The International Chocolate and Cocoa Festival has been running for more than 30 years. Taking place in Portugal, in what is its second European edition, the main theme will focus on the concept of ‘terroir’. Official opening takes place on 19 October.
After the success of the first European edition, which was attended by more than 50,000 people, the event will once again be held at WOW, in Vila Nova de Gaia, from 19-22 October.
The Chocolate Festival Portugal brings together many different activities: a chocolate market, a children’s area, tastings, cooking shows, lectures, workshops, and concerts. Admission is free.
Chefs are creating chocolate sculptures live, some global chocolate brands will host tastings and there will be a ‘Chocoland’ especially for kids and live forums discussing topics from ‘how to harmonise chocolate with wine’ or ‘coffee to cacao agroforestry models’.
Bringing together chocoholics and professionals from the chocolate and cacao sector, this year’s festival will comprise of 15 cooking shows, 11 workshops and 10 panels at the International Chocolate and Cocoa Forum. All the events will be led by leading experts from countries such as Portugal, Brazil, France, Belgium, Denmark, the UK, Venezuela, and Costa Rica, and others.
“I’m proud to be hosting the Chocolate Festival at WOW. With our independent museum, The Chocolate Story, and our very own chocolate brand, Vinte Vinte, produced in Porto, I believe we are the right hosts for this festival. We want to be the driving force that helps raise the profile of cacao and origin chocolate in Europe,” said Pedro Araújo, Creator of The Chocolate Story Museum at WOW and the Vinte Vinte Chocolate brand, as well as Co-Promoter of the festival.
“Holding the Chocolate Festival in Europe has a well-defined purpose: to create a direct connection between all the links in the production chain of chocolate from origin to final consumer,” added Marco Lessa, Creator of the Chocolate Festival, now in its 33rd edition. “The festival strengthens the culture and work behind the ‘golden fruit’ or ‘food of the gods’, as cocoa is also known, expanding knowledge about the delights derived from cocoa and promoting origin brands, small industries, agribusiness, tourism, health benefits and gastronomy. Chocolat Portugal is a celebration that transcends borders and cultures and will unite chocolate lovers from all over the world around a shared passion.”
Some of the experts who will be in attendance include Chloé Doutre Roussel (France), a renowned consultant for several bean-to-bar brands, a judge at the important Academy of Chocolate Awards, the Northwest Chocolate Festival and a member of the Advisory Board of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA); Spencer Hyman (UK), Founder of Cocoa Runners; Mikkel Friis-Holm (Denmark), a respected bean-to-bar chocolatier and more.
Another new feature this year is the livestreaming of all the talks at the International Chocolate and Cocoa Forum and all the cooking shows in order to reinforce the festival’s international positioning.
The Bean to Bar Associations of Spain, France, Brazil, and Japan will also be present, in an important associative movement that the festival hope could result in the birth of the Bean-to-Bar Association of Portugal which will certainly define the next steps of this movement.
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