Grenada: 3rd Annual Grenada Chocolate Festival
I was privileged to attend the 2nd Annual Grenada Chocolate Festival in 2015, the first time I had been to the Spice Island and I knew from day one it would not be the only visit!
I was so touched by the people, the spices, the local sense of belonging and of course the beautiful Caribbean sea that I spent the next 12 months talking non-stop about Grenada and planning my next visit!
The 3rd Annual Grenada Chocolate Festival was held in May this year and guess what – I was there again!
Last year we stayed first of all at Blue Horizons Resort near the amazingly beautiful stretch of Grand Anse Beach but more about that in another post. We also stayed at True Blue Bay Boutique Resort last year where the Grenada Chocolate Festival was also held.
The Grenada Chocolate Festival is the idea and dream (and now dream come true) of Magdalena Fielden, who along with her husband Russ and members of their family run True Blue Bay Boutique Resort. The resort is located on – you guessed it – True Blue Bay, as stunningly beautiful and serene resort with a combination of beautiful, colourful and well equipped rooms suites and villas. Mr R came with me last year and we stayed in one of the villas – and fell in love with the place!
Each year the Grenada Chocolate Festival has a theme and this year it was Generation Cacao. Cacao is one of the major products from the island however the three main chocolate farmers are over 65 years old with no one lined up to follow in their footsteps.
Many of the local children do not realise how important cacao (chocolate) is to their heritage and future existence from which the theme of Generation Cacao was born. The task Magdalena has set herself is to educate the local children in the growing of cacao beans, production and exportation of the chocolate end product.
Magdalena officially opens the festival with music, Grenadian dignitaries and guests and the festival officially begins.
The opening of the festival includes chocolate food and drink including this chocolate porter beer and my chocolate martini, yumm!
The Grenada Chocolate festival is open to anyone who wishes to purchase a ticket for single events or all of them. There is a whole collection of events sure to appeal to almost everyone who loves chocolate (and to be honest there are not many who don’t).
This year Mr R and myself stayed the whole time at Blue Horizons Garden Resort and popped in to the festival in between the other blogging opportunities I had lined up for the day’s event.
I was also asked to participate in one of the events which was very exciting and a real honour and pleasure. The resident chef duo at True Blue Bay and YouTube stars, Esther and Omega demonstrated a lunch dish which would of course include chocolate followed by the participants making their own dish which would become a collective lunch.
I was asked to be a small part of the festival and fill in the gap while the main meal was cooking by demonstrating a simple and quick chocolate and banana ice cream and a topping of chocolate covered nuts with chilli and sea salt.
As with any demo things don’t always go to plan but I kept talking without getting flustered and everything was alright in the end. The participants enjoyed their chocolate-banana ice cream topped with chilli and sea salt chocolate covered pecans for their puddings.
Other events that took part during the Grenada Chocolate Festival was a chocolate yoga session, the healthy benefits of cacao by visiting Mexican Chocolate Maker and Chocolate Museum Owner of MUCHO-Chocolate Museum, Ana Rita Garcia Lascurian,
a demonstration of bean to bar chocolate making from Hazel Lee (chocolate maker) and Dom Ramsey – owner of Damson Chocolate (two friends that I made last year on the trip that I have kept in touch with back in London),
a visit to Magdalena’s latest project The House of Chocolate, a beautiful, innovative and educational museum dedicated to the humble cacao bean and beyond, located in St Georges, the Grenadian capital.
Last year (2015) I visited one of the island schools which really touched my heart and this year I brought them a whole suitcase of books and school equipment (British Airways kindly waived the extra suitcase fee for me to bring these items for which I am grateful). The children are so friendly and do love visitors however you can read all about that on another post by clicking here.
The 4th Annual Grenada Chocolate Festival is set to be bigger and better than any before and the theme will be ‘Heritage Chocolate’. If you are passionate about chocolate, spices and wonderful people (and don’t forget the sunshine!) then make sure you attend the 4th Annual Grenada Chocolate Festival in May 2017 – I will be there!!