The weekend of February 11th and 12th is when the Montreal chocolate show Je t’aime en chocolat takes the stage at Marché Bonsecours, just in time for Valentine’s Day. I am so excited about this one! A whole chocolate-filled weekend is my kind of fun! Not that I need an excuse like a chocolate show or Valentine’s Day to enjoy chocolate since I usually have some on a daily basis. Chocolate bars are some of the many food items I always bring back from my travels. Enjoying them reminds me of my trips and a day without some form of chocolate is not a good day I say…
But I digress… Je t’aime en chocolat promises to be so much fun! It’s organized by Cacao Barry, the high-end division of Barry Callebaut, the largest producers of chocolate in the world with one of the largest manufactures right here in St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, as well as Anne de Shalla, the fashion designer and organizer of La Grande Braderie de mode québécoise. The program is filled with fun discoveries, including some of the best chocolate makers in the province, some very talented fashion designers, demos, workshops, a great chocolate contest and a chocolate fashion show! And best of all, the entrance is free! Yes, you heard right, everyone gets to enjoy the show free of charge!
Aside from looking forward to all the chocolate tasting I’ll be doing that weekend, I am also looking forward to the fashion show which will couple up some of the local fashion designers and chocolate makers. I don’t know about you but I’ve always wondered how exactly do chocolate makers make these great intricate haute couture dresses with chocolate? I mean, don’t they melt? How do you attach the chocolate designs to the dress itself? How does the model then put the dress on? So many questions and only one man I could think of to answer them for me: Cacao Barry ambassador and great chocolate maker Christophe Morel, who will be pairing up with Anne de Shalla for the 4th time this year to design some stunning dresses.
WTFF: What is the creative process behind the chocolate fashions you and Anne will be creating?
CM: We are both very open and we let each other create without setting too many boundaries. We set a theme – this year, Valentine’s Day was a natural theme – and a mood board. We then sit down and brainstorm and Anne does a few sketches while we talk. She then provides me with corsets and a mannequin and I attach the designs directly on the corset, which she then saws the dress onto…
WTFF: What are the most important factors to consider when making a chocolate dress?
CM: The most important factor when making these dresses is body heat. I have to make them in a way so they don’t start melting the minute the model puts them on. Another factor is the weight of the dress, it has to be light enough for the model to move in comfortably.
WTFF: This is the fourth year you do this, you must enjoy it then…
CM: I do! It’s fun and it’s very different from what I do everyday so it allows me to explore and create in a different way.
WTFF: Do you use a particular kind of chocolate to make these dresses?
CM: No, I use the same Cacao Barry chocolate I work with everyday. I could use fake chocolate that doesn’t melt but I’m sticking to the real stuff, it’s more authentic and it smells better!
While visiting Christophe Morel’s atelier, I “stumbled upon” these lovely caramel-filled chocolate hearts. I came home with a beautiful box of them that I savoured selfishly… Morel will have a stand at the show where you will be able to buy these beauties for your loved ones. They are also available wherever his chocolates are sold throughout the province. I highly recommend them and I guarantee that anyone you offer them too will be yours forever… or at least until the chocolates run out
In case you’re looking for me February 11th or 12th weekend, I’ll be the one with the chocolate-covered face at Je t’aime en chocolat!
Je t’aime en chocolat
Montreal Chocolate Show
350, rue Saint-Paul Est
Informations: 514 866 2006, extension 223
February 11th & 12th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.