After the success of the first European edition last year to mark the 200th anniversary of Brazil's independence, organisers said the largest chocolate and cacao event in Latin America will once again be held at WOW, a new cultural district in Porto, from 19 to 22 October.
Bringing together chocoholics and professionals from the chocolate and cacao sector, this year’s festival will comprise 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 United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Costa Rica, among others.
The Chocolate Festival Portugal also brings together many different activities: a chocolate market, a children's area, tastings, cooking shows, lectures, workshops, and concerts.
“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.
Marco Lessa, creator of LATAM’s Chocolate Festival, now in its 33rd edition, said: "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. 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."
As part of the Chocolate Festival Portugal programme, various professionals and experts from the world of chocolate will be in Gaia. These 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 (United Kingdom), founder of Cocoa Runners and a great promoter of bean-to-bar chocolate on the European continent, is a repeat presence at the festival.
- Mikkel Friis-Holm (Denmark) is one of the oldest and most respected bean-to-bar chocolatiers. A key figure in the art of chocolate making, he gives his brand its name: Friis Holm.
- María Jiménez (Costa Rica) works with one of Europe's oldest distributors of fine cacao - Daarnhauwer & Co. She is also a specialist in cacao sensory analysis and a member of the illustrious Fine and Flavour panel of the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO).
- Paulo Russel-Pinto, Certified Port Educator, and member of the Tasting Chamber of the IVDP - Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto.
- David Guimarães, Masterblender at Taylor's, Fonseca and Croft.
About Latin America’s Chocolate Festival
Held since 2009 in Brazil, the Chocolate Festival is considered the largest origin chocolate event in Latin America and brings together the entire cocoa production chain, from the fruit to the final product.
More than 20 editions have been held between Bahia, Pará and São Paulo, bringing together various brands of origin, bean-to-bar, premium and gourmet chocolate. It is an event dedicated to curious consumers, chocolate lovers, and professionals in the sector. The festival aims to promote the production of quality cocoa beans and chocolate, with a high cocoa content, from selected almonds and free preservatives, in line with the innovations of the fastest growing segment due to the large added value to products.