All About Fine Chocolate by Cat Black

  • The Chocolate Festival – Christmas 2014

    December 16, 2014

    It was a very indulgent and special weekend at The Business Design Centre in London's Islington.

    Beautiful baubles from Rococo.

    If you missed The Chocolate Festival, you missed out! The Business Design Centre in Islington played host to a mighty fine selection of chocolate makers, chocolatiers, hot chocolate specialists, patissiers and the like. A wondrously indulgent day out in the run up to Christmas. It's a great place to shop for Christmas. So, I hope you enjoyed it too, and if you didn't make it, note to self for next time! Here's why: [caption id="attachment_2577" align="alignnone" width="506"] Paul...

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  • Christmas Shopping – My 2014 favourites.

    December 2, 2014

    A little guidance, or temptation, as to what chocolate to go for this advent.

    Rabot Wreath

    So, advent has begun, excitement is reaching a pitch. And if you are in charge of present buying you will be scratching your head more than usual. I've said it before, chocolate is the perfect gift! Everyone loves it, and it doesn't have to be worn, dragged out of the sideboard and put on display, read, or any of those other pesky things that unwanted presents end up forcing on you before the next time that...

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  • A visit to La Maison du Chocolat & Head Chef Nicolas Cloiseau.

    November 18, 2014

    As I look towards Christmas I will start with that classy French act who bring us an annual masterclass in festive chocolate.

    La Maison du Chocolat Paris

    La Maison du Chocolat sets a global standard for excellent fine chocolates. Since 1977, when Robert Linxe opened the first Paris shop, there has been attention to detail and a real love of fine chocolate at the core. They now have a worldwide presence, with shops across France, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. I was not without nerves when I prepared for my day at their atelier...

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  • Salon du Chocolat Paris 2014

    November 4, 2014

    In it's 20th year, the Salon du Chocolat Paris is as spectacular and delicious as ever!

    Pumpkins, Patrick Roger

    I love Paris in the springtime I love Paris in the fall......... Well, especially in the fall, as now is Salon time, and even though I have been going annually for more years than I can put my finger on, I wouldn't miss it for the world. The Porte de Versailles exhibition halls were once again filled with the great, the good, and the glorious, in the world of chocolate. My sense of anticipation was considerable as soon...

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  • Chocolate Week 2014

    October 21, 2014

    As chocolate fever took over the nation, I was in my element.

    The Chocolate Show, London 2014

    If you are in the chocolate industry, it would be fair to say that every week is chocolate week. But from 13th - 19th October chocolate makers, chocolatiers, chefs and the industry media got together to celebrate with the public and bring them an extra dose of their sweet magic. Events, chocolate inspired menus and product launches delighted chocoholics up and down the country, culminating in The Chocolate Show at London's Olympia at the weekend. [caption...

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  • Valrhona launch at The Hotel Café Royal

    October 7, 2014

    Fine chocolate brand Valrhona launched a new chocolate, and I had the chance to go to the party, taste, and investigate.

    Valrhona's Biskelia

    Much of what I do is meeting, tasting and recording the new creations of artisan chocolatiers and small-batch chocolate makers. These chefs are working at the cutting edge of chocolate innovation, in that they play and invent, taking chances on new flavours, experimenting with new cacao origins or processes. But as passion for chocolate only grows, and globally pastry chefs are increasingly savvy about the potential of my favourite ingredient, so the larger fine chocolate...

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  • The Best of Italy – A.Giordano

    September 23, 2014

    As the final 2014 heats of The International Chocolate Awards are underway, here is a look at a two time world award winner.

    wrapped

    A. Giordano is one of those specialist traditional food businesses that have died out in such number, as things become centralised, economies of scale win the financial battles, and tastes become bland and homogenised. But A.Giordano is a shining example of survival, rescued from its potential fate by a combination of passion, hard labour and a good dose of luck. [caption id="attachment_2419" align="alignnone" width="506"] The famous gianduiotti in all sizes.[/caption] Established in 1897, and masters in the...

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  • Patricia Hodgkinson at I Wanna Cocoa

    September 9, 2014

    A great new talent is unearthed. Very definitely one to watch!

    Temperature testing the couverture.

    One of the greatest joys of writing about food, and judging and consulting on chocolate, is witnessing passion and creativity. I recently came back from Paris, where I spent a day in the inner sanctum of La Maison du Chocolat, one to one with Head Chef Nicolas Cloiseau, tasting recipes, interviewing him, and gaining stunning insight into that globally successful fine chocolate company. Nicolas Cloiseau is a big deal, it was a privilege. (More of...

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Cat Black

Cat BlackI am a food writer, with special interest in, and huge enthusiasm for, chocolate! This blog is where I get to tell you about all the wonderful tastes, events, and people I come across in the world of chocolate.

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