London was the best place enjoy National Chocolate Week 2010 and Vinopolis was chocolate central! They are normally the home of wine but for one week they were hosting Chocolate Unwrapped where the major chocolatiers were exhibiting and some giving talks. There were tasting opportunities at each stall and extraordinary choc sculptures of steam trains and even shoes! Some stalls were offering competitions and raffles and I won a signed copy of Working with Chocolate by Mark Tilling in an Action Against Hunger charity raffle so watch out for some splendid sweet making by yours truly! One of the talks was given by Paul A Young who was really entertaining and handed out tasters such as marmite truffles which were surprisingly good. His top tip was to put salt into your chocolate mix as it soops up the flavour – give it a go. Photos are of: Paul A Young himself; some of the sculptures; a beautiful displays of cacao pods; and, the finished product all lined up and ready to eat. All that chocolate before noon was a real challenge!
One other big excitement was our visit to Ai Wei Wei’s new exhibit at the Tate Modern where he has installed over 100 million painted porcelain sunflower seeds. Originally it was to be an interactive event with visitors walking in amongst the ‘seeds’ but it was decided that the resulting porcelain dust was too dangerous for us and now we can only watch from the sidelines and hold a single seed handed around. Rather sad for the artist I’m sure. It is a truly impressive sight and the accompanying film gives more insight into the work. It raises questions about mass productions, the ‘made in China’ label we are so familiar with and issues of individuality as each seed is different from the millions of others, each painted by hand. The seeds themselves hark back to the famines under Mao when sunflower seeds were the only food for many citizens. The photos give you the full view of the Turbine Hall with its grey carpet of seeds and a close up of the seeds themselves.
That’s all for this week’s blog as it’s late going to ‘press’ -sorry about that.
Bye for now,