots of people who would like to make chocolate truffles, but who do not want to get into tempering chocolate. You could also have chefs give demonstrations on using chocolate for savory preparations - like salad dressing, sauce for chicken, chilli chocolate pasta etc.
Well the first problem was to find actual professional chocolatiers cause Cyprus is a pretty small island and without any chocolate tradition. I was planning for something small to see how it goes and then if it went good to be repeated next year, and actually we had sooo much attendance no one ever expected (it was even broadcasted in the news!). In total we had about 15 participations, only 3 of those were 100% chocolatiers, others were chocolate brands giving samples, eg. Lindt, and others were into it as hobbyists.
It took me about 6-7 months actually and I might have needed even more time in the ned cause I work full time and didn't have enough time every day for the organization but i got much help from friends.
The workshops where on filled chocolate demos and tempering chocolate and they both ended with friendly discussions between the audience and the chocolatiers giving advice about chocolate.
For kids we had a chocolate tree decorating session and a fairy tale presentation about chocolate.
It would be great if we could gather as many ideas as possible here to enrich all the festivals! :)
I run a chocolate festival in Dallas, TX. You can look through our website:
I have listed a lot of the classes that we've done. The most popular classes have been about how to taste chocolate. Also popular has been when we've brought in unique people from out-of-town and had them tell their story.