Another Great Year for Grenada Chocolate Fest
Grenada Chocolate Fest celebrating ethical tree-to-bar chocolate
With a broad smile on his face that could not hide how delighted he was, British Chocolatier and Pastry Chef, Will Torrent said “What could be better? It’s the Grenada Chocolate Fest and it is amazing”. Torrent is the creative mind behind the bon bons created in honour of the Royal Wedding of Price Harry and Meghan Markel. Festival goers were treated to an exceptional choice of events and experiences steeped in a passion for organic fine flavoured cocoa, and, award winning Grenadian sustainably made tree to bar chocolate.
International Chocolate Personalities flock to Pure Grenada
Grenada Chocolate Festival grew in breadth and depth in 2018. The festival has always done an amazing job at attracting travellers with a penchant for tree to bar craft chocolate made from fine flavoured organic cocoa grown in Grenada. In addition to famous UK chocolatier and pastry chef Will Torrent, the festival also hosted Sharon Terenzi known as the Chocolate Journalist, Dr. Darin Sukha from the Cocoa Research Centre at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus, and Ana Rita Garcia Lascurain- founder of Mucho Mundo the Mexico City Chocolate Museum. Writers, bloggers and journalists from around the world visited Pure Grenada, the Chocolate Island, just to get a taste of Grenada Chocolate Fest 2018.
A Festival steeped in a deep passion for chocolate
The festival offered more events than ever before and also developed some of it’s signature experiences. Additions included a presentation by Cocoa Town – the producers of craft chocolate making machinery. This was attractive to person’s interested in chocolate making for personal enjoyment or for commercial purposes. Guests had the festival’s first taste of a traditional mexican chocolate making workshop. They used the metate, a mesoamerican stone grinder to produce rustic fragrant chocolate made from freshly roasted cocoa beans, sugar and spices native to Grenada and Mexico. This well received and fun experience was guided by long standing friend and supporter of Grenada Chocolate Fest: Ana Rita Garcia Lascurain.
Dr. Darin Sukha from the Cocoa Research Centre at the UWI St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad, who guides the popular and highly educational Belmont Estate Tree to Bar experience, also facilitated a stimulating and pallet tantalising rum and chocolate pairing this year. This perfectly complemented the festivals premiere of a Rum and Chocolate Sunset Sailing Cruise, aboard the traditional Carriacou Sloop – Savvy. Founder and head chocolatier at Rococo Chocolates in the UK, Chantal Cody OBE, demonstrated how to create a dessert from her popular cookbook at the Chocolate Brunch at The Tower in St. Pauls. The brunch included a tour of their luscious gardens by property owner Victoria Slinger.
The aim of the festival remains to highlight the behind the scenes workings of the world renowned Grenadian cocoa and chocolate industry. Since 2013,when Grenada Chocolate Fest was first celebrated, the landscape of the agro processing of cocoa into chocolate and other value added products has grown rapidly. The festival has witnessed and highlighted the birth of 4 additional Grenadian chocolate makers who previously only grew cocoa: Crayfish Bay, Belmont Estate and this year Tri-Island and House of Arendel. The festival has also inspired the opening of the House of Chocolate – a chocolate museum in St. George’s which is the year round home to Grenada Chocolate Fest.
This year Tri- Island Chocolate owned by Aaron Sylvester soft launched its chocolate bars: 80% St. Marks Bar, 56 % Dark Milk St. Andrew’s Bar and 75 % Dark Chocolate with Bee Pollen Bar. In 2016 Sylvester was the holder of a cocoa pass which meant he attended every event throughout that year’s festival. His aim at the time was to collect as much knowledge as he could to set his plan for making chocolate into motion. The festival takes great pride in inspiring entrepreneurs to make greater use of the island’s vast high quality cocoa resources. Grenada is one of only 17 countries that grow some of the best beans in the world.
A Chocolate Extravaganza at the Park
The week long festival culminated with a Chocolate Extravaganza and Silent Auction at the popular Camerhogne Park . There, many of Grenada’s cocoa farmers and local artist Doliver, were honoured for their contributions to the Grenadian chocolate industry. Prizes were sponsored by the True Blue Bay Boutique Resort, Grenada Tourism Authority, Renwick and Thompson, Jonas Brown and Hubbards and LL. Ramdhanny. The afternoon event featured a myriad of free chocolate inspired activities for both children and adults including: cocoa grinding to make mexican chocolate and cocoa balls, cocoa sack races, cocoa art rock paintings, and a mini mural that festival goers could all contribute to.
A fashion show featuring young Grenadian designers was a crowd favourite. Local artisans had a chance to showcase and sell their unique cocoa and chocolate inspired creations. Several local and international businesses sponsored prizes to the Silent Auction which made over EC 6,000 to help keep the doors of the Grenada Community Library open.The night ended with live band music, dancing under the stars and joyful exchanges between friends and family.
The festival owes much of its success to its sponsors, all the partnering businesses who host and execute first class events, the local and international media including bloggers who help to spread the word about Grenada Chocolate Fest and festival founder Magdalena Fielden who takes a very hands on approach to organising the festival with the help of her small yet dedicated team.
Grenada Chocolate Fest 2019 is tentatively scheduled to take place from May 17th-24th and will continue to be celebrated under the theme “Tree to Bar”.