Salon du Chocolat started in 1994 and launched in 1995 as a event for chocolatiers to show off their goods and further the industry. Then in 1998, the event spread to New York, then in 2003 to Japan and since 2005 it has ballooned to include Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, Cairo, Marseille, and beyond. Finally last year, it arrived in Seoul and to nobody’s surprise it was a huge success.
My girlfriend and I attended last year but we were too busy to go on a weekday and ended up going on a Saturday. This meant while the event was in full swing, it was incredibly crowded and we ended up missing the fashion show which is the centerpiece of the entire event. Just like last year, we toured the grounds made a few purchases and hit the vendors for some samples. Thankfully the vendors where different and most of the booths and sweets on display were significantly different from what we saw last year.
The show was made up of about 60% vendors parceling out samples and goodies and 40% industry vendors targeting businesses. And just like last year there was a chocolate art area where select chocolatiers put their skills to use to create amazing works of art from chocolate. Interestingly, there were two Swan Lake outfits along with ballet slippers crafted from chocolate also on display at one of the booths. It wasn’t part of the chocolate art exhibit nor was it a part of the fashion show. It was, however, incredibly impressive.
Attending the event on a Friday made navigating the floor and fashion show a hundred times easier. Smaller crowds, no lines and we were finally able to watch the fashion show. The show took about half an hour to get started with two hosts speaking English and Korean giving away prizes for contestants during a quiz show segment. When the show finally did start, it was worth the wait. It was less of a fashion catwalk and more of a extended preview with each model posing on stage for two to three minutes showing off their designs. If the designs weren’t interesting enough, the samples thrown into the crowd, live music and rapper were enough to keep the audience’s attention. The finale was a professional violinist who got the crowd up on their feet before all the models returned onstage for a final curtain call and for some extra photos.
After the fashion show, there wasn’t much time for much else since the event closes about 20 minutes later. We stuck around long enough to get a chance to look at the outfits that were worn during the show up close. The level of detail and amount of work that must have gone into them was amazing. It took another fifteen minutes for the outfits to make their way out to the viewing area but I would highly recommend taking a look. While the show is the headliner of the event, viewing the pieces up close gives you a better idea of just how awesome they actually look.
We left the show with a emptier wallet and a few potential cavities. All in all, a pretty awesome day.