Published: 17 Nov 2015
Such has been the overwhelming public response to The Chocolate Festival that now one event isn't enough—two festivals are held every year in London. If you are seriously thinking about confectionery food jobs then you need to consider making the trip to see what the industry is doing with chocolate this year. Unlike the Food & Drink Expo, the Chocolate Festival is hailed as an event for the public and advertised as a shopping experience like no other in the world. Since 2014 the event is held indoors—so it will never again be affected by the whims of British weather. Fans of chocolate from both the UK and abroad will be visiting the festival this December looking for ideal Christmas presents and additions to the traditional desserts after Christmas Day turkey!
At December's festival there will be several stalls that won't appear anywhere else, including the Chocolate Cafe—a place to find the best chocolate cakes, but also make sure to try the hot chocolate. There is nothing better on a cold winter's day and there is none better to be found than at the festival. Despite the name though there are several savoury dishes being served including beef braised in a cocoa and barbecue sauce so there's no need to overdo it on the sugar if you don't want to.
There will also be a chocolate market, a place for artisan chocolate producers from all around the UK and the world to sell their wares directly to the consumer. Be polite to the person on the stall—odds are they are the ones who actually made the chocolate.
The festival organisers have included a chance to try being a professional chocolate connoisseur with the Seventy% Chocolate Taste Zone. The company in question, Seventy% is dedicated to educating the public about the “quality and origin of the chocolate we eat”. They do this by publishing information about over 350 different types of chocolate, including everything from where it was grown and harvested to how it tastes. Seventy% also run courses for people to gain their certification as professional chocolate tasters, a perfect way into the industry for people looking for confectionery food jobs. This type of job is growing more and more important in today's food industry because of the increasing scarcity of cocoa. Several large manufacturers including Cadbury's have had to reduce the amount of cocoa in their products in order to maintain profit margins. Tasters just got a whole lot more important.
Jobs like food assistant are also important in the industry, and you can see their influence as you explore the Chocolate Festival. They work for the larger companies generally, watchfully producing the confectionery and snacks that so many of us like to eat. If you are exploring the possibility of a change in career to a confectionery food job it might be an idea to research becoming a food assistant. The pay isn't high, but the experience is utterly invaluable in helping you get the job you really want.
The Chocolate Festival, for all its devotion to this delicious foodstuff is also concerned with the health of its consumers. We all know not to eat too much chocolate too often, but at the festival they have created the “Health Trail”, a guide showing which chocolates (including 'free-from' and raw chocolates) are better for your health. This type of chocolate is often more expensive because it requires more cocoa, but is favoured even by athletes as a way of getting their chocolate fix without wrecking their carefully planned diets!
Finally, this years Chocolate Festival will also feature the Cheese & Wine Festival in the location adjacent so that people who don't particularly like chocolate (those poor souls) can take a break and explore fine wines and stong-smelling cheeses. Because this festival is such a family event expect to see a fair few Dads escaping the kids to sip some wine in peace!