Erick Lemus/Courier-Chocolate Flowers made by Le Cordon Bleu students on display at the Chocolate Salon in Pasadena on October 21, 2016.
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Paintings made of chocolate, handmade perfumes, a wine tasting, and a variety of unique artisan chocolates all could be found at the Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon. In addition to the fact that the place sounds like heaven, the chocolates there were more than just food—they were pieces of art.

The exhibit was in the Pasadena Convention Center on Oct. 1. The 10th anniversary event was open for everyone, whether you were a chocolate lover, fanatic or a professional. The organizers provided an opportunity for everybody to taste the finest chocolate from culinary artisans. Although the event’s main theme was chocolate, there were also vendors with wine, spices, and perfumes.

“The chocolate show and the perfume show have been running in tandem at the same venue for several years now,” said Paul Kiler, the perfume vendor. “This is my sixth time here. I debuted at the Santa Monica show when it started in 2011.”

All the visitors surrounded the vendors, waiting to sample and buy their products. However, there was one table that seemed to catch everybody’s attention and as a result, an incredibly long line formed. The line was so eye-catching, there had to be a very special reason.

The table that attracted so much interest turned out to be artisan chocolate company Fera Wyn’s. Their chocolates were beautiful looking and were exceptionally full of flavor. The taste of each chocolate had something unique that made it different from everything else.

“It’s me and my wife, we put a lot into doing this,” said David Whittingham, the chocolatier and the owner of Fera Wyn’s. “We both have day jobs, but this is our passion, so we put a lot of thoughts into the flavors…”

The Chocolate Salon had options to satisfy everyone’s taste, as there were vendors offering Italian, drinking, and even organic chocolates. There was one vendor who was different from everyone else and it was “New Orleans Bill’s.” They were known for their signature potato salads, however they were presenting their sweet potato cookies with rum sauce at the event. It was a very delicious and welcome change from all of the chocolate.

“Our food is different. We like food that’s exciting, and it’s seasoned, and it’s flavored, and spicy,” according to Bill Washington, one of the founders. “Food is supposed to taste good. That’s one of the joys of life. That’s my food from the New Orleans.”

The Chocolate Salon started in San Francisco in 2007. The idea of making a big chocolate show on the West Coast arose in New York during the biggest chocolate show in the U.S. Since there weren’t any other artisan chocolate events in California, the Chocolate Salon turned out to be really successful. They were thinking about doing something similar in Los Angeles but they were unsure because a lot of people told them that almost nobody eats chocolate in L.A. However, once they started holding this event here, it was obvious that our city is full of chocolate lovers.

“This is our last event in Los Angeles. For the 10th year, it’s pretty good today. We have some really good chocolatiers. We have some that have been here every year since we started. We have some that are new, and we have some that are in between,” said A.K. Crump, one of the organizers of the Chocolate Salon.

The exhibit finished at 5 p.m., but some of the chocolatiers were sold out even earlier. This expo was also an opportunity for merchants to advertise their businesses and get more people to know about their products. Some of them don’t have a local store, but a website where people can order their goods online.

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