The sixth annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon was held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Sunday, Sept. 23. Participants included chocolatiers, confectioners, and culinary artisans making it a mecca for chocolate lovers.
Held in Pasadena for the first five years, the L.A. Chocolate Salon moved to Santa Monica this year in order to broaden the experience to residents of the Los Angeles metro area.
Organizer A.K. Crump of TasteTV believed the event had a different effect in Santa Monica due to the new audience and new participants.
“(Having the event in Santa Monica) is basically like a re-launch of the brand,” Crump said.
“We’re starting all over in Santa Monica. It’s the Santa Monica Renaissance.”
Although the majority of the participants were from California, there were other participants that came from Oregon, Utah, Ecuador, and other out of-state places creating an international atmosphere.
Crump believes that the L.A. Chocolate Salon is unique.
“It is the first group to organize chocolate events in L.A. that focuses on artisan and premium chocolates,” he said. “Most chocolate festivals tend to have some chocolate makers, some chocolatiers, fudge makers and a lot more pastries. The Chocolate Salon focuses on just chocolate and confections.”
One of the Santa Monica-based participants was The Gourmandise School of Sweet and Savories, a hands-on culinary school.
Ruth Kennison, a chocolatier and pastry chef at the school, said the purpose of attending was to educate people about the contents of chocolate and what it really should contain.
“I just want people to understand chocolate better,” Kennison said.
She also had a chocolate demonstration during the event where she taught a large audience how to make chocolate from its early stages as a pod to the final product.
Event visitors were enthralled to be able to taste the wide variety of chocolates and confections.
Shannon Lyndolph, a Hollywood resident and a chocolate lover, came to the event in order to taste the variety of chocolates and to learn about them from professional chocolate makers.
“Meeting all the professionals, seeing how they all started their businesses and seeing their passion for their businesses was definitely the highlight of this event,” Lyndolph said.
Additionally, a portion of the salon was dedicated to fragrances.
Crump said that it was the second time fragrances have formed a part of the event because there are several individuals who appreciate the art that goes into making fragrances as well as the art of chocolate.
Despite the overwhelming success in Pasadena, The L.A. Chocolate Salon will most likely stay in Santa Monica in forthcoming years.