Feb 9, 2012

I love chocolate

Christophe Morel's delectable caramel hearts Photo Credits: Carrie MacPherson

I love chocolate. Maybe everyone loves chocolate? No, I met a few that don’t but I’m always a little suspicious of them…chocolate is not a common food staple, it has its own aura. Even more so then coffee I believe, because of its texture, because it can be transformed in so many ways, sculptured, liquefied, solidified, blasted into powder and yet, always melts perfectly to our mouth temperature.

Chocolate is usually a sweet treat but it can also be enjoyed as a savoury dish, as demonstrated by Mexican gastronomy which has beautifully mastered the art of chocolate cooking…

So why am I declaring here my endless love of chocolate to you? Well, because tomorrow is the big chocolate party in Old Montreal, the first “Je t’aime en chocolat” event where some of Montreal and Quebec’s finest chocolate makers will be offering their precious creations.

And since I’m the official blogger of the event, I have first hand information on what you’ll be able to see and taste at this upcoming chocolate fair, which I share here with you because sharing is also part of the joy of chocolate, don’t you think?

So here are my first few tips for this chocolate-frenzy weekend just before V day!

What to get for Valentine’s Day:
Chocolate hearts from Christophe Morel – filled with perfect caramel, not the drippy kind, full, luscious, sexy caramel! In 3 flavours to set the perfect mood: passion fruit and ginger to jolt the feelings, raspberry and rose-water for the romantic side of the evening and pure Tahiti vanilla caramel for the taste of the real thing. What I love about these is the balance of the flavours, they are not too sweet and the chocolate at the end smoothes the intensity of the caramel.

What to eat on the spot:
Point G unique macaron developed exclusively for this week: chocolate and cherry macaron, deliciously temping, you won’t be able to resist them! Just look at them!

Photo by Point G
What to see:
For the inner fashionista in you, the chocolate fashion show is a must! 5 Montreal designers have been paired with chocolate masters to create incredible show pieces and lovely designs. Having already peeked at some of the dresses, I know you will be amazed by the result!

What to bring back home:
C Traiteur mini meringue is probably so far my biggest revelation of the show. Mini meringues are so hot in New York right now but Montreal hadn’t been hit by this new trend… yet. After popping a couple of these mini-meringues, you’ll be surfing the wave right through spring time!

Chocolate and fleur de sel naturally flavoured mini meringues

What to discover:
Chocolaterie Bonneau is on my list of must-taste. Yves Bonneau is a chocolate master with more than 25 years of experience that just recently arrived from France and opened in December 2011 his chocolaterie on Fleury St. I’m very curious to discover his specialties.

What to win:
For all chocolate and fashion lover out there, you cannot miss this contest! There are over 2500$ in prizes, including a 1000$ gift certificate for the fashion extravaganza La Grande Braderie de Montréal, some of the world’s best chocolate from Cacao Barry Origine and Rare Origine Collections, chocolate classes at la Guilde Culinaire with Christophe Morel and at the Chocolate Academy Barry-Callebaut and even a supper with your own private chefs.

Oh, and by just getting through the door, you might also win a supper for 2 at some of Old Montreal's best restaurants like Les 400 Coups, Osteria Venti, Sinclair, Bar et Boeuf...

So there. I love chocolate and if for no other reason than this one; I will be at Marché Bonsecours this weekend, enjoying a world of chocolate. Are you a chocolate lover?

I’ll be tasting and discovering many chocolates and other sweet treats from all these talented artisans:
  • Chocolaterie Bonneau
  • Marius et Fanny
  • Chocolats Privilège
  • Petits Gâteaux
  • Corfias Chocolats Fins
  • Le Petit Chocolatier
  • Comptoir de Bruxelles
  • La boutique Point G
  • Le Comptoir Chocolat
  • Caramel bonbons et chocolats
  • Christophe Morel
  • La Petite Paysanne
To follow my chocolate adventures this weekend: @andreaddonida or @JTMEC

To make up your own planning of Je t'aime en chocolat: http://www.jetaimeenchocolat.com/#!horaire/programme

Le Comptoir Chocolat amazing graphics will also be on display and part of the fashion show

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