What do you do with 400 kilos (881 pounds) of chocolate? You build a Bugatti Grand Prix type 35, of course! The Bugatti was one of the numerous creative chocolate sculptures at the Salon du Chocolat’s 27th edition in Paris at Porte de Versailles. The event is always scheduled for the last weekend in October. When I arrived, I headed past the chocolate sculptures, the chocolate tastings, the bean-to-bar stands and straight to the fashion parade of fifteen chocolate-covered dresses and costumes. The announcer was loud and clear, so the event had begun. With two afternoon start times, I would still see everything.
At the world’s largest event dedicated to cocoa, I found the perfect birthday gift from Ecuador (only three ingredients: cacao paste, cacao butter and cacao pulp from Myawki.com). I tasted the perfect Christmas gift, a chocolate cake from the Basque region (La Maison Pariès).
After eating his delicious sorbets regularly at La Glacerie near the department store BHV, I finally saw the owner, Meilleur Ouvrier de France David Wesmaël.
As I left the event, its fashion parades and the chocolate tastings (having barely skimmed the surface of 21 countries and 200 exhibitors), I saw the largest chocolate sculpture at the event this year. Jean-Luc Decluzeau’s Bugatti at three-quarters scale, which took 380-man hours to build. No Bugatti tasting allowed. The car is headed to the Musée du Chocolat de Colmar in the east of France.
Before I reached the door, many of the pastry chefs were closing out the day’s event with a glass of champagne in their hands.
Content with my short 3-hour visit of skimming the chocolate surface, I was already setting my goal for the 2023 salon: taste the champagnes and wines that go with dark chocolate.