In October of this year we took chocolate creativity to the next level by merging haute couture fashion with luxury chocolate. The brief was to create a spectacular outfit with the only stipulation being that there needed to be some element of chocolate. So we collaborated with award-winning English heritage milliner Vivien Sheriff on a mesmerising bespoke headpiece and dress that was presented at the inaugural Salon Du Chocolat Fashion Show on the 18th of October at the Kensington Olympia National Hall.
It was the first time the Salon Du Chocolat has been to London since its inception in 1944, despite exhibiting in over 20 locations around the world since then. There were various chocolatiers and fashion designers at the show who displayed their works and collaborations to the three hundred VIPS in attendance.
Worn by British Royalty and many celebrated heads, Vivien Sheriff bespoke pieces are recognised for their unique feathering & exquisite beauty. We here at Demarquette thought that because of a shared passion for melding traditional practice with contemporary flair, a collaboration between two luxury British brands would be idyllic. Both companies were selected as ‘2012 British Luxury Brands of Tomorrow’ by The Walpole and thus our collective ambition to excel as true and honest British luxury brands inspired our project.
We are also planning to display the headpiece on show at Mosimann’s during a prestigious dinner hosted by the Walpole and Mishcon de Reya in November. The Walpole Brands of Tomorrow Alumni, representing the epitome of the British Luxury industry will enjoy a fabulous meal celebrating the industry and the continued successes of the brands. Since its inception in the 1990’s, the Walpole Brands of Tomorrow have inspired aspiring brands to develop and grow into successful, profitable luxury brands representing the British way.
The headpiece we created was a reflection of the sensual fluidity, form and movement that is artisanal chocolate making and the natural marriage that flows when two artisan skills work in partnership to create a masterpiece fashioned upon an autumnal theme.
The collaboration was a success with the breath-taking finished creation hitting all the right notes- a uniquely elegant and dazzling confection of artisan chocolate craftsmanship and millinery mastery.
To make the headpiece, over five hundred feathers were used. These feathers were hand dyed, brushed and sprayed with varying shades of molten chocolate and a dusting of pure gold powder. The final touches to the piece consisted of moulded chocolate pods and individual Swarovski crystals that reflected and bought to attention the shimmering gold highlights. There was very little room for error as chocolate is opaque and brittle once it sets yet the end result was visually stunning and we are sure it would have tantalised the taste buds!
For more information on any of our products check out our Demarquette Website
Video courtesy of ImplausibleBlog
Watch this short clip to hear Master Chocolatier Marc Demarquette’s thoughts about welcoming His Royal Highness The Duke of York to the Demarquette Chocolate Production Lab in London and to view some highlights of the occasion.
Excited children dressed in their Sunday best, scurrying around with colourful baskets while eagerly searching high and low for those last elusive eggs—there is nothing quite like a good ol’ fashioned Easter egg hunt to capture the light-hearted, joyous spirit of the occasion. This year, we at Demarquette have decided to create our Easter Chocolate Collection with inspiration from one of the most light-hearted and joyful characters we know—the Harlequin!
Harlequins have been entertaining audiences for a long time. The evolution of these funny fellows is said to have been especially influenced by the “Zanni” character type of Commedia dell’arte, a form of Italian improvisational theatre beginning in the 16th century. Harlequins are well known for amusing crowds through their frivolous pranks and silly behaviour. They are traditionally silent characters, speaking only through the use of exaggerated gestures and zany acrobatic tricks. The Harlequin’s distinctive outfit includes a mask and bright diamond-patterned tights made up of sharply contrasting colours.
This Easter, our luxury chocolate eggs have been designed with the Harlequin’s costume in mind, each egg being hand painted in two vivid tones. These come in brightly coloured cartons of four chocolates and six chocolates—excellent for any egg hunt. We are also offering individual eggs at a tremendously delicious 18cm tall! These are also painted in the Harlequin-style, made of either our pure dark chocolate or milk chocolate, and encrusted with mini fruit caramels. And if you’re looking for something a bit smaller but just as big on taste, we are delighted to present our range of fruity Chocolate Caramel Quail Eggs. In light of our whimsical theme, we have even designed a new sleeve abounding in bunnies especially for these quail egg boxes.
Just as the playful Harlequin can bring merriment to any occasion, we hope this year’s vibrant selection of chocolate eggs will bring joy to any Easter celebration. From all of us at Demarquette, Happy Easter and happy hunting!
Another Mothering Sunday is upon us, the perfect occasion to shower mum in some much deserved love–and chocolate! But did you know that this Sunday wasn’t initially created for mothers at all? It was originally an occasion for people to return to their “mother” church for a service during the season of Lent. Domestic servants were also normally given a day off to visit their families and bring home a gift, which may be where the tradition of honouring mums started. Now the fourth Sunday of Lent is consistently dedicated to celebrating mums with gifts of appreciation and love.
As a child, it wasn’t too hard to think of ways to make mum feel special– scribbling “I love you” in Crayola crayon on a homemade card or attempting to clean the kitchen went a long way (and actually still might!). But as we get older, coming up with a nice gift can get a little tougher. After all, how does one possibly express what a special person a mother is? How do you even begin describing her? It’s not easy, but we’ve found a few quotes that put it rather nicely.
- All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. –Abraham Lincoln
- A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. –Tenneva Jordan
- The phrase “working mother” is redundant. –Jane Sellman
- Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together. –Pearl S. Buck
- A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s. –Diana, Princess of Wales
Perhaps mothers are so special because they are often exactly who we need them to be. They’re willing to give so much of themselves for our own sakes, whether it be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand, two comforting arms or even a bit of a scolding tongue. So what can we give them in return? One gift that seems to withstand the test of time is, well, a little time itself. Pay a visit home for the weekend or take mum out to dinner to catch up. For dessert, bake a favourite recipe together or share with her a box of exquisite caramel cream chocolates. And if the distance is simply too far, perhaps ring her up just to say you love her. Take note from mum and do a little extra to let her know she is appreciated, not only this Sunday but the whole year through! Wishing all of the wonderful mums out there a very Happy Mother’s Day.
Click here for more Mothering Sunday gift ideas.
What is it like to personally meet a member of the Royal Family? We were honoured to find out on Thursday, 14th February as we welcomed His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG to the Demarquette Chocolate Production Lab in London as part of his ongoing effort to recognise and support small businesses and entrepreneurs.
His Royal Highness was briefed and updated on our success and humanitarian work with cocoa growers in Vietnam, as well as our many initiatives to promote British luxury manufacturing at home and abroad. His Royal Highness was interested to learn that we were named a ‘British Luxury Brand of Tomorrow’ by The Walpole organisation in 2012 and also represent the British Chocolate Industry as UK Ambassador for the International ‘Salon du Chocolat’.
The Duke of York went on to meet other members of the Demarquette team and special guests from Fortnum & Mason, The Westway Development Trust and The Walpole. During a tour of the production facility Marc showed him the meticulous artisanal processes we use to make our award winning chocolates.
Since launching the company in 2006, we’ve been proud to be pioneers in the introduction of unique and rare cocoas to the UK market. In early 2010 we became the first British chocolate company to introduce Vietnamese cocoa from the Ben Tre region to the UK and the first chocolatier to be awarded two triple gold star awards from the Guild of Fine Food for the chocolate’s superior quality. His Royal Highness was particularly interested in learning how our investment in cocoa beans from the Vietnamese Cocoa Cooperative (Vietcacao) has helped finance the first phase in establishing a long term vocational rehabilitation centre at a school for handicapped children in Ben Tre. So far our partnership has contributed to the construction of a brand new building on the school’s premises.
Following the meeting, Marc said: ‘I am delighted to have had the privilege to personally welcome His Royal Highness to our production lab and to introduce him to my team. To have had the opportunity to discuss our journey so far with him, in particular our involvement in important humanitarian projects and our efforts in promoting luxury British manufacturing internationally, has been a great recognition of our work for which I am very proud. ‘
With Valentine’s Day coming up, we’ve been doing a little research on the history and traditions surrounding the centuries-old holiday of love. Cupid, cards, candies, and hearts might be some of the images that come to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day today, but how exactly did 14th February come to be associated with romance and gift-giving?
Valentine’s Day is named after the Christian Saint Valentinus, or Valentine, although little is definitively known about him as a historical figure. There is more than one Saint Valentine recognized by the early church, therefore various legends about him exist. Perhaps the most well-known story claims that he was a priest imprisoned and martyred in third century Rome. Legend has it that Valentine continued to secretly marry young lovers despite a decree that outlawed marriage for soldiers. During his imprisonment, he fell in love with the jailor’s daughter and allegedly wrote a farewell letter to her before his execution signed, “From your Valentine.” This expression continues to be used in cards today.
Valentine’s Day wasn’t officially associated with love and romance until the Middle Ages when themes of unrequited love began to arise. It eventually became an occasion for lovers to express their passionate feelings, which is why it was originally celebrated with love letters, poems, and small gifts. In the 19th century, the holiday became more commercialized when hand-written notes were replaced with mass-produced printed cards. Now, according to the Greeting Card Association, Valentine’s Day is the second largest card-sending holiday (behind Christmas), with an estimated 1 billion cards sent each year. In addition to cards, exchanging gifts of chocolates and flowers is a favourite tradition in the U.K. Other countries that celebrate Valentine’s Day in a similar fashion include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and France, however it is also celebrated a little differently in many parts of the world. Here are few unique ways other cultures celebrate the 14th of February.
- On Valentine’s Day in South Korea, the women give chocolate to the men. Then on 14th March (White Day) the men give the women non-chocolate candies. On 14th April, those who didn’t receive a gift on Valentine’s Day or White Day go to a restaurant to eat black noodles and “mourn” their love lives (Black Day).
- Valentine’s Day traditions may vary in different parts of the U.K. For example in Norfolk, a mystical character called “Jack Valentine” is known to knock on doors and leave presents and sweets for children before disappearing. Seems like a nice thing to do—but this tradition has left some children quite frightened!
- In Slovenia, a proverb states that “Saint Valentine brings the keys of roots.” It is thought that in the middle of February the plants begin to grow, so the 14th marks the first day of work in the fields. It is also believed that this is the day when birds propose to one another and get married. This connection between love birds and Valentine’s Day is prevalent in many European cultures.
No matter if you’re celebrating with your sweetheart, your friends, or a bowl of black noodles, we wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day!
Marc was invited to the internationally acclaimed Salon du Chocolat in Paris at the beginning of the month and enjoyed a fantastic show full of inspiration, interesting talks and a fabulous chocolate fashion show (follow this link for a great video of the fashion show by Implausible Blog). While he was there he was also awarded the honorary title of ’2012 Ambassadeur du Salon du Chocolat’, joining a select group of only 12 renowned Chocolatiers from around the world who were given the title for their dedication to the chocolate industry and their influence and advice in shaping the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate.
Sylvie Douce and François Jeantet, the founders of the show presented each of the winning chocolatiers with a certifacate and thanked them in a small ceremony on the main stage of the show.
The 2012 Line up of the ‘AMBASSADEURS du Salon du Chocolat 2012′ is:
Philippe BERNARCHON (Lyon, France),
Sébastien BOUILLET (Lyon, France),
Vincent GUERLAIS (Nantes, France),
Philippe GUILBERT (Lille, France),
Thierry LALET (Bordeaux, France),
Sadaharu AOKI (Japan),
Cédric LACROIX (Zurich, Switzerland),
Daniel BLOCH (Zurich, Switzerland),
Tomas PRENOSIL (Zurich, Switzerland),
Marc DEMARQUETTE (London, UK),
Martin HOWARD (New-York, USA), and
Denis HOUPHOUËT-BOIGNY (cocoa producing countries).
As the Salon announces its UK Premiere for Autumn 2013, we look forward to acting as a key UK spokesperson for the Salon du Chocolat in the run up to the show.
Marc said ‘I feel truly honoured that I have been recognised by the Salon du Chocolat for my passion, dedication and commitment to the chocolate industry. I look forward to working closely with the organisers of the show and my UK chocolate colleagues and friends in promoting the UK Salon du Chocolat as the premiere event for those who share my passion for this exceptional product.’
About the Salon du Chocolat
The Salon du Chocolat is the brainchild of Sylvie Douce and François Jeantet, who founded Paris’ Le Salon du Chocolat in 1994. Today, the Salon is a successful international brand with events worldwide, from New York to Bahia and Seoul to Shanghai.
With a record number of 135.141 visitors, the Salon du Chocolat Paris achieved another record year in November 2012. The Salon du Chocolat takes place in more than seven countries and has recently announced further shows in Shanghai, Moscow and its UK premiere in Autumn 2013. www.salon-du-chocolat.com