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Chocolate lovers get their hands delectably dirty

Aug 28th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

TRAYS of chocolate shots and thousands of litres of ganache later, more than 4000 chocolate lovers have had their cravings satisfied.

The second annual New Zealand Chocolate Festival was a step up from last year, says Iva Sajdl, co-director of the festival.

“We are very happy and satisfied to see the new additions, Chocolatiers Studio, the Heilala Vanilla Chocolate Factory and Coffee, and Cake with Esme [runner up in Chelsea New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker], being so positively received by everyone.”

Ms Sadjl says feedback last year showed people would like a more hands on experience with chocolate at the event, staged at the Wellington Hotel InterContinental.

The Heilala Vanilla Chocolate Factory was one of these additions where people could make their own truffles.

Rene “Choco” Fellmann was in charge at the chocolate factory and was happy to share his knowledge on being creative with chocolate.

Delicious deserts and delectable chocolate shots were just a few of the items on the menu people could watch being created.

Andreas Reinhardt mixed chocolate with fire, stirred in nitrogen for his creation.

Mr Reinhardt is the senior sous chef at Chameleon Restaurant and was one who demonstrated the art of using liquid nitrogen in the kitchen.

“It’s really cool stuff when you see him working, it’s not cooking any more, its chemistry,” says Frank Stoltenberg, co-director of the festival.

Peopled looked on as he cooked meringues in the liquid nitrogen, which topped the choc shots everyone got to sample.

Another highlight was having the New Zealand pastry team back at the festival.

“We’re really excited to have them back, they were just a great find last year,” says Mr Stoltenberg

They placed fourth in the Asian Pastry Cup against countries such as Korea, Japan, China, and the achievement qualified them to go to the world championships in France.

They team built chocolate sculptures by shaping it and not carving it out, as well as making sugar sculptures and pastries.

“They actually melt it down and then create the most beautiful organic shapes,” says Mr Stoltenberg. “The creativity of the sculptures is limitless. They can create all sorts of things.”

Education was a big part of the event this year as well, with an ‘origins’ room dedicated to the background and history of chocolate.

“When you deal with chocolate and you’ve got people who make chocolate for a living, and you’ve got people who love chocolate, you’ve got a great combination.”

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